Chaired by Bong-hee Son, Strategy Manager at the ICLEI East Asia Secretariat, six panelists presented their insights on a range of urban development issues, including energy, procurement, air quality, climate resilience, innovation in governance and technology.
Hyunju Lee, Associate Researcher at the Sustainability Strategy Office of the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute, and Mijin Ahn, Research at Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health and Environment shared the experience of Korea in reducing GHG emissions through green public procurement, and Seoul’s progress and monitoring activities in improving air quality. Hana Kim, Program Officer from ICLEI Korea Office, introduced the Energy-safe Cities program designed and managed by ICLEI which aims to assist cities in East Asia to explore locally available renewables to transform their energy system.
Researchers and experts in urban sustainability also presented their findings and solutions. Jeroen van der Heijden, Associate Professor at the Australian National University, spoke about his study of 60 projects worldwide on governance innovations and the best-practices and key-learnings derived. Isabelle Louis, Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific of the UNEP, proposed and demonstrated the use and benefits of an urban Ecosystem-based Approach in developing climate resilience. Ruth Erlbeck, Project Director at GIZ, spoke on looping material and energy flows through innovative engineering solutions.
The ICLEI SDGs session was part of the two-day International Forum on Urban Policy for the SDGs organized jointly by Seoul Metropolitan Government, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific and CityNet. Bringing together existing urban policy and inter-city cooperation experiences in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the forum explored a wide range of urban development challenges faced by cities, as well as solutions from all corners of the world.
While mayors and city officials from Betio (Kiribati), Chengdu (China), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Hadyai Municipality (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), San Fernando (Philippines), Sebrang Perai (Malaysia), Singapore, Seoul (Korea), Yokohama (Japan) and others shared the challenges that they faced and the best practices from their regions, practitioners from international organizations, city networks and research institutes held in-depth discussion on how to assist local governments to effectively implement urban SDGs and engage citizens in the process. The areas of their discussion covered urban infrastructure and management, innovation, social economy, financing, SDGs monitoring and evaluation, information and communication technologies, climate resilience and disaster risk reduction, etc. At the closing session, the online “Urban SDG knowledge platform” was also presented and discussed to promote city-to-city cooperation and exchange of knowledge and technologies.
More information on the forum and its outcomes will be made available on its website here.