Proceedings of the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS High-Level Seminar (HLS) on Sustainable Cities

Event: 8th East Asia Summit (EAS High-Level Seminar (HLS) on Sustainable Cities
Date: 8 - 9 February (Chiang Rai, Thailand)

The High-Level Seminar (HLS) on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC) is organised annually to gather influential East and Southeast Asia policymakers, experts and practitioners working on clean, green and sustainable cities. Since 2010, senior officials from the region’s environmental and urban line ministries, city authorities and development partners meet at various cities in Asia to:

(i) Share and promote their latest ideas and initiatives on sustainable city development;
(ii) Exchange knowledge and explore collaboration potential; and, importantly,
(iii) Develop specific recommendations to East Asia Summit Environment Ministers Meeting, which includes ASEAN Environment Ministers, on practical cooperation activities on environmentally sustainable cities.

A keystone initiative the HLS catalysed is the “ASEAN ESC Model Cities Programme,” established in 2011 under the ASEAN Working Group on ESC (AWGESC). With support from the Government of Japan and others, this programme supports over 40 frontrunner green cities in eight ASEAN countries, helping them develop a variety of innovative, replicable pilot projects and sustainable development practices. The HLS also provides these cities a platform to learn from each other, as well as from other cities and partners, and to report on their progress to becoming ESC to the AWGESC and East Asia Summit environment ministers.

This year, in line with recommendations from the last HLS that took place on 2-4 March 2016 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, the HLS is renamed the “East Asia Summit High-Level Seminar on Sustainable Cities.” The new title reflects the seminar’s broadened focus on the multi-dimensional nature of city development, in addition to environmental concerns, and responds to the need of aligning city-level development with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).