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International Programs Update

By Steve Gawler, Director, International Programs

Sukabumi joins ICLEI climate resilience program

Mayor of Sukabumi and Ibu Indah from APEKSI signing MOU, witnessed by Steve Gawler

On Monday 17 June the newly elected Mayor of Sukabumi, Indonesia, signed an MOU with the Indonesian association of municipalities APEKSI to work with ICLEI on a climate resilience program. Supported by the ICLEI Indonesia office, Sukabumi will go through a rapid assessment process to understand the impacts of the changing climate on their city and to plan for greater resilience. The Mayor is particularly concerned about ensuring a high quality water supply for the community and will target a cleanup of the major rivers. Sukabumi already has an impressive number of initiatives underway to improve the natural environment, waste management and to control vehicle emissions.

Green Village program in Sukabumi

While in Sukabumi for the MOU signing, we visited a demonstration Kelurahan Hijau (Green Village) site. This is an urban village on the border of the city, beside a deep river valley. The local village leaders have worked with a special committee to turn the village into a beautiful green, clean and sustainable place. Vegetable gardens, potted plants, a pristine stream and lots of natural vegetation have created a cool, sustainable oasis. But above all, the village leader points out that the process of working together to achieve collective action has actually strengthened the community so that they can now work together on any other opportunities or problems which may arise. The same principle exactly as ICLEI Oceania’s Thriving Neighborhoods initiative.

ICLEI Indonesia Bulletin April 2013

Contact us for a copy of the newsletter.

Asia Pacific Climate Networking Meeting

A high level roundtable meeting was held in Jakarta on 18 and 19 March to design a regional resilience networking program. Senior representatives from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ove Arup, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and ICLEI regional offices discussed a system for knowledge capture and dissemination to local governments in the Asia Pacific, consisting of:

• A knowledge network

• Regional conferences and events

• Climate resilience recognition awards

• National and regional roundtables

Martin Brennan, CEO ICLEI Oceania, was convenor of the meeting and will spearhead the development of this program. While in Jakarta Martin also participated in a welcoming ceremony for the new ICLEI Project Office.


ICLEI Indonesia Project Office

18 February 2013

We are very happy to announce that the new ICLEI Indonesia Project Office was opened in January 2013. It forms part of the ICLEI South-East Asia Region, is co-funded by ICLEI South-East Asia and ICLEI Oceania, and is hosted by APEKSI. We are located in the APEKSI office in Rasuna Office Park, Kuningan. New staff joining ICLEI are Irvan Pulungan (Team Leader), Teguh Wiradhanto (APEKSI support officer), Indira Darmoyono, and Yogi Simamora. A great team and lots of work to do!

Top left Irvan, top right Pak Sarimun, Executive Director APEKSI, bottom left Teguh, bottom right Yogi

Marcus Moench, ISET, and Dr Paul Chamniern from the Thai Environment Institute

Regional ACCCRN meeting

Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.

A meeting of ACCCRN partners was held in Bangkok in mid-November to coordinate all of the components of this program – working directly with cities, capturing and documenting the learning and experiences, developing training packages and dissemination at global events. The ACCCRN climate planning approach is quite unique as it is based on assessing the impact of climate change on urban systems and the urban poor. The resultant strategies will build urban climate resilience, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable groups. Under its new contract ICLEI will play a key role in scaling up this approach across Asia.

Gearing up for new ACCCRN contract

Since being awarded the 1.75 million USD grant to work with 40 Asian cities, ICLEI has been working intensively to prepare the four country teams. A workshop was held in Delhi in early November to review the adaptation planning process – the “toolkit” – which was trialled with three Indian cities. This toolkit will then be adapted and translated for use in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines. The workshop was conducted by the ICLEI South Asia office and Steve Gawler, supported by ACCCRN partners Arup International Development, TARU and Verulam. Three cities are being selected in each country to commence the rollout.

ICLEI South Asia climate team and Steve Gawler

New grant to Oceania for ACCCRN

Wednesday 23 October

ICLEI has been awarded US$1.75 Million Grant to Expand Climate Change Resilience Program to 30-40 New Cities Rockefeller Foundation “Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network” (ACCCRN)

ICLEI Oceania, is one of the key partners involved with ACCCRN along with ICLEI South Asia and ICLEI South East Asia Secretariats. The funds will be used to ensure up to 40 more cities in Asia can benefit from ACCCRN’s urban climate change resilience initiatives and undergo resilience planning assessments to catalyze a range of new actions. The new cities targeted will be located in two countries which are already working with ACCCRN, India and Indonesia, as well as two new countries, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

"The grant allows us to significantly expand and scale up ACCCRN’s pioneering work in the field of urban climate change resilience,” said Steve Gawler, Director International Programs for ICLEI Oceania, who oversees ICLEI’s work for ACCCRN. "We will now be able to demonstrate that ACCCRN’s tools and methods can be adapted and used by others to enable large-scale adoption in new cities – both in core ACCCRN countries that already have a strong base of activity, but also in non-ACCCRN countries,” he said.

Martin Brennan, ICLEI Oceania, CEO said ICLEI is uniquely positioned to extend the experiences and processes developed under ACCCRN to other cities through our Asian and worldwide cities network.

Regional Climate Change get-together

6 August

Last week I attended a get-together of about 70 climate change practitioners from the Asian region. We spent 3 days looking at the various approaches for helping cities to adapt to climate change - become more resilient - and then focussed on what more can be done to systematize our approaches and to support this work. ICLEI is quite a prominent player in Asia, with adaptation programs in India, Philippines and Indonesia and more countries to come.

Blitar climate plan

July 2012

Blitar City in East Java conducted a climate planning Integration Workshop recently. The city’s climate change working group (POKJA) travelled to nearby Malang and spent the weekend “locked up” in a workshop to finalise their integrated climate change strategy. They started with a list of nearly 120 mitigation and adaptation actions and during the weekend screened all ideas and grouped them under strategic headings. By the end of the weekend the POKJA had arrived at a draft action plan, integrating low carbon with climate resilience actions, ready for public consultation. Blitar is one of ten cities on Java to have gone through the integrated climate planning process supported by GIZ and ICLEI Oceania.

Climate Change Quick Guide

A working group from Asia Pacific

July 2012


Steve Gawler, Director International Programs for ICLEI Oceania, has been engaged to co-write a “Quick Guide” for climate change adaptation and resilience in urban poor communities in Asia Pacific. The Guide is being funded by UNESCAP, UNHabitat and the Rockefeller Foundation. An expert group meeting was held in Surabaya, Indonesia, in early July at which approximately 30 leading climate change thinkers and practitioners in the region worked through a draft version. The Guide will be in easy-to-read A5 format and available on the web and in hard copy. It is aimed at local and national government practitioners and policy makers who need to come up to speed quickly on the complexities of incorporating climate change impacts into city planning. The Guide will feature lots of practical examples and tips, you will be able to dive into any section and have a quick read. It is planned to launch the Quick Guide by the end of the year and to then translate it into training materials.


The latest from Jeju and Manila

Friday 17 February 2012

I travelled to Jeju, South Korea, in January to present a new 9-day climate change training program ICLEI has developed for the Jeju Training Centre.  Then to Manila last week where I attended the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network training program and delivered some sessions on "framing mitigation and adaptation" and "climate vulnerability analysis".  Philippines is subjected to several typhoons every season, flooding, landslides etc plus more than their fair share of earthquakes.  So most cities in the Philippines are developing plans to cope with disasters and broader climate change impacts.

Highlights were the presentations from local government heads on their strategies to protect communities.  The more courageous of them have adopted a "zero casualties" policy.  Governor Joey Salceda from Albay Province was due to speak twice during the program on aspects of their disaster risk reduction program.  However he had to leave early as the Negros region in his province had suffered yet another earthquake in the early hours, following a devastating earthquake one week before.  No electricity, water or food in much of the affected area.  He had to return home to oversee the relief operation.

Post Script:  The newspaper next day reported that a relief ship carrying rice supplies to Negros sank, with 30 people drowned.  One layer of disaster on top of another, and a blow to their zero casulaties target!