DELGOSEA at the EU-ASIA Dialogue on ‘Urban Climate Diplomacy and Resilience’

DELGOSEA at the EU-ASIA Dialogue on ‘Urban Climate Diplomacy and Resilience’

The experiences of DELGOSEA’s member cities in implementing policies to deal with climate change on a local level featured prominently in the most recent EU-Asia Dialogue meeting, held in Yangon from 4th to 5th September 2014.

This landmark conference aimed to stimulate discussions between European and Asian partners on “Climate Diplomacy and Urban Resilience” and was organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in cooperation with UN-Habitat as part of the EU-Asia Dialogue, which is funded by the European Union and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. It was a truly multi-national event, with 97 participants from 20 Asian and European countries laying the foundation for strengthening regional and local voices, improving cooperation and articulating priorities to shape the new climate agreement in Paris in 2015 as well as the ‘new urban agenda’. Most importantly, the dialogue encouraged linkages between different stakeholders, such as climate negotiators and local government units, with the latter are bearing the brunt of climate change effects but also increasingly providing innovative solutions to the task of adapting and mitigating climate change.

All the countries invited had experienced the impact of climate change and presented the efforts made by their government to develop strategies for combating climate change and to introduce mitigating measures. It was encouraging to learn that in most Asian countries, there is already a climate change strategy in place and that action plans on mitigation of risk or even disaster risk reduction are being implemented.

As one of the representatives for Indonesia Sri Indah Wibi Nastiti from the Indonesian local government association APEKSI – the chair of the DELGOSEA Standing Committee – described the exchange of best practices both within Indonesia and throughout the region as part of the DELGOSEA network. Many of these cities focused on innovative approaches to dealing with climate change and other environmental challenges. APEKSI has a climate change working group which is responsible for increasing the capacity of its member cities to deal with climate change and which also conducts advocacy to articulate the problems of climate change on the local level to the Indonesian government.

Tharee Kamuang, who is a former national coordinator for the DELGOSEA network in Thailand and represented the National Municipal League of Thailand (NMT) at the conference, shared her experiences of working with cities that are keen to minimize the environmental impact of their citizens daily activities by becoming ‘low carbon cities’. The former DELGOSEA pilot city of Chiang Rai is one of the most prominent examples, having received international recognition for its efforts and participatory, community-oriented approach.

The key outcome of this dialogue on ‘Urban Climate Diplomacy and Resilience’ was a call for greater cooperation between Asian and European cities and policy-makers. The conference proceedings will also be one of the preparatory inputs into Habitat III, which will take place in 2016, assisting in building confidence and optimism in the initial stages of constructing a new climate change agreement and the post 2015 sustainable development agenda.


For more information on the EU-Asia Dialogue series see: