ICLEI East Asia, in partnership with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), CityNet, and Institute for Global Decarbonization Progress (iGDP), hosted the session “City-led Climate Innovations: Driving Changes to Safeguard our Future” at Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF) on October 24th in Suwon, Republic of Korea. As a significant co-organizer of the event, ICLEI East Asia invited Ms. Maria Amor Salandanan, Head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office in Santa Rosa, an ICLEI member in the Philippines to the event, and Mr. Xuan Xie from ICLEI East Asia emceed the entire session. This session also served as a significant platform for the official unveiling of the “Compendium of Best Practices on Low-Carbon Cities in North-East Asia”.
Mr. Xuan Xie from ICLEI East Asia emcees the session (source: ICLEI)
ICLEI East Asia, under the coordination of UNESCAP, was a key contributor to the compendium by compiling 10 best practice cases in Korea (Suwon, Pyeongtaek, Daegu CDM, Daegu Carbon Neutral Point System, Hongseong) and Japan (Kitakyushu, Kyoto, Sado, Sapporo, Tokyo). The compendium highlights exemplary cases across four key areas: government and policy, stakeholder engagement, nature-based and innovative solutions, and circular economy.
The event featured two prominent speakers who delivered their welcome addresses. Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, and Mr. Hwang In Guk, Vice Mayor of Suwon, expressed their support for the occasion and the importance of city climate actions. During his keynote address, Mr. Maciu Katamotu Nalumisa, Minister for Housing and Local Government of Fiji, emphasized the imperative of climate resilience and called for cooperative efforts in Fiji’s infrastructure development .
Group photo of the moderator and the panelists (source: ICLEI)
The roundtable of the session, gathering six distinguished panelists from local governments and private sector, offered a platform to share valuable perspectives and best practices geared towards the critical mission of climate change mitigation. The first three speakers from the Northeast Asia region introduced innovative and ambitious policies and practices adopted and implemented by government and enterprises. Ms. Kim Yeonji, Director of the Energy Industry Division within Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea, presented the RE100 initiative from Gyeonggi Province, with the ambitious goal of achieving RE100 in public buildings by 2026. Mr. Sun Jian, CEO of Zunoan Digital Technology Co., shared the Digital Agriculture Brain initiative, which plants QR codes to monitor agricultural products, implemented in Shanghai, China. Ms. Sayoko Tanaka, who serves as the Director for Public Redevelopment at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, introduced the Harumi Hydrogen Project, with an ambitious goal of introducing green hydrogen in all fields by 2050, which has been underway in Tokyo city.
Ms. Maria Amor A. Salandanan provides an overview of the city of Santa Rosa and its waste management policy (Source: ICLEI)
Following the presentations from the Northeast Asian region, two cases beyond the region were introduced by city representatives. Ms. Maria Amor Salandanan, Head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office in Santa Rosa, Philippines, provided an in-depth report on the advancements made in constructing a waste conversion facility aimed at addressing the growing urban waste challenges stemming from rapid urbanization. Ms. Shaina M. Mysan, Director of the Solid Waste Management Division at the Colombo Municipal Council, familiarized the audience with the comprehensive waste management policies implemented in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
As the culmination of the forum, Mr. Tse Nam Peter Chin, Associate Social Affairs Officer at ESCAP, gave a brief overview of the most notable cases from the Compendium of Best Practices on Low-Carbon Cities in Northeast Asia, including community biogas plant in Hongseong County, Korea and coal-to-solar transition in Ger districts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Mr. Tse Nam Peter Chin introduces some highlights of the compendium (Source: ICLEI)
Concluding the session, Mr. Ganbold Baasanjav, Head of the ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office, underscored the critical significance of fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among cities.
ICLEI East Asia’s involvement in both the compendium and the forum has substantially enhanced the platform for peer learning among cities, extending well beyond the Northeast Asian region. ICLEI East Asia is committed to further promoting sustainable urban policies through our participation in upcoming events, including the 2023 Seoul International Forum on Climate and Environment, the Shenzhen International Low Carbon City Forum, and the UNFCCC COP 28.
Further details can be found in the compendium, “Compendium of best practices on low-carbon cities in North-East Asia”. Please visit: https://neaspec.org/sites/default/files/231020_UNESCAP_Compendium%20web.pdf.