Sustainable Cities (Kitakyushu Urban Centre)
COP19 IGES Co-Organised Event

Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC)
Model Cities Programme in ASEAN

The ASEAN ESC Model Cities Programme promotes the development of ESC across ASEAN by providing seed funding, technical assistance and other forms of support for innovative and voluntary bottom-up initiatives, as well as strengthening national ESC frameworks and actions within and across the 8 countries and 14 cities involved. With Year 2 now approaching, this session showcased the outputs of Year 1 and discussed the way forward.

Date and Time 16 November 2013, 13:00-13:45
Venue Japan Pavillion (Warsaw, Poland)
Organisers Ministry of the Environment, Japan
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
The number of participants approx. 20 persons
Related Document Flyer (217KB)
Agenda and Presentation Materials
Framework and main outputs of the ESC Model Cities Programme in ASEAN
Toshizo Maeda, Area Leader; Principal Policy Researcher, Kitakyushu Urban Centre, IGES
Japan’s support to realise “Leapfrog” Low Carbon Development in Asian Cities
Kotaro Kawamata, Director, Office of International Cooperation, Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of the Environment, Japan
Comment: Impacts of the ESC Model Cities Programme in ASEAN
Raman Letchumanan, Director, Environment Division, ASEAN Secretariat
Q&A, Panel discussion
Outline of presentations and discussion

First, Mr. Maeda, IGES, introduced the framework and main outputs of the ESC Model Cities Programme in ASEAN. He explained that the programme is implemented in eight ASEAN countries in close collaboration with the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) with outputs of the programme being reported to the Environment Ministers Meeting in East Asia. The programme is well recognised by the Ministers and so far a total of four High Level Seminar on ESC have been held in relation to the programme where a large number of participants from national governments, municipal governments and supporting organisations gathered and shared knowledge. Selected model cities are implementing their voluntary commitments, and collaboration with other supporting organisations including JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), ESCAP (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and others is on-going.

Next, Mr. Kawamata, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, introduced the feasibility studies for developing Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) projects whereby many cities are given support to identify large-scale emissions reduction projects in Asia and explained the possibilities of synergising both programmes.

Following the two presentations, Dr. Letchumanan, ASEAN Secretariat, explained that the ESC Model Cities Programme is performing better than the initial expectation even with a limited time-frame of 1-year. This is attributed to the strong commitment and ownership by each national government. He also stressed that current global environmental challenges including mitigating climate change impacts, and protecting forests and biodiversity require a regional approach beyond national boundaries. This approach is a strong component of the programme, which also features a pragmatic down-to-earth approach to deal with local environmental challenges where knowledge and useful information are shared among various cities beyond national borders.

During the open discussion, panellists confirmed the importance of expansion and replication of the selected model cities’ approaches to other cities, not only internationally but also domestically, as well as increasing the number of model cities per se. It was also recognised that collaboration and coordination with other city-level projects supported by other organisations are also productive and one of the participants suggested a possibility to collaborate with the APN (Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research) to sustain the programme. In conclusion, Mr. Maeda reiterated that, although the programme delivered tangible results despite a limited budget, the programme needs further support to continue and expand its activities.


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