12 November 2021 | The Secretariat of the GCoM SEA hosted a kick-off meeting of the GCoM Asia Project in Viet Nam to introduce the GCoM Asia project and to hear directly from four selected pilot cities concerning their background information, interests, and capacity in climate actions. The meeting was attended by the European Union Delegation (EUD), the Association of Cities of Viet Nam (ACVN), and the Institute for Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE).
In his opening remarks, Dr. Rui Ludovino, the First Counsellor of Climate Action, Environment, Employment, and Social Policies of the EUD to Viet Nam, conveyed his congratulation to the four pilot cities namely Ben Tre City, Cao Lanh City, Hue City, and Nam Dinh City, and ensured the continued support to those cities’ stakeholders. “We should not let the hard work go after the GCoM Asia project ends. Therefore, we should start mobilising financial support for cities.” He also highlighted that cities, particularly in developing countries, would need support for technical capacities which the EU is willing to support.
Following Dr. Rui Ludovino opening remarks, Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, Secretary-General of UCLG ASPAC representing the GCoM SEA Secretariat, also delivered remarks at the opening. She appreciates the support from stakeholders in Viet Nam (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, ISPONRE, ACVN, and EUD) for the feasibility of implementing the GCoM Asia project. “The four pilot cities should optimise the benefits of the capacity building activities and technical assistance provided by the GCoM Asia to achieve sustainable development and climate-resilient economy,” she added.
The General Secretary of the Association of Cities of Viet Nam (ACVN), Dr. Ngo Trung Hai, stated that ACVN provides support to the GCoM Asia project and will continue to do so. “The training programmes in mitigation and adaptation are expected to focus on city priorities for climate actions with the technical support of ISPONRE, including mainstreaming Climate Action Plans (CAPs) in urban development programmes in Viet Nam which is the priority for city leaders and officials.” Furthermore, he also added, “The Association of Cities of Viet Nam is strongly committed to supporting the project implementation in Viet Nam in order to contribute to project goals, achievements, and ACVN capacity-building efforts in fighting climate change.”
To emphasise the importance of collaboration, Asih Budiati, Team Leader of the GCoM Asia Project, addressed that “Together, we will identify the best way to mitigate cities’ challenges and create more liveable cities. Further and faster together, we can make a difference and reach our goal of low carbon emission in Southeast Asia.”
This meeting also enabled cities to share their city background, the situation of climate impacts, their needs for and interests in support for climate actions, as well as their capacity and commitments to the GCoM project. After cities presentations, some questions were raised about the city’s human resource plan for the project implementation. The city leaders were committed to having personnel assignments with specific focal points to work with the project team in the upcoming months.
The kick-off meeting is the first step of a long journey for a low-carbon emission and climate-resilient economy. GCoM SEA Secretariat congratulates Ben Tre City, Cao Lanh City, Hue City, and Nam Dinh City for their commitments and efforts towards the next paragon of sustainable cities!
Written by: Thao Nguyen
Reviewed by: Rona Ikram Putri