The workshop aimed to bring together experiences from ACCCRN cities across Asia and to carve out a path for the future, taking forward the agenda of sustainable and climate resilient cities.
New Delhi – In an endeavor to bring the knowledge and experience generated through the ACCCRN initiative, and explore synergies with similar other initiatives, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in association with Rockefeller Foundation organized on January 29 an International Workshop on “Resilient Cities: Experiences from ACCCRN in Asia and Beyond” under the aegis of its annual flagship event, Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2013.
Setting the theme, Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director General, TERI, said, “The impacts of climate change are becoming more apparent, the heat waves are on increase and there is no denying the fact that cities would be more vulnerable in the future. The need of the hour is to deal with climate change effectively. We need to have a dialogue and build proper communication channels to shed light on these issues, and create better urban climate resilience, develop infrastructure and human capability to deal with these issues.
Dr. Ligia Noronha, Executive Director, TERI, in her introductory remarks said, “There is a need to recognize the growing inequality in Asian cities to efforts at building climate resilience.” Referring to an earlier TERI project on “double exposure” to globalization and climate change, she said poorly conceived city modernization or urban renewal projects, can also lead to a double exposure for the urban poor in cities also exposed to climate hazards. One key aspect of the agenda of climate resilient growth should thus be in making cities more equitable. “More equitable cities will, I believe, result in more robust, resilient cities.”
The objective of the workshop was to bring together the experiences from ACCCRN cities across Asia and to carve out a path for the future, taking forward the agenda for sustainable and climate resilient cities. The workshop targeted participants which included ACCCRN associates and partners from India and Asia, policy-makers, academician working in the area of cities, multilateral organization with a mandate and agenda to support resilience and climate proofing of cities, stakeholders from State and City Governments from ACCCRN cities and beyond.
Encouraged by the stellar response the collaboration is getting so far, Ms. Mili Majumdar, Director, Sustainable Habitat, TERI, said, “The project is trying to mainstream climate resilience with bringing changes in the planning framework that are relevant to the development of these cities. This collaboration actively seeks to engage various stakeholders and identify cutting edge strategies to build up a framework for climate change resilience.”
Delivering the special address, Dr. Cristina Rumbaitis Del Rio, Associate Director, Rockefeller Institute, said, “We are extremely delighted to collaborate with TERI on policy-related issues to climate resilience for cities in India. I do hope we will be able to find ways in which TERI’s stellar work could be replicated in many other parts of the world.”
In Asia, the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) – a 7-year duration initiative – was conceived and launched by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2008. ACCCRN aims to catalyze attention, funding, and action on building climate change resilience for poor and vulnerable people in cities by creating robust models and methodologies for assessing and addressing risk through active engagement and analysis of 10 cities in Asia. The initiative has supported cities to assess their climate risks and vulnerabilities and develop their resilience strategies. Until date, ACCCRN has supported and funded 23 city projects across 10 cities in 4 Asian countries (India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam) amounting to about US $ 9.4 Million. The city projects address multiple sectors and include interventions for floods/drainage, disaster risk reduction, water resource, housing and health.
TERI was appointed as the National Policy Advisor to ACCCRN in India in the year 2009. As part of this, TERI conducted a policy synthesis review for mainstreaming climate resilience in Indian cities. Later, TERI selected Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) as one of the pilot ACCCRN cities in India among those who had developed a city climate resilience strategy. They also conducted a detailed review of regulations, policies, by-laws applicable to the urban development process for Gorakhpur and suggested a climate resilience mainstreaming strategy for the city. The detailed mainstreaming strategy has been submitted to the city government which is considering implementation of some of TERI’s recommendations.
The day-long workshop was divided into two sessions entitled “Urban Resilience: Concept and Approaches” and “ACCRN Experience in India and Beyond” respectively. It was followed by a panel discussion on the topic “Taking Resilience Agenda Forward”, and offered a lot of insight on the way climate resilience could be approached in urban centres in Asia, and how to best utilize the present experiences and chalk the best way forward.
Headed by world-renowned economist and Nobel Prize winning climate scientist, Dr. R. K. Pachauri, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is best described as an independent, not-for-profit research institute focused on energy, environment, and sustainable development and devoted to efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. From microbiology to global climate change, from smoke-filled rural kitchens to plush corporate boardrooms, from schoolchildren to heads of state – no sphere of human endeavour is unfamiliar to TERI. For more information, visit www.teriin.org.