2020 was a unique and remarkably tough year - with both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change being a global threat that countries around the world are trying to grapple with. Despite having reported dramatic changes in their works, ICLEI’s global network of local and regional governments have not loosen their commitment to sustainability, and are striving to build back the society better with socially,
environmentally, and economically sustainable recoveries.
Reviewing 2020, the ICLEI East Asia Secretariat has expanded partnerships with local governments and institutions in the region, and continued to deliver projects and programs tailored to local needs. In the meantime, we are also honored to have welcomed newly elected ICLEI East Asia Regional Committee Members of 2021-2024 term on board.
Like previous years, we continued carrying out research projects, delivering capacity building activities, and facilitating East Asian cities’ engagement in international events under our flagship programs like the East Asia Clean Air Cities Network (EACACN) and the Green Circular Cities Coalition (GCCC), and have managed to leverage additional resources to strengthen their frameworks, in providing better services and supports to the participating local governments. These programs are designed to support local governments in transitioning towards low-emission and circular development.
ICLEI East Asia has also expanded our work with Ulaanbaatar. With our technical support, the city completed its first climate data reporting on the CDP-ICLEI platform in December, and has remained determined to persistently improve its building energy efficiency via retrofitting projects.
We expanded our activities in relation to urban biodiversity and naturebased solutions. In 2020, we officially launched the UrbanByNature program in China together with other ICLEI offices, and have kick-started cooperation with the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership in promoting knowledge exchange on sustainable urban renewal experiences between Chinese and German cities. In the meantime, we are also working closely with the CBD Secretariat, China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Yunnan Province, and Kunming City in preparing for co-hosting the 7th Global Biodiversity Summit for Local and Subnational Governments during the CBD COP15.
Last, but not least, under the Resilient Development pathway, ICLEI contributed in developing the Technical Guidelines for Urban Climate Change Adaptation in China under a technical assistant project funded by the Asian Development Bank, and have joined hands with UNDRR in delivering training to Chinese cities to strengthen their capacities on disaster risk reduction, as well as on designing and implementing urban resilience in the context of climate change.
Cities of ICLEI are leading the way towards global sustainability. ICLEI East Asia is committed to accelerating these efforts with work that starts on the ground, across the region. With the five ICLEI pathways as a guidance, we will continue to support local and subnational governments in the region to design integrated solutions and scale up sustainable urban development.