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Southeast Asia | Smart Green ASEAN Cities (SGAC): The First EU-ASEAN Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Smart and Green Cities

Jakarta, 22 July 2022 | The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) organised a special Smart and Green ASEAN Cities (SGAC) event in cooperation with the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV) and ASEAN Secretariat on 22 July 2022 at Pullman Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia. The SGAC Programme promotes the development of funding and financing solutions for the realisation of Smart Green City Projects in the region. This programme was originally initiated by the European Union (EU) and carried out by the UNCDF in coordination with the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Through this workshop, speakers from the EU and ASEAN, cities, and multi-stakeholders could share their experiences and lessons learned to be developed to establish regional initiatives. In addition, the SGAC would be the groundwork for Smart and Green Cities for EU-ASEAN Communities and allow interactive exchanges on important issues, especially in the area of smart city development.

In relation to the realisation of smart and green cities, an EU-funded GCoM Asia Project has been facilitating cities in Asia, including in Southeast Asia, to transform themselves into greener and more sustainable cities. Through the GCoM Southeast Asia Secretariat, which is hosted by United Cities and Local Government Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), the Project has worked to align existing and new city support structures through local coalitions of partners – with further support from the GCoM Global Secretariat. The GCoM Southeast Asia Secretariat has also been responsible for setting up and managing their region-specific approaches, as well as locally relevant governance and technical assistance systems.

Taking the chance for the presentation, the GCoM Asia Project Team Leader, Asih Budiati, managed to share the background, progress, and development of GCoM Asia Project in Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, focusing on climate finance and national capacity-building activities. Furthermore, the GCoM Asia Project has provided technical assistance in developing a Climate Action Plan (CAP) for 16 pilot cities in Southeast Asia, including the inventory of existing CO2 emissions, reduction goals or targets, and an analysis of the projection risks and impacts of climate change.  She also emphasised that by being the signatories, the mayors and local leaders will gain concrete measures for tackling the interconnected challenges of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and access to sustainable energy.

To conclude, the SGAC programme may foster the implementation of sustainable urbanisation in ASEAN cities while reducing their environmental footprint and improving the quality of life for citizens, and making sure green and smart city solutions will be adopted in the ASEAN region starting from 2021–2024.

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