Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista welcomed representatives from Jakarta, Hanoi, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, Yokohama, Dhaka North and Dhaka South, as well as representatives of C40, ICLEI, Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and UN-Habitat.
“We, Asian cities, should strive to become an inspiration for other cities to replicate, scale, and more importantly, coordinate and cooperate across city and country boundaries, with the common goal of setting an environment that is habitable and sustainable for the generations to come.” Mayor Bautista said in his welcome address.
During the first day of the forum, a panel discussion was held which explored the urgency of climate change adaptation in Asian cities; the impacts of climate change in Asian cities and communities, and strategies to communicate these impacts; and the need for financing mechanisms for adaptation in cities.
“With the recent IPCC report indicating that even 2°C of global warming would be disastrous to the planet and its people, we cannot afford to be complacent,” Milag San Jose-Ballesteros, C40 Regional Director for South East Asia & Oceania, said. “As with low carbon development efforts, C40 cities are leading the way with the same ambition and zeal to ensure that cities become climate resilient, continue to thrive, and be healthier and livable amidst the threat of climate change. Cities, however, cannot do it alone. It is ever more imperative that the conversation on adaptation be elevated to national and international platforms and discourse.”
Led by C40 and project partners such as ICLEI, Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and UN Habitat, the “Data speak louder than words” assessment report, was also launched which enabled cities and regions to take part in the 2018 national stocktaking exercises on climate change and sustainable development.
A panel discussion on implementing SDGs, new Urban Agenda and Paris Agreement; cooperation among different levels of government was held with resource speakers that included Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, Ms. Elenida Basug of DENR and Ramon Falcon of NEDA. Emmanuelle Pinault, C40 head of City Diplomacy, was the moderator.
Another discussion followed, focused on building adaptation and resilience through a multi-stakeholder approach, with resource speakers that included Marl Monino Mangasi of Manila Electric Company (MERALCO); Mark Tom Mulingbayan, Manila Water Company, Inc.; Dr. Tabassam Raza, adviser DRR/CCA, UP Planning and Development Research Foundation, Inc; Ma. Theresa Carampatana, president of HPFP-SDI; Jose Bernard Gochoco III, project officer - Adaptation, ICLEI SE Asia and Mahbub Alam, City of Dhaka North. Dhiraj Ajay Suri, regional adviser - Asia, Cities Alliance, was the moderation in the panel.
The last panel discussion was centered on synergies and benefits: embedding adaptation and resilience in city actions with resource speakers that included Christopher Rollo, country programme manager of UN Habitat; Guilherme Johnston, Global Resilient Cities Coordinator and Program Manager of ICLEI; Maya Villaluz, senior environmental engineer of World Bank; and Arata Ichihashi from the City of Tokyo. Amanda Ikert, C40 head of Adaptation Implementation, moderated the discussion.