In addition to our role in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, ICLEI Oceania has been involved in a number of international programs, helping cities in the Asian Pacific region to become more resilient to the impacts of the changing climate. Oceania works closely with the South Asia and South-East Asia ICLEI offices, providing opportunities to develop and exchange the latest approaches developed in the three regions.
ICLEI works closely with the national cities association APEKSI in Indonesia. APEKSI represents all 94 cities in Indonesia and is governed by a Board of mayors (walikota). In October 2009 APEKSI established an Indonesian Urban Climate Network. And in 2010 APEKSI adopted a climate change strategy.
ICLEI Oceania is providing technical advice and international networking linkages to assist APEKSI and in return APEKSI hosts ICLEI in Indonesia, providing administrative support and access to the cities network. An ICLEI Project Office was opened in February 2013. This office is co-located with APEKSI and an APEKSI officer has been seconded to ICLEI to ensure strong alignment of our respective programs.
Indonesia is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, with 18,000 islands and over 80,000 km of coastline. It is also Australia's closest neighbour and we share some of the same weather and oceanic systems. So it makes good sense for Indonesian and Australian local governments to support each other in tackling climate change.
ICLEI Oceania was engaged by GIZ in 2009-10 to design a methodology which Indonesian cities can follow to develop an Integrated Climate Change Strategy – a plan which helps them move to a low carbon economy while also adapting to the impacts of climate change. ICLEI is now contracted to provide a pool of international and national experts to work with GIZ to support cities through the PAKLIM process. To date the ICLEI pool has assisted three cities in Java – Semarang, Blitar and Batu – to develop their integrated strategies. This role is being expanded in 2013 to support more cities and regencies.
PAKLIM is very innovative and quite challenging as it combines adaptation and mitigation into a single planning process, with the outcome being an Integrated Climate Change Strategy (ICCS).
ICLEI Oceania has been a partner to the ACCCRN program since 2008 when we were engaged to conduct a scoping study of cities and climate change in Indonesia. ICLEI was then contracted to develop a streamlined version of the original ACCCRN methodology and to pilot this in several cities in India. Since mid-2011 ICLEI South-Asia, supported by Oceania, has worked with Shimla, Bhubaneswar and Mysore to test the “ICLEI-ACCCRN” process. Oceania has now been awarded a grant of $1.75 million USD to roll out this process in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. This work is being delivered via sub-grants to our South Asia and South-East Asia offices for India, Bangladesh and the Philippines, while Oceania has direct responsibility for the Indonesian program.
Workshops were held in Delhi and Manila to review the adaptation planning process and finalize the “toolkit”. This toolkit is now being adapted and translated for use in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines. Three cities are being selected in each country for the first phase of the rollout. Other ACCCRN partners ISET, Arup and Verulam are supporting ICLEI in this work.
An important part of Oceania’s role has been outreach projects in the Asian region. We have been working in Indonesia and other parts of the region, in partnership with our Manila and Delhi office, for nearly 5 years now and this work is gaining international recognition, particularly around innovative approaches to help cities prepare for climate change. In 2012 Oceania developed and delivered training packages on climate change adaptation and mitigation to GIZ personnel in Bonn, to the Jeju Environmental Institute in Jeju, and to the Asia Pacific Adaptation Forum in Manila.
Steve Gawler has also been a keynote speaker at a number of international events including an OECD forum in Paris on financing urban adaptation, the UCLG biennial congress in Jakarta, the Adaptation Partnership forum in Bangkok and Asia Pacific Adaptation Network meetings in Manila and Jakarta.