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Engaging Participation of Three GCoM SEA Cities at GCoM South Asia Regional Workshop

Kathmandu, 5-7 December 2023 | Representing GCoM Southeast Asia (GCoM SEA) in a dynamic exchange, Kota Kinabalu, Medan, and Pontianak showcased their commitment to climate action at the GCoM South Asia Regional Workshop. This three-day event gathered signatory cities from South Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, and European businesses in Kathmandu, Nepal. Focused on fostering collaboration, the workshop aimed to promote innovative climate solutions and partnerships between cities and enterprises.

The workshop featured business matchmaking sessions, providing a platform for cities to articulate their climate challenges and initiatives. Notably, this initiative sought to create synergies between the interests of cities and European businesses, fostering potential collaborations and innovative solutions for climate action.

Alongside matchmaking sessions, knowledge-sharing workshops highlighted best practices from cities and insights from the City Climate Finance Gap Fund (known as “Gap Fund”). Through the Gap Fund session, participants gained insights into securing financing and building capacity, engaging in simulations to draft Expressions of Interest (EoI).

Active participation from Medan and Pontianak in Indonesia, and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, showcased the impactful initiatives of these cities. Both Kota Kinabalu and Pontianak, as the cities chosen for the GCoM Bankable programme, shared their experiences and action plans during workshops.

Ms. Elsa Risfadona of Pontianak showcased their Bright Conversion Project, which will enable the transition to LED lights in public spaces and extend light services using solar-powered LED lighting in off-grid areas. By implementing this plan, Pontianak expects a 20.99% of GHG emission reduction in the energy sector. With the focus on energy efficiency, this action is also in line with the national agenda to reduce GHG emissions in the energy sector. This action plan also supports Pontianak in achieving its vision of an Environmentally Sound, Smart and Dignified Equatorial City.

Meanwhile, Mr Abdul Manaf Rajikan of Kota Kinabalu highlighted their coastal management strategies focused on achieving climate resilience and mitigation. Kota Kinabalu highlighted that the coastal management will be conducted through a waterfront city masterplan. Kota Kinabalu divided the plan into two main points. First, the green connectivity, initiative covers the enhancement of pedestrian and urban access. Meanwhile, the other initiative is a nature-based solution by enhancing the mangrove. This action also integrates with the grey infrastructure to control erosion and sea level rise. In addition, Kota Kinabalu did not forget the public participation in the action. Various social activities have been planned and conducted to promote community involvement and environmental stewardship.

Additionally, Mr. Benny Iskandar of Medan presented their successful climate action on decarbonisation through landscape planning. Medan City highlighted its action by preserving the heritage area and integrating it with increasing the greenspace area. This effort is also integrated with increasing urban mobility through Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). With this effort, Medan has reduced the GHG emissions in sectors of energy, transport and AFFOLU. This effort enhances the resilience from floods as well.

Representing the GCoM Southeast Asia Secretariat, Mr. Arif Rahmansyah Darana facilitated discussions on nature-based solutions and water management, amplifying the cities’ voices during the matchmaking process.

The workshop revealed the cities’ need for increased exposure to similar platforms to enhance their capacity to develop business processes for climate action. They expressed a willingness to engage with businesses to gain valuable insights and explore climate solutions. Conversations among cities, businesses, and facilitators underscored the need for sustained engagement and follow-up actions.

As the workshop marked the initial phase of collaborative climate action, attention turned to the next steps in the matchmaking process. Participants emphasised the quest for innovative climate financing options and opportunities, emphasising the imperative of continuous interaction and collaboration among cities, businesses, and facilitators to achieve collective climate goals.

Written by: Arif Rahmansyah Darana
Reviewed by: Rona Ikram Putri

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