• Regional workshop held to identify and map out platforms and actions towards 100% renewable energy

      Ms. Wanun Permpibul, Director of Climate Watch-Thailand and Outgoing Coordinator of the Asia Climate Change Consortium (ACCC), leading the planning towards the big shift towards 100% RE. Cities and municipalities were identified as one of the crucial stakeholders. ICLEI SEAS joined local and regional civil society organizations and networks working with the Asia Climate Change Consortium (ACCC) for a regional workshop on limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius held at the Ruen Phae Royal Park Hotel, Phintsanulok, Thailand from 7-9 March. The ACCC is a learning and collaborative platform for local and regional groups working on climate change across Asia and the Pacific. During the three-day workshop, representatives of various groups identified and mapped out the priority advocacy areas, concrete actions and platforms at the national and regional level to ensure the big shift towards 100% renewable energy by 2040. These priority advocacy areas encompass the following: accelerating renewable energy, mainstreaming energy efficiency, promoting climate change adaptation, and avoiding loss and damage. Among others, the ACCC recognized the importance of mainstreaming energy efficiency in cities across Southeast Asia as a crucial component of its advocacy towards the big shift. With Southeast Asian cities facing rapid urbanization and economic growth resulting in high energy demand, the network sees as a strategic priority working with cities across Southeast Asia in promoting best practices and strategies in energy efficiency and energy demand management. Mr. Marvin Lagonera of ICLEI SEAS sharing the organization’s work in promoting low carbon development in Southeast Asian cities. Mr. Marvin Lagonera of ICLEI SEAS shared the organization’s work with cities in the area of climate change mitigation and low carbon development. Mr. Lagonera introduced the various projects, activities, tools and frameworks used by the organization in mitigating emissions across Southeast Asian cities. The ACCC also visited and learned from a local community in the Bangragam district, which has developed various adaptation strategies in response to extreme weather conditions. The ACCC learned that the residents have developed resilient livelihoods and have learned to easily adapt between farming and fishing when the village is submerged under high waters during the rainy season. Their houses are built on stilts and some are supported by barrels allowing these to float during flooding. Despite this, residents have expressed their concern over certain changes in the weather such as the early onset of the rainy season or prolonged dry season, heightening the call to raise awareness on the effects of climate change. Climate Watch Thailand, Christian Aid and ActAlliance co-organized the event.


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  • Indonesian city gets better access to affordable and clean water

    Sukabumi, Indonesia - Through the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Engagement Building Small Grants project “Development of Healthy Water Management with Rain Water Reservoir”, the residents of Sukabumi City can now access potable water at affordable prices. In support of the City Resilience Strategy, ICLEI in close partnership with local authorities addressed the lack of access to clean water, a major problem in Sukabumi. There are two main sources of water in the city –the PDAM tap water and ground water. The residents, however, rarely use these for their household and drinking needs due to its poor quality. To address this issue, a rain water harvesting facility was installed in Al-Muhajirin mosque, kel. Nenggaleng. The facility successfully converts rain water into potable water. Called Aquarain, water harvested from this are sold for Rp 3.5000 (USD 0.26)  per gallon, a much affordable price compared to the price of Aqua which ranges from Rp.18.000-20.000 (USD 1.35-1.50) per gallon. One of the notable milestones of this initiative is the significant and extensive participation of the religious community in the Al-Muhajirin Mosque. The community provided financial, manpower, and technical support which made the installation of rain water harvesting facility possible. Maintenance and security of the facility have also become a community effort. According to Sukabumi Mayor Mohammad Muraz, “Through this [ACCCRN] program, ICLEI has opened the door for Sukabumi to the outside world and to meet with many people from different nations. We wish this can be continued in the future.” He further stated that through the small pilot funded by the ACCCRN Small Grants Project, rainwater can be reserved and can be processed to reach drinking water quality. For the next development, the two small grants projects in Sukabumi will to be replicated in other areas. Mr. Dasita Juju, Chairman of RW 7 and Pusyantek, commented that the technology used in this facility is the product of his research on similar technologies applied in other countries such as the United States and Japan. ICLEI envisions to replicate this technology in other communities in Sukabumi. Selamet Daroyni, Project Officer in ICLEI Indonesia, stated that the revenues from Aquarain can be used as funds in developing similar facilities in other mosques in Sukabumi. Apart from the rainwater harvesting facility, ICLEI supported the installation of Simple Water Treatment Plant (IPAS) in kel. Cikundul, also in Sukabumi. The plant is capable of treating water from the river to clean water.


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  • CSOs, government units, and academe convene in science-policy dialogue on low carbon and adaptation initiatives in Asia

    Climate scientists, academics, government representatives, practitioners and civil society representatives across the Asia Pacific joined the science-policy dialogue. ICLEI SEAS joined climate scientists, academics, government representatives, practitioners and civil society representatives at a capacity building workshop and science-policy dialogue co-organized by the Asia Pacific Network (APN), LoCARNet and Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific, and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT/RRC.AP) at the AIT campus in Pathum Thani, Thailand from 6-8 February. The three-day event focused on low carbon and adaptation initiatives in Asia, anchored on the common aim of strengthening the global response to climate change set forth in Article 2 of the Paris Agreement. It was also a celebration of four years of support for low carbon development by both the APN and LoCARNet. The APN is an intergovernmental network that promotes policy-oriented research and capacity-building activities while the LoCARNet is a network of researchers that facilitates the formulation and implementation of science-based policies for low-carbon development in the Asian region. Mr. Marvin Lagonera, Project Officer at ICLEI SEAS, shared some of the organization’s initiatives, accomplishments, challenge and lessons learned in promoting low carbon development in cities across Southeast Asia. He also gave a policy talk on the importance of gender equity in low carbon development for a sustainable Asia. Mr. Lagonera explained that the gender lens in low carbon development should cut across all levels of governance (regional, national and local), all phases of climate action from planning and decision-making to monitoring and evaluation, and across all focus sectors. A gender-responsive lens also requires a multidimensional, integrated framework to low carbon development, moving from a climate-first understanding towards a broader sustainable development, rights-based approach. He argued that synergies between low carbon development and gender equity must be pursued, highlighting not only the technological and economic aspects of climate change mitigation but also institutional settings, power relations and gendered impacts. Moving forward, Mr. Lagonera proposed various strategies that countries can employ to promote gender responsiveness such as developing gendered capacity building programs, promoting gendered knowledge products and tools, and promoting gender-sensitive performance monitoring systems. His presentation can be accessed through this link.


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  • Baguio City Congressman supports policy recommendations of ICLEI-commissioned study on water security

    UP Baguio study team presents results of ICLEI-commissioned water security study to Baguio City Congressman Mark Go (first from right) and Baguio City Government. Photo by: UP Baguio Baguio City Congressman Marquez Go expressed support to forward policy recommendations of the ICLEI-commissioned study on water security during a meeting held at the University of the Philippines Baguio (UP Baguio) last February 10. The study, titled“Engaging Communities and the City Government in Addressing Water Security, Sanitation and Urban Resilience Challenges in Baguio City, ”focused on analyzing the domestic water use of Baguio City's poor households with an aim to understand water access and utilization. Results showed that poor households tend to rely on free water sources such as springs, creeks, and rainwater despite the uncertainty of water quality. Ms. Cordelia Lacsamana, City Environment and Parks Management Officer of Baguio City, emphasized the need to strongly implement the Baguio City Water Code as well as the City Environment Code in order to address water security concerns. She further explained the need for stronger coordination with other city departments such as the City Health Office because water concerns cut across the mandates of different offices. On the other hand, Prof. Lorelei Mendoza of UP Baguio highlighted the need to harmonize legislation at the national and local level, particularly in terms of regulation and release of permits which are mandates of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB). Congressman Go said that one of his priorities is to strengthen the BLISTT, a metropolitan area comprised of Baguio City and five other municipalities under Benguet Province namely La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay. He recognized that the issue of water security can affect other urban development concerns, particularly tourism and infrastructure. The legislator also expressed support in elevating some of the study's policy recommendations to the Congress. The policy recommendations covered provisions on rainwater harvesting and water purification, improving water quality and safety standards, enhancing the regulation of water extraction activities, and strengthening the provisions of Baguio City's Water Code. This study was completed last November 2016 and was conducted by select faculty members of the College of Social Sciences (CSS) in UP Baguio. It was supported through the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Engagement Building Small Grants funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS). The ICLEI-ACCCRN Engagement Building Small Grants Fund seeks to encourage the formation of genuine and sustained partnerships between the cities and key external stakeholders by supporting specific stakeholder engagement activities or small innovative projects to test the feasibility of resilience-building strategies. Download the full report here.


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  • Seven EHCC cities recognized by WWF-Philippines

    The seven cities from the Philippines that participated in the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) 2015-2016 were recognized by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines during a two-day workshop held last August 17-18 in Quezon City. These cities had risen to the global challenge to showcase their local actions and commitments to combat climate change: Makati City, Paranaque City, Quezon City, Santa Rosa City, Naga City, San Carlos City, and Cagayan de Oro City. EHCC is a WWF initiative that aims to “highlight, recognize, and reward city governments that are making substantial long-term efforts to combat climate change.” The theme for this round of EHCC is ‘Bridging the Gap to 202’. Evaluations had put emphasis on “powerful, inspiring and creative actions and solutions in terms of reducing GHG emissions and reporting co-benefits related to food, water and energy security.” Participating cities from all over the world had reported their emissions data, commitments, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR), a reporting platform managed by ICLEI. ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS), the partner of WWF-Philippines in this undertaking, had supported the seven cities in the reporting and usage of the cCR. In the workshop, ICLEI SEAS provided an overview of the processes and results of this year’s EHCC. Santa Rosa City was proclaimed as the first National Earth Hour Capital of the Philippines. The city was joined by Makati City and San Carlos City as finalists. The City Government of Santa Rosa effectively reported its entity and community-level greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and management framework plan as well as a wide range of environmental actions and initiatives on the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, solid waste management, and number of awareness raising campaigns, that impressed the members of the international jury. Paris was announced as this year’s Global Earth Hour Capital. San Carlos City also received the We Love Cities (WLC) award, having gained the most number of votes from various social media platforms (Twitter and Instagram) among the three finalist cities from the Philippines. The WLC Campaign is the public engagement arm of the EHCC initiative. The city of Bogor in Indonesia emerged as the global WLC winner among the 46 finalist cities from 21 participating countries. First District of Laguna Rep. Arlene Arcillas, former Mayor of Santa Rosa, said that the City Government has been actively implementing environmental actions within their locality that seek to influence and engage the participation of its community members. Recognizing the adverse impacts of climate change, she asserted that cities are indeed taking actions and should further intensify these actions. WWF-Philippines echoed this statement and encouraged the cities that attended the event to also rise to the challenge and participate in the next call of EHCC in 2017. Awarding of the Global Earth Hour Capital and WLC Winner will be conducted in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, in time for the highly anticipated United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (HABITAT III).


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