Ambitious City Promises officially launched at the Seoul Mayors Forum

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, ICLEI officials, and city representatives from Jakarta, Bekasi, Tangerang, Pasig, Parañaque, Hanoi, Soc Son, and Son Tay proudly declare their commitment to support citizen engagement and GHG emissions reduction during the ceremonial launch of the Ambitious City Promises project.

Seoul, South Korea: On October 20, the Ambitious City Promises (ACP) project, represented by the leaders of its participating cities, was launched during the Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change 2017. Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and implemented by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the project commits to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through participatory and inclusive local climate action.

Drawing Inspiration from Seoul

The ACP project builds on the Promise of Seoul – a comprehensive climate action plan launched by the City of Seoul during the 2015 ICLEI World Congress. This three-year project will work closely with the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) to help selected Southeast Asian (SEA) cities make ambitious commitments, mainstream low emission development strategies, and cultivate new climate champions in the region.

Through the ACP, nine cities from Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam will receive support from ICLEI and SMG in establishing and implementing GHG emissions reductions strategies, taking into account the cities’ development pressures and local context while also emphasizing the importance of citizen engagement and working with relevant national ministries. These cities include:

  • Pasig, Parañaque, and Marikina in the Philippines
  • DKI Jakarta, Bekasi, and Tangerang in Indonesia
  • Hanoi, Soc Son, and Son Tay in Vietnam

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon led the launch of the project, noting, “The BMUB, ICLEI, and Seoul, will spare no efforts to ensure that the Ambitious City Promises project is successfully implemented…To guarantee better and brighter lives and futures for the citizens, we [cities] need to be more open and flexible in the way we think and act.”

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon welcomes the model cities of Hanoi, Pasig, and DKI Jakarta to SMG’s movement “to reverse the course of climate change.”

Expressing commitment on behalf of all participating cities, Jakarta Deputy Governor for Spatial Planning and Environment, Oswar Muadzin Mungkasa said, “We recognize that we are not just working for our citizens, but also with our citizens. Engaging Citizens and driving local climate action.”

Deputy Governor Mungkasa expresses his hope to “strengthen how cities engage with citizens so that they [citizens] are able to take part in crafting and achieving an ambitious climate action plan.”

Toward Participatory Low Carbon Development

Prior to the ceremonial launch, the SMG, represented by Assistant Mayor Boyoun Hwang, met with ICLEI and city representatives to discuss the project in detail and explore potential areas of cooperation.

He welcomed the city representatives and shared the various citizen engagement initiatives of Seoul including car sharing system, ecomileage program, senior energy experts, youth energy Guardian Angels, and others. These strategies mobilize various groups such as the youth, senior citizen, private sector, and residents.

SMG Assistant Mayor Boyoun Hwang and city representatives agreed that climate change is a global issue and cities must work together in driving local climate action.

The assistant mayor emphasized the need for active citizen engagement, noting that “solutions lie with the citizens.”

During said meeting, participating SEA cities shared their current efforts to reduce GHG emissions. Jakarta and Tangerang focus on inter-city cooperation, particularly for the transport sector. Bekasi is concentrating on solid waste management and managing their river borders. In Hanoi, energy saving plans are being implemented; intensive tree planting activities are also conducted.

In Pasig City, Sundays are officially carless days in selected areas of the city, while bike-sharing is highly encouraged. The local government is also investing on infrastructures to improve walkways within the city. Parañaque, which prides itself as one of the cleanest cities in Metro Manila, is currently updating its GHG inventory and paving the way for green architecture through incentives and tax breaks for proponents.

SEA city representatives also shared insights about the project in a plenary session held following the ceremonial project launch. Addressing questions from local leaders attending the Mayors Forum, they explained the development pressures that their respective cities are facing and how ACP can address these. The importance of engaging citizens and obtaining their buy-in vis-à-vis the design and implementation of GHG emissions reduction strategies was identified as an area where ACP can support participating cities.

Mr. Sunandan Tiwari, Senior Manager at ICLEI World Secretariat moderated the session while ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat Regional Director Victorino Aquitania facilitated the panel discussion with the cities.

(L-R) Victorino Aquitania, ICLEI SEAS Director, Boyoun Hwang, Assistant Mayor, Climate and Environment Headquarters, SMG; Oswar Muadzin Mungkasa, Deputy Governor for City Spatial Planning and Environment, Jakarta, Indonesia; Nguyen Doan Toan, Chairman of Hanoi’s People Committee, Hanoi, Vietnam; Ahmad Syaikhu, Vice Mayor, Bekasi, Indonesia; Robert Anthony Siy, Transport Manager, Pasig City; and Isabelo Mojica, Assistant Head, Paranaque City Environment and Natural Resources Office emphasized the necessity to replicate, scale up, and advance good practices of innovative approaches to GHG emissions reduction.

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