Regional Workshop on Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus
Asia-Pacific policymakers and city leaders gathered for a three-day regional workshop in Bangkok in the context of an innovative project aimed at integrating resource management across Asia-Pacific, to support the long-term sustainable development of its growing cities and their regions.
The rapid urbanization of Asia-Pacific brings with it the risk of widening supply gaps, in particular for water and sanitation systems, energy, land use and food security. Yet municipal administrations and utilities in the region continue to plan and manage along sectoral lines and within municipal boundaries, and rarely in a coordinated and integrative manner.
Recognising the challenge of sustainable cities, ESCAP has partnered with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), with financial support fromthe German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to deliver the ‘Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus’ project. The initiative supports 10 cities in 6 countries: China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, by providing technical advice on nexus approaches to municipal administrations.
The project supports the implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (Rio+20), which recognized the importance of cities to global sustainable development efforts.
The regional workshop, which ran from 2-4 December 2013, noted that at present countries in the region were unable to fully utilize the policy nexus opportunities between water, energy and food security and the potential co-benefits arising from integrated resource management and planning for cities and their regions. Consequently, in better meeting the urban sustainability challenges facing the region, participants at the Workshop called for a greater role of local governments, the need for collaborative governance across municipal boundaries, and supportive institutional relationships for integrated resource management in Asia-Pacific cities.
The Workshop further provided an opportunity for participating member States to share their experiences and review current policies and programmes in support of nexus approaches, in particular the institutional arrangements required. Attendees also defined the next steps to be undertaken by the project in the participating cities.