ICLEI-led research on multi-level governance, presented in global resilience forum

Bonn, Germany – The results of a research paper on multi-level governance spearheaded by ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS) was presented during the 9th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation held in Bonn, Germany last April 26-28, 2018.

Zeroing in on climate planning and implementation, the research paper looked at the experiences of Philippines and Indonesia. The research explored the best way to enhance climate change planning and implementation by initially finding out governance barriers faced by national and local government vertically and horizontally in the Philippines and Indonesia. The primary methodology used in the research was a thorough desk review and analysis of pertinent reference materials including policies and regulations concerning climate change, results of relevant national and local workshops, as well as in-depth interview of key resource persons.

In his presentation, Mr. Bima Fitriandana, Project Assistant at Yayasan ICLEI Indonesia, emphasized that it is necessary to look into policies, laws, and mandates of different levels of government to foster better cooperation. He also explained that there should be an active system to mainstream climate change issues. Furthermore, there is a need to create a coordinating agency that oversees collaboration amongst national and local government units.

He also added the importance of leaders’ political will; the president, relevant sectoral ministries, and mayors who have considerable powers to determine the priorities and direction of future development.

The parallel session, where the research paper was presented, aimed to convey the importance and barriers of multi-level governance and the significance of the Talanoa Dialogue as an approach in seeking better vertical and horizontal coordination.

Ms. Maryke van Staden, Director of the carbonn Center and Low Carbon City Program Manager at ICLEI World Secretariat, underscored that the Talanoa Dialogue provides space to explore the enhancement of climate action implementation between national and local governments.

Mr. Oswar Mungkasa, Deputy Governor for Spatial Planning and Environment of DKI Jakarta, shared that there is fragmented governance occurring in the province and its surrounding areas. He echoed the need to prioritize collaborative governance and bring together various stakeholders to discuss solutions to the issues faced by the local governments, especially those which are cross-boundary in nature such as transportation, waste management and energy sector.

Other speakers included Ms. Nidhi Mittal, UK-based urban and climate resistance specialist and Ms. Rebecca Cameron professional officer for Climate Change, Energy and Resilience at ICLEI Africa. Both speakers presented cases which showed that fragmented governance equates to disintegrated implementation.

Participants concluded that the problems on multi-level governance tend to be similar in nature but differs on the countries’ local context. Some of these challenges may stem from sectoral egotism while some, as in the case for Indonesia, may be a product of different development priorities and insufficient awareness about environmental sustainability. Therefore, there is a need for countries to have specific approaches to improving climate governance.

Hosted by the City of Bonn since 2010, the Resilient Cities Congress is considered a milestone event connecting local government leaders and climate adaptation experts to discuss adaptation challenges facing urban environments around the globe.

Themed “Tracking local progress on the resilience targets of SDG 11,” this year’s edition featured high-level speakers including Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction; Mr. Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany; and Mr. Ashok Sridharan, Mayor City of Bonn, Germany, ICLEI First Vice President, and Special Messenger to the UNFCCC and carbonn Climate Registry.

This year’s Congress is also considered as an official Talanoa Dialogue. Launched by the COP23 Presidency of Fiji, the Talanoa Dialogue is designed to take stock of and strengthen implementation of each country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji to describe an inclusive and transparent dialogue and decision-making process. By focusing on three fundamental questions: Where are we; Where do we want to go; and How do we get there?, the Talanoa Dialogue aims to explore stories, build empathy, and make wise decisions for the collective interests through sharing ideas, skills, and experiences.

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