Oceania eNews 
September 2014   


Pacific Islands Under Seige

The ‘The Pacific Ocean is under siege and with it its small islands states’. That was the message given by the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, at the opening ceremony of the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum in Koror on 29 July. The islands were already struggling to deal with depletion of natural resources – fish stock, forestry, agriculture, water supplies and energy and this is now being compounded by the effects of climate change, with many low-lying atolls being threatened with complete extinction.

Despite the achievements of a number of organisations over the past decade, there remains much to be done, particularly for sustainable energy, water and food supplies and waste management. ICLEI Oceania is now at an advanced stage in developing its Sustainable Pacific Strategy. Building on our very successful work in Asia with the Rockefeller Foundation, GIZ and others, ICLEI has developed a “Pacific Island Toolkit” which focuses on adapting to climate change, developing sustainable energy resources and improving disaster readiness. This is targeted at local authorities and embraces all dimensions of resilience building.

At present ICLEI is in discussions with potential partners who can provide scientific, technical, governance and cultural expertise to supplement support for the strategy. ICLEI will also offer the island and town governments the benefits of linking up with Australian and New Zealand members and joining the worldwide ICLEI network of local authorities pursuing sustainable development.

Steve Gawler
Director, International Programs
ICLEI Oceania  

September News

Regional Executive Committee – VOTE NOW!

The Oceania Regional Executive Committee (RexCom) is mandated to represent the Oceania region. ICLEI Members can now endorse the five nominated members of the ICLEI Oceania RexCom -

Cr Roberto Colanzi, City of Yarra, Victoria
Cr Caroline Knight, City of Mandurah, Western Australia
Cr Cathy Oke - Melbourne, Victoria
Cr Wayne Walker, City of Auckland, New Zealand
Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood - City of Adelaide, South Australia (Pending re-election at the forthcoming City of Adelaide elections on 10 November 2014)

Endorse by logging in and clicking on 'Elections Ahead'.

Greenhouse reduction at local level

In July 2007, the Rockingham City Council adopted the Corporate Local Action Plan which sets goals for reduced greenhouse gas emissions through identified actions. Since then, the City has achieved implementations of a number of actions including establishment of an annual Revolving Energy Fund to provide "seed" capital to implement the initiatives identified in the energy audits.

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For more information on the Corporate Local Action Plan, please download the document.

Water Sensitive Urban Design

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is an approach to planning and designing urban areas that integrates the water cycle with urban development. City of West Torrens is undertaking two innovative WSUD projects to improve the way they manage storm water in their local urban environment.

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Reviewing initiatives to make stronger strategies

Leichhardt Council's Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2010-14 was developed five years ago to guide Council's actions towards an environmentally sustainable and liveable community. They are reviewing where they we are now in the interest of developing a longer-term strategy: the 10-year Leichhardt Environmental Sustainability Plan.

Learn more about the projects and programs that Council has implemented in the last four years from the previous strategy (2010-2014) by clicking here.

School Shade Tree program in the spirit of "Kids Greening Townsville"

Through the School Shade Tree Program, Townsville City Council is providing schools with assistance to help schools to establish natural shade in the school grounds leading to an increase in greening activities for environmental outcomes and to promote “sunsafe” practices. Complimenting this program is the fascinating Greentree Ants Program.

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Kings Square, Perth achieves first sustainability rating for office tower

KS1, an office tower in Perth’s Kings Square master-planned precinct, has gained a 5 Star Green Star – Office Design v3 rating, the first project in the precinct to achieve sustainability certification. It is also the first office building in Australia to incorporate Green Star’s new life cycle assessment points.

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Melbourne’s budget goes before a citizen jury

The City of Melbourne has put its 10-year financial plan in the hands of a citizen’s jury to help decide how to spend $400 million across 30 services ranging from waste to libraries. The 43-member people’s panel, set up by the new Democracy Foundation, will spend up to 100 hours considering all the available information before making recommendations. New Democracy founder Luca Belgiorno-Nettis said the citizen jury model ensured a representative section of the community is able to deeply and thoughtfully consider proposals.

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Ironbark Energy Efficient Counter

Throughout Australia there is somewhat of an energy efficiency revolution occurring with local governments installing energy efficient street lights in their hundreds of thousands. To celebrate this achievement and to congratulate the hard work of local government officers, managers, elected members and local government associations, Ironbark Sustainability has launched the Energy Efficient Street Lighting Counter an online counter that tracks the number of energy efficient street lights that have been installed throughout Australia.

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Art and Urban issues

Public art in global cities has made an incredible contribution in addressing contemporary urban issues by enhancing the quality of the urban environment, defining the city’s identity and improving the aesthetic quality of urban settings. The amalgamation of art in the public realm is also responsible for bringing together buildings and people; without it, we would be left with a dehumanised and desolated urban space.
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Getting ahead on climate

Four of the world's emerging economies have claimed that they are far ahead of developed countries in their efforts to slow climate change. Brazil, South Africa, India and China are known as the BASIC bloc in international climate negotiations. They have also accused developed nations of keeping their carbon emission cuts ambitions at a low level. Ministers from the BASIC countries made the claim after meeting in the Indian capital, New Delhi, recently.

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Climate-smart farmer Peris Owiti's has a demonstration plot for women

Farmer Peris Onyango Owiti is receiving seeds and trainings on various hybrid crops by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa program and partners.

The idea was to create a demonstration plot for women in her area with Peris as their teacher. Here they would learn more about drought- and pest resistant, fast-maturing hybrid crops while seeing with their own eyes what new farming practices could offer them and their families.

Watch on YouTube

Climate Modelling Primer

As a consequence of recent increased awareness of the social and political dimensions of climate, many non-specialists discover a need for information about the variety of available climate models. A Climate Modelling Primer, Fourth Edition is designed to explain the basis and mechanisms of all types of current physically-based climate models.

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Jakarta holding back the sea

Jakarta is expected to break ground on the sea wall project, valued at Rp 400 trillion ($33.9 billion), on the city’s coastal area, in September, in a bid to prevent flooding. The National Capital Integrated Coastal Development project is a joint cooperation between the Indonesian government and the Netherlands, and its goals are to protect the capital from flooding caused by high tides.

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100 Resilient Cities Challenge deadline

The deadline for applying for the second round of the Rockefeller Foundation funded 100 Resilient Cities Challenge is 10 September 2014. Selected cities will receive funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, technical support to develop a holistic resilience strategy and access to an international platform of services, partners and tools.

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Renewable Energy Target under threat

The release of the Renewable Energy Target review last week is yet another indication of the disproportionate influence of the fossil fuel industry and climate sceptics on governments in Australia. Many experts have said that, if the recommendations are implemented, they would have a serious impact on the renewable energy sector.

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RMIT moving ahead in Energy and Water

RMIT University’s $98 million dollar energy and water efficiency upgrade program is proving a lifeline to Victoria’s sustainability sector, with Honeywell and Siemens moving into the construction and installation phase of the first projects of more than 60 separate works packages.

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2014 Water Sensitive Cities Conference

More than 150 researchers and industry participants from the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) will attend the 2014 Water Sensitive Cities Conference to be held in Melbourne, 21 – 22 October.

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What will the world look like in 2100?

By the end of the century, Singapore could see almost 445,000 people a year being adversely affected by flooding if no efforts are made to mitigate climate change. The frequency and intensity of flooding events in Southeast Asia is also set to increase by 77 per cent. Even as flood risks in the region increase, warm day temperatures will increase by an average of 4.3°C and the number of days in drought will increase by 5 per cent.

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ICLEI World Secretariat based in Bonn provides a range of programs for towns and cities to participate that add value to their sustainability and climate action policies and practices.

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The Oceania Secretariat provides advocacy, networking, information sharing and targeted projects that enhance the work of Members and informs the broader Local Government sector.

Host City, ICLEI Oceania Secretariat

Join the ICLEI Oceania LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations and allows members to strengthen and extend their existing network of trusted contacts.

It's a great way to share stories and invite discussion on sustainability practices and approaches that are working in your Council is via the ICLEI Oceania LinkedIn group.

Join the ICLEI LinkedIn group

ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee–RexCom

Chair - Stephen Yarwood, Lord Mayor, City of Adelaide, South Australia
Cathy Oke, Councillor, City of Melbourne, Victoria
Paddi Creevey, Former Mayor, City of Mandurah, Western Australia
Wayne Walker, Councillor, City of Auckland, New Zealand
Troy Pickard, Mayor, City of Joondalup, Western Australia - Global Executive Committee Member (Biodiversity Portfolio)

Host City, Water Campaign Australia
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