Urban-LEDS II takes off in Lao PDR

Pakse City, Lao PDR: The project Accelerating climate action through the promotion of Urban Low Emission Development Strategies (Urban-LEDS II), represented by relevant ministries and participating cities, was officially launched in Lao PDR on 26 March 2019. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and UN-Habitat jointly implements the European Commission-funded project which runs from 2017-2021.

Urban-LEDS II aims to support cities’ efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the promotion of low emission development strategies. The project also envisions to foster international, regional, national, subnational, and local government cooperation towards an integrated climate action approach.

Messages of commitment and support from national government and project cities

Following initial discussions and the expression of interest received from the government, the Urban-LEDS II model cities in Lao PDR were finalized namely 1) Kaysone Phomvihane City in Savannakhet province and 2) Pakse City in Champasak province. The local governments of Outhoumphone, Songkhone, Sanasomboun, and Bachiangchaleunsouk are envisioned to be engaged as satellite cities.

Mr. Soupany Silipounyo, Director of Champasak Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment, and Victorino Aquitania, Regional Director of ICLEI-SEAS were also present during the event. Representatives from the Department of Climate Change, relevant departments within MONRE, line ministries, provincial relevant sectors, and participating cities witnessed the project launch. A few development partners are also invited including Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Mr. Sangkhane Thiangthammavong, Director General of Department of Climate Change of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), chaired the launch and expressed his support for the project. He thanked the partners who were present and encouraged everyone to do their part to ensure the project’s success.

Mr. Ignacio Oliver Cruz, European Union Attache for Cooperation, also delivered a message of support noting, ‘This project will be a great example showing an effective partnership to deliver and improve the way of our living to ensure the future of our next generation’.

Signifying their commitment to Urban-LEDS II,  Mr. Soulivanh Sawathasinh, Mayor of Pakse stated, ‘I would like to express our strong support project which will greatly help our city to succeed the in achieving its goals; in particular,  the vision of becoming green and environmental-friendly city.’

Meanwhile, Mr. Sommay Songvilay, Mayor of Kaysone Phomvihane City, shared that the project comes at an opportune time to assist the city in dealing with challenges brought about by development, specifically solid waste management.

During 2012 to 2015, under the Urban-LEDS I project, ICLEI and UN-Habitat supported eight model cities in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa to develop comprehensive Urban Low Emission Development Strategies and action plans using ICLEI’s GreenClimateCities (GCC) process methodology. In 2017, the project’s second phase was launched. This new phase expands its coverage to four new countries namely Colombia, Bangladesh, Lao PDR, and Rwanda.

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