• 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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