The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) renews the call on the private and public sector to forge stronger multistakeholder collaboration to implement risk-informed and inclusive actions that will enhance the country’s resilience.

“The DENR is committed to supporting everyone in implementing informed and inclusive action and facilitating investments for climate and disaster resilience through multi-stakeholder partnerships. These partnerships have a vital role in playing and accelerating an integrated, inclusive and transformative resilience agenda,” said DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga.

The DENR chief emphasized that although the Philippines has made significant progress in the fields of disaster risk reduction and climate action, it still remains one of the most vulnerable countries to natural and man-made hazards, as well as the impacts of climate change.

"What is happening to our ecosystems, in our communities is now indisputable--referring to the fact that humans have caused these problems--and in some cases, our ecosystems are at the point of being irreversibly damaged," Loyzaga said.

The key findings of the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that increases in the frequency and intensity of climate and weather extremes worldwide have had “widespread and pervasive effects on ecosystems, people, settlements, and infrastructure”. These climate change impacts have been attributed to human activities.

The IPCC report further stated that with increased global warming, climate change threats to cities, communities, and critical infrastructure will increase significantly in the mid- and long-term, particularly in areas already exposed to high temperatures, near coasts, or with high vulnerabilities.

She cited anew the importance of collaboration with the other member of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and all other sectors in the transformation towards adaptive and inclusive governance and resilient communities, in view of the linkage between human development, economic development, natural hazards, climate change, biodiversity, water and health.

"Our course of action must be unified and this can only be done by understanding the interdependence between our social, engineered, and natural systems. This interdependence has given rise to multiple and dynamic complexities, and we need to constantly balance our evidence-informed decisions, policies and our actions," Loyzaga pointed out.

"Leadership and governance are integral parts of resilience in building a system, and a network of decisions that lead to specific outcomes and impacts that we would all like to achieve," she added.

As a testament to its continuing commitment to build disaster resiliency and environmental sustainability through multistakeholder partnerships, the DENR recently launched the latest initiatives under Project TRANSFORM (Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilience and Environmental Sustainability through Multistakeholder Engagement) in the municipality of Abucay and Balanga City in Bataan.
Under Project TRANSFORM, The DENR will implement the Mangrove Adoption and Protection Project in Abucay in partnership with San Miguel Foundation Inc. and Samahan ng Mananahong ng Sitio Bakawan. Meanwhile the same initiative in Balanga City is in partnership with SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Tinig ng Mandaragat.
Mangrove forests are natural barriers that reduce the force of incoming waves and storm surges and also serve as a breeding for fish, crabs, and other marine species.

DENR’s Project TRANSFORM engages the whole of society in implementing initiatives to alleviate poverty, improve community resilience, and promote public-private partnerships. Pilot sites of Project TRANSFORM in Visayas is in Ormoc City, Leyte launched on January 18, and then in Luzon with the municipalities of Limay, Mariveles, and Orion in Bataan province on May 9, followed by the municipalities Malimono, San Francisco, and Burgos in Surigao del Norte in Mindanao launched on June 23.