Local Action and Cooperation: How to work together for urban sustainability for the Asian Region (ICLEI World Congress, 6 November 2003, Athens, Greece)


Asia is witness to a remarkable growth in its urban areas, as a result of rapid industrialisation and mass urban migration. As a result, local governments are facing increasing challenges to respond to the increase of environmental services and their management in the areas of water, air and wastes.

A variety of international initiatives and programmes have emerged in the Asian Region with the aim of assisting local government in their response to these challenges. Some programmes focus on capacity building of local governments in urban environmental management while others target environment on a broader level. Many international initiatives, such as the Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment, Cities for Climate Protection (CCP), The Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements (CITYNET), Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities, Asia Pacific Forum on Environment and Development (APFED) and others, employ a multi-layered approach and build on the existing initiatives of local governments through the implementation of pilot activities, development of trainings and seminars, and dissemination of research on successful practices in urban environmental management.

The session identified the challenges facing Asian cities and discussed the ways in which major stakeholders could collaborate effectively in the Region to enhance activities of local governments.

Organisers: Institute for Global environmental Strategies, ICLEI Japan


  • Professor Hidefumi IMURA, Director, Kitakyushu Office / Project Leader, Urban Environmental Management Project, IGES
  • Mr. Konrad OTTO-ZIMMERMAN, Secretary General, ICLEI
  • Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed MEMON, Research Associate, IGES
  • Mr. Makoto HOSOI, Director, Environmental Department, City of Sendai, Japan
  • Mr. Satoshi NAKAZONO, Director General, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Kitakyushu, Japan
  • Mr. Simeon ADAN, Naga City, Philippines
  • Dr. Chizuru AOKI, Water for Cities Programme, UNEP/IETC
  • Mr. Hiroo ITO, Special Advisor to the Governor on NGOs and Local Governments, JBIC
  • (Rapporteur: Ms. Hansa PATEL, Executive Committee Member of ICLEI, India)

Date & Venue

6 November 2003 (Thursday), 15:00-17:00, Edessa Room, Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens, Greece)


Major environmental challenges facing Asian cities(Powerpoint: 686KB) IGES This presentation addressed pressing environmental challenges from local activities in Asia that affect the local and global environment, and the means for enhancing management capacity (institutional, regulatory, planning, financial, technical, and social aspects)
Overcoming local environmental challenges through international initiatives: Experiences and lessons (Powerpoint: 2.47MB) IGES This presentation focused on how existing Asian initiatives have addressed challenges facing local governments. Lessons and experiences from various international initiatives were presented.
Open Discussions ALL Overcoming financial and capacity limitions through the optimal use of existing resources to effectively and efficiently conduct international cooepration activities in the Asian region
Intercity Cooperation of Kitakyushu through Local Action (Powerpoint: 3.32MB) / Abstract (7.92KB) Kitakyushu, Japan Kitakyushu actively works to share their experiences such as pollution control, environmental education and environmental oriented industries with other cities that now struggle with the effects of industrialization. Kitakyushu also carries out extensive international environmental cooperation projects in an effort to build the foundations of a resource-sustainable society. This presentation will focus on current international environmental cooperation projects and provide an introduction on the future of such activities in Kitakyushu.
Contributing to the International Community through Environmental Education (English: 5.25KB, Japanese: 11KB) Sendai, Japan Sendai intends to strengthen its environmental education programme in collaboration with universities and other educational institutions, environmental NPOs, and other members of society. The city’s master plan for environmental education, the Sendai City Environmental Education and Learning Plan, was laid down in 2002 to promote this cause. In order to deliver the environmental education programmes initiated by Sendai City to other regions, collaboration with third parties is necessary.
From Local Climate Agenda to Action: Potential Partnership Mechanisms for Asia and the Pacific (Powerpoint: 1.04MB) / Abstract (4.66KB) Naga City, Philippines Local governments in Southeast Asia have taken steps to implement climate activities. Through ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP), the pioneer local governments aim to move from least-cost climate measures to large-scale programmes that would yield significant emissions reduction from transport, waste, and energy. The partnership potentials of these local climate agendas pose a challenge for technical exchange and carbon financing among institutions in the region. Naga City, Philippines, will represent the CCP local governments in the region.
Priorities in Urban Environmental Management: UNEP's perspective (Powerpoint: 379KB) UNEP/IETC --
Seminar remarks JBIC --
Closing remarks ICLEI --

Related Information

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