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World’s leading green cities network – ICLEI strengthens base in East Asia

November 14, 2012

In a move towards achieving a green, clean, safe energy future in East Asian cities, ICLEI, the world’s leading green cities network, has opened a Secretariat for the East Asian region based in Seoul, South Korea on 20 October 2012. The Secretariat overlooks and coordinates the works of ICLEI offices in China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea. 


Hosted by Seoul Metropolitan Government, the East Asia regional secretariat is ICLEI’s eighth regional office worldwide. It will facilitate cooperation between 75 member cities in the region, which comprises China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia. The secretariat team will further help cities form networks and develop green growth policies.


Seoul Mayor Park, Won soon; Seoul City Council Chairman Kim, Myung Soo; ICLEI First Vice President Martha Delgado and Vice Presidents Mayor James Nxumalo and Mary Jane Ortega; ICLEI Secretary General Konrad Otto-Zimmermann; as well as members of ICLEI’s Global Executive Committee and Seoul City Government unveiled the ICLEI plaque in front of the Jaeneung Building, which houses the East Asia Secretariat and faces City Hall.


Seoul Mayor Mr. Park, Won Soon welcomed ICLEI to East Asia at an Opening Forum, which formed part of the three-day “ICLEI-Seoul East Asia Days” held at city hall from 18-20 October. The 300 participants included heads of 20 overseas cities, chiefs of Korean domestic local authorities, officials from international organizations and civic group members. The forum featured welcome addresses among others from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), keynote speeches and a panel discussion "Green, clean, safe - a sustainable energy future for East Asia's cities".


“Seoul City has embarked on an ambitious agenda to replace one nuclear power plant by energy savings and the use of new and renewable energy. This goal is truly ambitious, but I believe it can be achieved if all citizens support it and make their contribution to energy saving and investing in renewable energy”, said Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, ICLEI Secretary General and Founding Director of ICLEI East Asia Secretariat.


Setting up a branch in the Korean capital was decided by the Global Executive Committee of of ICLEI, which is made up of some 1,000 local governments from 84 countries. ICLEI Members work together in order to become greener, more sustainable, livable places for a happy and healthy community. The East Asia regional secretariat will help strengthen support and engagement to East Asian cities to become resource- efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon, and resilient to disasters and the effects of climate change; build smart urban infrastructure; and develop a green urban economy.