Oceania eNews 
April 2013   

 
From the Desk of the CEO              

 

ICLEI is the world’s leading network of towns and cities committed to sustainable development. Our regional and country offices serve the regional needs and aspirations of members and the local government sector across 84 countries and cover towns as diverse as over 10,000,000 to less than 50,000.

It is this breadth of cover that prompted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to pronounce at the ICLEI Global Town Hall during Rio+20 that ‘The road to sustainability runs through the world’s cities and towns’.

This month's eNews covers once again a range of topics to highlight diversity in the Oceania region. There is a call for abstracts for the Thriving Neighbourhoods 2013 Conference and the melting of the Arctic icecaps.

The opening last month of the ICLEI Indonesia Project Office, in collaboration with the South East Asia Secretariat based in Manila, is testament to a 5 year undertaking by ICLEI Oceania to support cities in their response to the impact of climate change. This work will be discussed at ICLEI’s 4th Global Forum on Urban Resilience & Adaptation (Resilient Cities 2013) from 31 May to 2 June in Bonn, Germany.

The announcement by the city of Sydney of its first Environmental Upgrade Agreement with a $26.5 million package to fund a tri-generation plant at Central Park is a significant step toward meeting its ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% and for the city to have capacity to meet up to 100% of electricity demand by local electricity generation by 2030.

In other news, in the Clayton’s Australian election campaign a prominent investment banker has expressed the view that revoking the carbon tax would create more uncertainty for business.


Martin Brennan

CEO & Regional Director
ICLEI Oceania

April News

Contribute to a Thriving Neighbourhood

Thriving neighbourhoods are not only sustainable and liveable: they are vibrant places where communities are resilient, healthy and productive, and where the natural environment is flourishing. Thriving Neighbourhoods 2013 will examine the strategies and tools that can create thriving neighbourhoods – be it on the street-scale, precinct or suburban or city-level. These strategies will involve action by governments, the property and development industry, planning and design professionals and community champions. We invite abstracts for presentations on themes covering: leadership & governance, innovation, environmental imperatives, economic needs and social needs.

To contribute an abstract click here.

Resilient and Adaptive

In 2010 ICLEI and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and the City of Bonn, Germany launched Resilient Cities, the first World Congress on Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change (in 2012 renamed as Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation).

More than 500 participants and beyond 30 partners each year helped make Resilient Cities a milestone event connecting local government leaders and climate adaptation experts to discuss adaptation challenges facing urban environments around the globe.



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Food for thought and action!

ICLEI’s 4th Global Forum on Urban Resilience & Adaptation (Resilient Cities 2013) will take place from 31 May to 2 June 2013 in Bonn, Germany.

Resilient Cities 2013 will also host the Resilient Urban Food Systems Forum, which is a one day event focusing on city region food systems, showcasing leading city examples of food systems and attended by local governments, Mayors and city officials, international organisations, businesses, researchers, and consultants. The UNEP Think.Eat.Save project is an endorsing partner of the Forum.



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ICLEI Indonesia Project Office Welcomes Partners

On 18 March, Martin Brennan and Steve Gawler met with the Executive Director of APEKSI, Managing Director Asia, Rockefeller Foundation, the CEO of Mercy Corps, the Regional Director of ICLEI South Asia as well as ICLEI Indonesia staff at the new ICLEI Indonesian Project Office in Jakarta.

The ‘welcome’ was testament to a 5 year undertaking by ICLEI Oceania which began in 2008 to build a network of cities and their association together with key players to resource work to address the impact and causes of climate change on their populations.

The vulnerability of cities in Asia has been evident in recent years with flooding and droughts and the resultant impact especially on the most disadvantaged.

What’s happening in the Arctic?

The skin of sea ice that covers the Arctic Ocean has reached its maximum extent for 2013, the National Snow and Ice Data Centre announced Monday, and the annual melt season has begun.

As of March 15, ice covered 5.84 million square miles of ocean, the sixth-lowest since satellite observations began in the 1970s, and 283,000 square miles lower than the 1979-2000 average.

Reflecting the influence of global warming, the 10 lowest sea ice maximums have all occurred over the past 10 years.

Last summer’s ice minimum was the lowest on record, with 2007 coming in a distant second. Taken together, it’s one more sign that the planet is warming under the influence of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

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Extreme Weather Events Recognised

From Australia's top climate scientists - 123 extreme weather records were broken this summer. Climate change is influencing the intensity of all extreme weather, and it's likely to get worse without strong action, the report warns – the hottest day on record, the hottest summer on record, the driest summer for decades in Victoria, and record flood peaks in parts of Queensland.
 
The Climate Commission thinks something has changed and points out: "All extreme weather events are now occurring in a climate system that is warmer and moister than it was 50 years ago. This influences the nature, impact and intensity of extreme weather events."

However, there's a heartening number too: 8.6%. That's the amount Australia has reduced its carbon emissions from electricity since introducing a price on pollution last year.

Coalition Should Not Revoke the Carbon Tax

Revoking the carbon tax would create more uncertainty for business and put the Coalition at odds with major resource players in support of the scheme, according to prominent Sydney investment banker Mark Carnegie.

Speaking at a Sydney luncheon hosted by Business Spectator and the Australian British Chamber of Commerce, Mr Carnegie questioned the Coalition’s "scaremongering" tactics on the carbon tax given the likes of ExxonMobil, Shell and BP supported the tax.

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State of the Environment Foundation Papers

A message from Professor Kate Auty, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability:

"We released our final two foundation papers on 25 March. We thank everyone who provided us with insights, data, maps and case studies."

The three Foundation Papers will serve as the basis for the 2013 Report and will provide rigorous scientific examination of the state of the natural environment and trends over time. Through an extensive program of community engagement these papers will by enriched through the consideration of economic and social perspectives and local knowledge.

The Foundation Papers can be viewed online here and on Facebook.

Adapt or You Pay!

More than 4 out of 5 Americans want to prepare now for rising seas and stronger storms from climate change, a new national survey says. However, most are unwilling to keep spending money to restore and protect stricken beaches and 3 in 5 people want those who are directly affected by rising seas to pay for protection, rather than all taxpayers. The poll by Stanford University released Thursday found that only 1 in 3 people favoured the government spending millions to construct big sea walls, replenish beaches or pay people to leave the coast. The more indirect options the majority preferred were making sure new buildings were stronger and reducing future coastal development.

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City of Sydney’s First EUA at Central Park Announced

The City of Sydney, ANZ, Eureka and Low Carbon Australia have struck Sydney’s first Environmental Upgrade Agreement with a $26.5 million package to fund a tri-generation plant at Central Park, the $2 billion mixed-use development by Frasers Property and Sekisui House. The EUA is the second agreement to be signed in NSW. EUAs are a funding mechanism that provides the building owner with funds for an environmental upgrade, which are then repaid by a charge on the land, called an Environmental Upgrade Charge.

Read more

Florida Rebuts Criticism

“The so-called creative class of intellects and artists was supposed to remake America’s cities and revive urban wastelands. Now the evidence is in—and the experiment appears to have failed," writes Joel Kotkin.
 
For those who have followed Richard Florida and ‘The Rise of the Creative Class – Revisited’ (our keynote speaker at the TN2012 Conference) you may like to read this and then Florida’s rebuttal which can be found here.

Climate Change Will Harm Mekong Basin Harvests

One of the most fertile areas of Southeast Asia, the Lower Mekong Basin, faces a bleak future from the impacts of climate change, according to a U.S. funded study. The lead author of the study, Dr. Jeremy Carew-Reid, says some of its findings are “very shocking.” Hotter and wetter rainy seasons and more long-lasting dry seasons in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam will jeopardize the region’s reputation as one of the world’s major producers of crops on which hundreds of millions depend. Climate change will also have a profound economic impact in the region.

Read more

Adaptation Toolkit

Last month a workshop was held at the ICLEI offices in Manila to finalise the “toolkit” which will be used by cities in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines to develop their climate resilience strategies.

The toolkit is based on our experience working with three cities in India during 2011-2012 and is designed to be a self-explanatory, step-by-step guide which requires only minimal external support.

It will be available as a Word document Guidebook and an Excel Workbook and will be suitable for use in any part of the world with only minimal adaptation.

This initiative has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation ACCCRN program.

Asia Pacific Climate Networking Meeting

A high level roundtable meeting was held in Jakarta on 18 and 19 March to design a regional resilience networking program. Senior representatives from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ove Arup, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and ICLEI regional offices discussed a system for knowledge capture and dissemination to local governments in the Asia Pacific, consisting of:

• A knowledge network
• Regional conferences and events
• Climate resilience recognition awards
• National and regional roundtables

Martin Brennan, CEO ICLEI Oceania, was convenor of the meeting and will spearhead the development of this program. While in Jakarta Martin also participated in a welcoming ceremony for the new ICLEI Project Office.



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ICLEI Indonesia Office Opening

We are very happy to announce that the ICLEI Indonesia Project Office was opened in January 2013. 

It forms part of the ICLEI Southeast Asia Region, is co-funded by ICLEI Southeast Asia and ICLEI Oceania, and is hosted by APEKSI. We are located in the APEKSI office in Rasuna Office Park, Kuningan.
 
The office is providing the following programs:

- Urban Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS)
- Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN)
- Policy Advice for Environment and Climate Change (PAKLIM)
- Local Renewables Yogyakarta
- ICLEI membership services

Membership

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.

See Our Work

Host City, ICLEI Oceania Secretariat



 
Host City, Water Campaign Australia

ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee – RexCom

Chair - Cathy Oke, Councillor, City of Melbourne, Victoria
Stephen Yarwood, Lord Mayor, City of Adelaide, South Australia
Paddi Creevey, 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)
Member - Global Biodiversity Portfolio & Cr Cathy Oke, Global Water and Sanitation Portfolio
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