From May 12 to May 15, UNCDF representatives from the Asia-Pacific and African Regional Offices attended the third annual Resilient Cities 2012 congress in Bonn, Germany. The event was organized by the International Council For Local Environments Initiative (ICLEI), an international association supporting local governmental sustainability.
The ICLEI congress is an important global platform for technical level networking and knowledge sharing on subnational climate change adaptation and mitigation issues. Doubling as an endorsing partner, the UNCDF delegation presented at the “Financing the Resilient City” session on May 15.
The presentation included an update on LoCAL’s two pilot programs, currently active in Bhutan and Cambodia. The presentation went further explaining the UNCDF financing approach to sub-national governments, in relation to climate change adaptation (CCA) on the basis of a four-step methodology utilized by LoCAL. Currently based out of the Asia-Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand, references were later made to the global expansion of LoCAL into Africa, the Middle East and possibly Latin American countries. The aforementioned point resonated with the attendees, due to the growing nature and global breadth of the congress.
The LoCAL methodology was also presented in the session, “Choosing the Right Adaptation Policy and Planning Tools.” This presentation was delivered by Stelios Grafakos and Veronica Olivotto from Erasmus University’s International Institute of Urban Management based out of Rotterdam, Netherlands.
This presentation highlighted plans of developing an ex-post assessment methodology for LoCAL following a “Comprehensive Hybrid Approach”. : “The (Comprehensive Hybrid) approach”, said Stelios Grafakos, “ takes into account multiple assessment ex-ante and ex-post analyses including: Cost-benefit; cost-effectiveness and multi-criteria frameworks and combines them with the UNCDF’s Performance-Based Grant System methodology, inherent in LoCAL. This approach will be permeable in order to address the complexities of contextual demand driven, local level assessment.”
By the end of the congress, LoCAL garnered an ample amount of interest from congress attendees. Joyce Klein Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design stated: “The LoCAL approach fascinated me. It seems to address the needs of least developed communities whereas most of the presentations made during the congress focused on cities in developed nations. I am interested in learning more about it.”