EU and UCLG ASPAC launch a Joint Project to Strengthen Climate Resilience and Inclusive Cities (CRIC) in Indonesia and the Asia-Pacific Region
Today (29/01), the European Union (EU) and the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) launched a joint project to assist Indonesian and other Asian cities’ efforts to protect their citizens and assets from the impacts of climate change. The project will collaborate with European leading institutions as well as partners across Asia and the Pacific region.
The Climate Resilience and Inclusive Cities (CRIC) Project is a long-term initiative that will enable cities with ambitious commitments to go beyond business-as-usual in responding to the severe and evolving climate-related events. The project is placing particular focus on the most vulnerable populations in disaster-prone areas. This is to ensure its inclusive impacts and help mitigate social and economic inequalities. The new Project is in line with the EU's continued efforts to promote prosperity, peace and sustainable development worldwide. More recently, the European Commission's European Green Deal highlighted the EU's priority for sustainable green transition that is just and socially fair, within the region and beyond.
The project’s launching ceremony was graced by Dr Ruanda Sugahardiman, Director General of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and Mr Hans Farnhammer on behalf of H.E. Vincent Piket, the EU Ambassador to Indonesia. It was attended by more than 80 representatives from 20 local governments in Indonesia, Ministries, national and local development agencies, partner organisations, academic institutions and the media.
H.E. Vincent Piket, EU Ambassador to Indonesia – in his address read by Mr Hans Farnhammer, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Indonesia, during the opening session – stated: "Cities are the main contributor of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, mainly from energy use for cooking, cooling, industry, transport, and heating, which contribute to 70% of global CO2 emissions. Strong adaptation and mitigation efforts are required to withstand the negative impacts of climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions."
In addition, cities are exposed to a high degree of cumulative climate-related risks. The address also pointed out that "people living in urban areas are increasingly at risk of natural disasters and the impacts of climate-induced slow-onset events, which presents a concentration of risk because the locations contributing most to economic development are simultaneously the most at risk. Yet, if managed well, resilient, inclusive and resource-efficient cities could become drivers in transforming our cities into a climate resilient and low-carbon economy, contributing to both local liveability and global sustainability."
With the EU’s funding of EUR 3.2 million (approximately IDR 49 billion), the project will for the next five years seek to tackle the multi-dimensional challenges faced by cities and local governments in improving climate resilience. The main activities of the CRIC project aims to improve the institutional, financial and administrative capacities of cities and local authorities (LAs) through peer-to-peer learning and exchange of knowledge, development of local action plans for climate resilient and inclusive cities, and organisation of communication and capacity building trainings.
A wide range of tools will be used, including research, capacity building, advocacy campaigns, creation of knowledge hub, and triangular cooperation between Europe, Southeast Asia and South Asia.
Emphasising the importance of the CRIC project, Mrs Suharti, Deputy Governor of Jakarta for Civil Registry and Settlements, stated that the project will support Jakarta’s effort to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals, especially to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. Moreover, Jakarta city administration is trying to integrate sustainability and resilience into all elements of urban management – in managing water, waste, mobility as well as consumption and production processes that take place in the city.
“We, Jakarta Capital City Government, highly value this kind of knowledge sharing and open dialogue to tailor a project and to enrich our perspective on important climate resilience challenges that are faced by the cities in Indonesia, particularly Jakarta. And we commit to placing inclusivity at the centre of policy-making. Not only making sure that those most vulnerable to the impacts are benefiting from our collective actions, but to actually put them as the subjects from whom we could all learn about more sustainable ways of living,” the Deputy Governor added.
In her remarks during the opening ceremony, UCLG ASPAC Secretary-General Dr Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi stressed: "As the impacts of climate change become more intense and frequent, we need to accelerate our work to help cities and local governments withstand the effects and protect citizens from future shocks and stresses. The local political leadership, networks and expertise that we pool together under this project will play a critical role in achieving the project’s aim to promote climate resilience and inclusive cities."
Background on CRIC Project
The Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities (CRIC) Project builds on the EU-UCLG ASPAC's broader partnership to promote sustainable development and actions against climate change at the local level. The project will create synergies with on-going work under the Project on Leadership, Ownership and Capacity for Agenda 2030 Local Implementation and Stakeholders Empowerment (LOCALISE SDGs) and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate Change Southeast Asia (GCoM SEA), both funded by the EU.
Additional EU programmes on sustainable urbanisation include the upcoming Smart Green ASEAN Cities project, which will promote a more sustainable urbanisation in selected ASEAN cities while reducing its environmental footprint and improving the quality of life for citizens, as well as the Strengthening Urban Governance, Prosperity and Innovation in Jakarta (Smart Change) project, which will promote good governance and sustainable urban development in Jakarta aligned with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development through a partnership with the city of Berlin.
The CRIC Project promotes integrated urban development through partnerships built among Local Authorities (LAs) of the EU Member States and of partner countries in accordance with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Capacity building, transfer of tools, as well as peer-to-peer exchanges of city leaders and urban practitioners are at the heart of the CRIC Project, and contributes to the CRIC Project's specific objectives of strengthened good governance, sustainable use of resources by cities, social cohesiveness or inclusive cities, resilience and actions for the environment, prosperity and innovation in cities, and promotion of triangular cooperation.
The CRIC Project's aim to improve the institutional, financial and administrative capacities of cities and Local Authorities (LAs) are structured around three interrelated pillars:
The CRIC Project targets city leaders, urban practitioners, state representatives in charge of urban planning and climate adaptation at the national or regional levels, urban planning agencies, civil society and grassroots’ organisations for the environment, and women’s rights, as well as research centres, universities and students.
UCLG ASPAC serves as the project’s main implementing agency and will be working together with other partners, namely: All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG), Association Des Cites Et Des Regions Pour La Gestion Durable Des Ressources, European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability (ECOLISE), PILOT4DEV and Universite Paris Est Marne La Valle.
Altogether, 55 cities will be directly covered by the project including 13 Indonesian cities that are UCLG ASPAC members: Jakarta, Surabaya, Lampung, Bogor, Makassar, Jambi, Semarang, Cirebon, Medan, Pekanbaru, Kupang, Gorontaro and Pangkal Pinang. The activities will also involve local authorities in remote areas such as the Provinces of North Maluku, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, Papua and Central Sulawesi.
At regional level, the project’s activities will take place in at least 10 cities: Dhaka (Bangladesh), New Delhi and Mumbai (India), Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar (Malaysia), Kathmandu (Nepal), Manila (The Philippines) and Da Nang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (Viet Nam).