2 ADAPTATION FUNDING REFORM
4 BUILDING RESILIENCE FOR A GREENER , GRE ATER NEW YORK 5 SPOTLIGHT ON INDIA
8 UPCOMING EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
INTERVIEW WITH KONRAD OTTO-ZIMMERMANN, ICLEI:
Otto-Zimmermann explains that typically
only national governments, or applications
approved by and channeled through national
governments, may apply for funding from
global Institutions. This results in the creation
of nationally minded adaptation plans, which
can put cities at a disadvantage. Whether
funds trickle down to the local level and
represent local needs largely depends on
the national government in question. In the
context of climate change adaptation, this
approach could create missed opportunities
to drive more locally owned and contextually
Regarding reform, Mr. Otto-Zimmermann
argues that the solution is fairly simple: Let
cities develop policies and projects locally
and determine their own funding needs.
This would effectively be an inversion of
the current funding structure and would put
city-level actors in the driverís seat, instead
of making them solely dependent on the
priorities as viewed by national governments
and donors. According to Otto-Zimmermann,
a practical solution would be to establish a
mechanism for cities to present their funding
needs to the international market and let
donors and lenders come to them. Apart from
generating more locally-developed solutions,
this approach would allow funders to
experiment with more customized and flexible
lending terms for vulnerable communities
based on city-specific contexts. In turn, this
would improve the efficiency and potential
for localization of projects. Otto-Zimmermann
reports that this idea received unanimous
support at the Congress, which mandated the
establishment of a task force to examine the
proposal in detail.
"Let cities, and the
that reside in them,
apply for funding for
adaptation from global
PHOTO: KONRAD OTTO-ZIMMERMANN
At the closing of the 1st
World Congress on Cities and Adaptation to
ACCCRN takes a funding approach that
focuses on local solutions, and it is currently
making funding available for project
implementation in its partner cities. This
funding is based on the citiesí own
evidence-based resilience plans ó plans that articulate
and justify priority their activities. ACCCRN
is also building city-level capacity to apply for
funding from other donors and government
"Let cities develop policies
and projects locally and
determine their own
FAST-START FUNDING BALANCE
The first ACCCRN newsletter reported on last December’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) in Copenhagen, Denmark, where developed countries put adaptation needs on an equal basis with mitigation. Has this come to pass? The graph below displays the breakdown between adaptation and mitigation of the financial promises of the EU, Australia, Norway, the United States (US), and the United Kingdom (UK).
The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) hosted and facilitated the "Building Resilience to Climate Change in Asian Cities" session at the 1st World
Congress on Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change, held in Bonn, Germany, from May 28-30. The World Congress, an initiative of
ACCCRN at Bonn
ICLEIñLocal Governments for Sustainability, brought together local governments, experts, and practitioners to discuss various issues related to resilience.
Drawn from ACCCRN regional and local partners, the session drew on the experiences of panelists who are currently working to make ACCCRN cities resilient to climate change and climate variability, such as ICLEIñLocal Governments for Sustainability, Thailand Environmental Institute, Mercy Corps, Institute of Social and Environmental Transition, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, and the National Institute of Science and Technology in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP), based in Washington D.C., also participated. RFís session, with presentations and audience discussion, provided a forum to share processes
, methods, and tools that the cities are employing to build climate change resilience.
ACCCRN also participated in the pre-conference Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) Partners' Meeting convened by UN-HABITAT. The aim of the meeting was to bring together CCCI pilot cities and partners to share the achievements, challenges and lessons learned in the implementation of the initiative. An ACCCRN representative was a panelist in the "Urban Vulnerability Assessments in Developing Countries: Lessons from Tool Makers and Field Testers" session. RF also showed a clip from the RF-funded Hot Cities documentary series in the opening plenary of the World Congress. (See http:// www.rockefellerfoundation.org/news/
multimedia/hot-cities for more information on the Hot Cities documentary series)
LEARNING FROM OTHER CITIES:
By Adam Freed,
Acting Director, Mayor’s Office Of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability, City Of New York
Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City is taking aggressive
steps to become more sustainable, even as we grow by a million
people by 2030. In creating a greener, greater New York, we have
the opportunity to reduce the city’s vulnerability to climate risks that
we face today, even without the impacts of climate change.
Every year, New Yorkers experience heat
waves, snowstorms, nor’easters 1, tropical
storms, and torrential downpours. As a coastal
city that spans three islands and a peninsula,
New York has over 570 miles of coastline, the
most of any city in the U.S. While our density
is one of the reasons we have a low per
capita carbon footprint —one of the lowest
among global cities —it also magnifies the
consequences of climate events when they
occur. In addition, the city contains a dense
network of interconnecting infrastructure
some of which is over 100 years old—that is
susceptible to the elements. This includes 5.2
million trees, 90,000 miles of underground
electric cables, 6,600 miles of sewers, 6,000
miles of streets and highways, 2,000 bridges,
800 miles of subway, 22 power plants, four
major tunnels, and two international airports.
Addressing these existing risks is critical
to our future. And, as our climate changes,
increasing our climate resilience will become
even more necessary.
In 2008, Mayor Bloomberg launched a
multi-faceted effort to increase the city’s resilience
as part of PlaNYC, the city’s comprehensive
sustainability plan. PlaNYC outlines a
science-driven, risk-based approach that facilitates the
creation of incremental responses to climate
change. First, we needed to understand
how climate change was likely to affect
us. To do this, Mayor Bloomberg convened
the NYC Panel on Climate Change (NPCC)
to develop New York City-specific climate
change projections. Second, we launched
the NYC Climate Change Adaptation Task
Force to conduct a technical assessment of
the impacts of climate change on the city’s
critical infrastructure and develop strategies
to mitigate these risks. The Task Force was
the first effort of its kind to include members
from city, state, and federal government and
private companies. Third, we will expand the
assessment to include non-infrastructure
impacts, such as public health, buildings,
and government services, and develop a
comprehensive citywide plan.
The NPCC, whose initial work was funded by
the Rockefeller Foundation, found that New
York faces higher temperatures, more rainfall,
and rapidly rising sea levels. As a result, by
the end of the century the city’s climate may
be more similar to North Carolina than present
day New York and our sea levels could rise by
12 to 23 inches. The NPCC also projected that
extreme events —such as heat waves, short
periods of intense rain, droughts, and coastal
flooding —are likely to become more frequent
and more intense.
To successfully build resilience and adapt
to the impacts of climate change, we have
adopted and developed several best practices,
• Leadership by a high-level executive; • Links to larger sustainability activities
• Strong partnerships with academic,
scientific, and technical experts;
• Involvement of multiple layers of
government and the private sector;
• Use of climate change projections to inform
1 A STRONG STORM AFFECTING THE NORTHEAST COAST OF THE U.S. AND CANADA
multi-faceted effort to increase
the city’s resilience as
part of PlaNYC"
Spotlight On India: Developing
The development of resilience strategies is based on the understanding of current and future climate risks and future growth and development scenarios for each city. Cities are located in unique geographical settings and risks associated with climate change will vary accordingly. The participating cities in India also face unique resource linkages and constraints, requiring resilience strategies to be catered to distinctive needs.
To tackle these questions, each city–Surat, Indore, and Gorakhpur–formed a City Advisory Committee (CAC), which consists of representatives from the municipal government, academia, the private sector, civil society, and the public. Surat and Indore also participated in a series of "Risk to Resilience" (R2R) workshops. By taking into consideration analyses to date, R2Rs identified the axis of critical uncertainties that the city could face, identified possible early indicators to address them, and yielded a range of technical, management and policy intervention options. The third R2R workshop presented the framework of the city resilience strategy to the CAC members and city stakeholders.
Surat, Indore, and Gorakhpur are in the process of implementing pilot projects designed to experiment with on-the-ground actions, while continuing to deepen stakeholder engagement and buy-in, and spark discussions on the citiesí climate resilience strategies. Each of these cities has also started to develop the first round of proposals which will be submitted to RF to support specific resilience building interventions.
"Through PlaNYC, we
are re-imagining what
New York City can
be—and must be—in
the year 2030."
operations, management, and capital;
• Tools to help stakeholders identify and understand their risks and opportunities;
• Use of a science-driven, risk-based approach that develops incremental
responses over time.
By taking this approach, we can increase
efficiency, strengthen the city’s economy,
improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers,
reinvest in the city’s aging infrastructure, and
address existing climate risks.
Through PlaNYC, we are reimagining what
New York City can be—and must be—in the
year 2030. Addressing the challenges posed
by climate change is central to this mission
and critical to our city’s future.
"The development of
is based on the
current and future
climate risks and future
growth and development
scenarios of the city."
LAUNCHED IN 2009 WITH AL GORE, THE NYC COOL ROOFS PROGRAM IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN ADAPTATION ACTION NYC IS CURRENTLY UNDERTAKING - TRYING TO COAT ONE MILLION SQUARE FEET OF ROOFS TO REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND COMBAT THE URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT. SEE HTTP:// WWW.NYC.GOV/ HTML/COOLROOFS/HTML/HOW/HOW.SHTML FOR MORE INFORMATION
PHOTO: CITY OF NEW YORK
Hat Yai, Thailand, is an ACCCRN partner city. The city is located in a
low lying plain surrounded by mountains ranges in the south of the
country. Hat Yai experiences frequent flooding and deforestation
runoff caused by heavy rain. ACCCRN partner APCO Worldwide
interviewed two Hat Yai residents who are involved in the ACCCRN
project about their experiences.
Somporn Muangthong is a sanitation
technician with the Engineering Bureau of Hat Yai municipality. He holds a master’s degree in environment management and is responsible for maintaining and improving Hat Yai’s environmental condition.
Somporn has been involved with ACCCRN since the initial engagement with Hat Yai. From the city selection stage, he helped to prepare environmental data in coordination with the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI).
Hat Yai, like other ACCCRN cities, has undertaken a series of group discussions that bring together a range of key actors. These multi-stakeholder engagements, called Shared Learning Dialogues (SLD), have provided a way to build a base of understanding of urban climate change impacts. Somprom explained that this type of process is good for any public development project and that it contrasts with conventional approaches where “government authorities feel they know best and implement the project regardless of the voice from the communities.”
“Thanks to ACCCRN’s tools and processes we are now thinking more outside-the-box and
"Thanks to ACCCRN’s
tools and processes we
are now thinking more
PHOTO: SOMPORN MUANGTHONG
Somporn Siriporananon is vice president of the Songkhla Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of IMT – GT (Indonesia Malaysia Thailand – Growth Triangle), Thai Business Chapter. He is a Hat Yai native who owns a number of businesses in his home town, from property development to logistics and ventures focused on environment protection.
"The SLDs stimulate
us to share experiences,
thinking, and viewpoints
so that everyone can
move forward together."
PHOTO: SOMPORN SIRIPORANANON
Somporn is ACCCRN chairman for Hat Yai’s working group. Although ACCCRN is focused on Hat Yai municipality, Somporn has a much larger vision for how these efforts to build urban climate change resilience can reach a broader physical geography. Drawing on his own experience, he sees strong value in incorporating business and private sector actors and in identifying opportunities for public-private partnerships.
Somporn sees SLDs as a logical process to help a range of stakeholders identify key issues and priorities. Through this learning and engagement process, the city is able to focus on specific project opportunities that increase urban resilience to climate change. For example, the city and community have started to underscore the needs in terms of a coordinated and institutionalized action in the municipality. Early conceptions of possible areas of focus include generating a are not confined to conventional top-down
bureaucratic processes when implementing a project,” Somporn said. Rather, the approach allows for perspectives and contributions from a range of stakeholders in the city to help build toward a more resilient future.
The SLD methodology is new among government officials. Somporn discussed the value of the approach and how through a facilitated process he has come to understand the breadth and depth of knowledge within the community. Through the SLDs, Somporn said he has been able to learn and share ideas with other government agencies, and also with communities, which are repositories for tremendous indigenous knowledge. In addition to the new methods, processes, and techniques that Somporn has gained from ACCCRN, he also discussed the value of the new relationships that have formed through his involvement. He was inspired to discover how many other people are also committed to improving the quality of life in the city. ACCCRN has provided a space for practitioners engaged in efforts to increase urban climate change resilience to engage with other city champions and thought leaders. This sharing of experiences and best practices is essential to building new communities of practice that cut across a range of sectoral divisions and geographies. It also, Somporn expressed, makes this pioneering work less lonely and isolating.
strong base of urban climate change resilience-related knowledge and data, establishing an early warning system, and developing an institutional mechanism in the city to help direct coordinated UCCR activities.
Despite the fact that the city team is comprised of representatives from more than 10 different organizations, Somporn believes that the team is moving very fast. He attributes this to a sense of shared objectives. “The SLDs stimulate us to share experiences, thinking, and viewpoints so that everyone can move forward together,” Somporn said.
Invitation Only Events August 15
Ashoka calls for nominations of innovative social entrepreneurs in Asian
cities working to prepare the public to deal with the anticipated social
effects of climate change.
Asia Pacific Climate Change
Adaptation Forum, Bangkok,
ACCCRN India National
ACCCRN Thailand National
The Rockefeller Foundation’s Climate Change Resilience Initiative
aims to catalyze attention, funding and action to support vulnerable
communities as they respond proactively in an effort to manage the
risks associated with climate change. The Initiative provides support for
the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, capacity building
in the agricultural sector in Africa, and strengthened adaptation policies
and resilience efforts by the United States.
The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network supports
local communities to cope with and respond to climate change
impacts by developing their capacity to plan, finance, and implement
robust response models. The Network provides a platform for sharing
experience, knowledge, and resources among stakeholders on
effective practices, to promote the resilience concept and expansion of
response models in a growing number of cities. For more information on these events please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
See www.ashoka.org/nominate or
contact Chris Cusano at email@example.com