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ICLEI South Asia E-News

October 2016

Emani Kumar
Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia

Greetings!

Building partnerships and converging international expertise from multiple partners for the benefit of our cities has been ICLEI’s strong forte. Over the last month, ICLEI South Asia, along with other international agencies, has signed four MoUs aimed at sustainable, low carbon development in two cities – Rajkot and Nagpur. These agencies include: GIZ Urban Nexus, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and World Resources Institute (WRI).

Meanwhile, our efforts to get district cooling systems to cities are gaining pace in Bhopal and Thane where stakeholder discussions and rapid assessments to decide potential sites for installation of the energy-efficient technology are being held. Also, the handholding support for the Smart City Mission continues as the acclaimed intervention that helped decongest traffic at an Udaipur junction is now being extended to other junctions of the city.

Continuing our efforts to build networks and strengths of cities, ICLEI South Asia has offered to partner with China to bring technologies that can help tackle issues of solid waste, water management and air pollution in cities. In the recently-held leading trade fair for environmental technologies, ICLEI South Asia has suggested that these technologies can be provided and shared by leveraging city-city collaborations between Indian and Chinese cities, and ICLEI South Asia would be happy to facilitate the same.

Besides, ICLEI contributed significantly to the recently-held Third BRICS Urbanisation Forum, in India where ICLEI shared its perspectives on urban transition and lessons from its work with Member cities from BRICS countries.

Also, I welcome Narayanganj, Bangladesh to ICLEI and hope that this collaboration will make the family stronger.

This newsletter features two key people associated with ICLEI South Asia –the mayor of Singra municipality in Bangladesh and a sustainability champion who works with ICLEI South Asia.

Happy reading!

ICLEI South Asia inks four MoUs with two cities in a month

In September 2016, ICLEI South Asia started work in Rajkot and Nagpur on sustainable, low carbon development with support from SDC, GIZ, and WRI. While under the Capacity Building Project on Low Carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India (CapaCITIES), ICLEI South Asia will be working to achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions growth path for selected cities. For the Building Efficiency Accelerator, ICLEI South Asia is the technical consultant to lead Rajkot’s building energy efficiency through policy development, action plans and institutionalising of a monitoring framework. Through the Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus, we ICLEI South Asia is working on integrating food, water and energy sectors in cities of Rajkot and Nagpur.

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Regional partners meet in Singapore kicks off Building Efficiency Accelerator project

A regional partners’ meeting to advance peer learning amongst cities on opportunities and challenges regarding building energy efficiency was recently organised to launch the Building Efficiency Accelerator project funded by UNEP and World Resources Institute, in Singapore. The project that will assist 30 sub national partners and leverage the expertise of over 30 technical organisations and business partners also promotes peer-to-peer learning. It involves three partner cities from India – Rajkot, Coimbatore and Shimla.

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ACCCRN: Small Grants Fund to help two cities fight problems of water and waste

Nainital and Gangtok – two mountain cities of India – have recently been awarded the Small Grants Fund provided by the Rockefeller Foundation and facilitated by ICLEI South Asia. The cities have identified initiatives on solid waste management and mainstreaming the role of ecosystem services in water supply, to be taken up through the funds, in an effort to build climate resilience.

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ICLEI presents its perspective at the Third BRICS Urbanisation Forum in Vishakhapatnam

The Third BRICS Urbanisation Forum, recently held in Visakhapatnam, India, was themed Urban Transition in BRICS. The Forum ensured that the thematic issues focussed on building productive and sustainable urban economies and livelihood strategies in urban environments as well as creating inclusive urban spaces. At the event, ICLEI presented its perspectives on climate change, SDGs and urban environment, and shared its collective position on lessons learnt from Member cities from BRICS countries.

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Junction design improvements continue in Udaipur

After the success of interventions made to decongest Suraj Pole junction in Udaipur, ICLEI South Asia has implemented another junction design improvement at Delhi Gate in the same city. The activity that was taken up as an experiment under Supporting Smart Urban Mobility and Built Environment in Indian Cities project has been supported by Udaipur Municipal Corporation (UMC), collector and traffic police. The project is supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.

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ICLEI South Asia offers to partner with China to bring environmental technology to cities

This year, IFAT India, a leading environmental trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling, witnessed government representatives, industry leaders and non-profits discussing approved and innovative environmental technologies that can help tackle issues of solid waste, water management and air pollution. Presenting ICLEI’s experience in building resilient cities, at the event, Emani Kumar, Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia has offered to partner with China to bring these technologies to cities through city-city collaboration and exchanges between the two countries.

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ICLEI South Asia’s efforts to bring District Energy Systems to cities gather pace

In a move that signals significant progress in getting District Energy Systems to cities of India, stakeholder discussions were initiated in Bhopal and Thane to share information on the project and build interest in local real estate developers on district cooling. The meetings are a part of ‘Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Buildings & Cities: Assessing Potential for District Energy Systems (DES) in Indian Cities’ project, initiated under UNEP’s District Energy in Cities Initiative and being implemented by ICLEI South Asia. Besides, rapid assessments to potential sites are being carried out in Thane.

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Climate change forum at Seoul calls for nations to raise their ambitions

Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change was recently held in Seoul, Korea where 34 cities and local governments from all around the world invited to support the Paris Agreement that recognizes the significant contribution from cities and local governments in tackling climate change. Six cities from South Asia attended the Forum that was held on September 1 and 2.

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IUCN World Conservation Congress releases 'Hawai'i Commitments' to meet key challenges

The city of Hawaii in the United States hosted the IUCN World Conservation Congress that aimed to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development. The ten-day event that started on September 1 is held once in every four years. The key outcome of the forum was the adoption of Hawai‘i Commitments’— an innovative document that sets out the opportunities to meet key conservation challenges identified at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

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Narayanganj City Corporation of Bangladesh joins ICLEI’s network

Honorable Mayor of Narayanganj City Corporation, Bangladesh, Dr. Salina Hayat Ivy, says, “It is great pleasure for the city of Narayanganj to be member of world’s largest urban network. The city is working to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 through building green infrastructure and delivery basic services to the all citizens. I hope and firmly believe that ICLEI’s co-operation and support will help us achieve the vision of sustainability.

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In focus: Md. Zannatul Ferdous, Mayor of Singra Municipality of Bangladesh

Singra Municipality is a Member of ICLEI for two years now. The city in Bangladesh is more vulnerable to climate change than ever, facing erratic rainfall and extreme events of floods and droughts. However, through the years, Singra has initiated certain steps to build resilience and combat climate change. The mayor talks about a few.

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Meet Rahul Singh: the sustainability champion who works at ICLEI South Asia

Today, “sustainability” is a ubiquitous part of the global vernacular. Sustainability is not an end-goal, but rather an on-going process that involves ceaseless attention. And, it’s important to acknowledge that every individual counts in the transition to better sustainability and reduction of resource consumption, says Mr Singh who has been with ICLEI for about four years now.

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Habitat III: Towards a New Urban Agenda

At Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, ICLEI will push for a New Urban Agenda that fosters transformations across the urban world

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