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What is Kitakyushu Initiative?

Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment is an imperative mechanism that seeks to promote urban environmental actions at the local level targeting the control of air and water pollution, minimization of all kinds of wastes, taking selected technical, institutional, regulatory and participatory measures. It attempts to draw lessons from the practices and experiences of Kitakyushu City and other cities and put them together in a menu of effective action that could be of great use for other cities in Asia Pacific region.

History and Background of the Project

The Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment was first adopted in September 2000 during the 4th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED) held in Kitakyushu City, Japan. Primarily, its mandate is to achieve tangible progress in improving urban environment in Asia and the Pacific region under the direction of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) with primary funding support from the government of Japan, secretariat support from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and with participation of a number of local, national and international partners.

Since its implementation in 2000, the project has promoted the development of realistic and flexible environmental standards and targets through demonstration projects, sharing information of on policy, financial and technological options that are effective in the region through seminars and trainings, improvement of local capacity and increase in environmental awareness. The Kitakyushu Initiative Network was also established in order to expand partnership and cooperation amongst cities in the region and promote the exchange of information.

Our Way Forward (2005-2010)

Following a shift in focus towards Green Growth, an innovative and powerful strategy for reconciling the two potentially incompatible Millennium Development Goals: economic growth to alleviate poverty, and environmental sustainability, the second cycle of the Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment (2005-2010) will be instrumental in enhancing the capacity of local governments in Asia and the Pacific through the promotion and application of integrated win-win approaches in urban environmental management and the promotion of socio-economic livelihood at the local level.

Timeframe and Implementation Strategy:



Phase 1 (2005-2007)
In Phase 1, activities will be carried out to promote integrated win-win approaches by local governments in the region in order to simultaneously address urban environmental management and socio-economic development issues. Activities include identification of seed cases, selection of candidate sites for demonstration projects and development of a programme for training and study tour activities to facilitate the replication process.

Phase 2 (2007-2008)
Activities in Phase 2 will be guided by the outcomes in Phase 1 and will further attempt to demonstration replication. Activities include extension of the study tour programme to support the efforts of participating cities in the replication of successful policies and practices, and provision of guidance and assistance in the implementation of demonstration projects with financial support from the initiative.

Phase 3 (2009-2010)

Phase 3 will feature the conclusion of field activities. Final products, in particular the compilation of successful urban policies and practices by participating cities, and models of effective urban policies and programmes, will be developed and prepared for presentation at the final Network Meeting.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific


Environment Section
Environment and Sustainable Development Division
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Avenue
Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Email: escap-esdd-evs@un.org

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies


Kitakyushu Initiative Network Secretariat
3-9-30 Asano, Kokurakita-ku
Kitakyushu City 802-0001 Japan
Email: kitakyushu-initiative@iges.or.jp