Eighth Regional Workshop on Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus

14 Nov 2018 to 16 Nov 2018
Bangkok , Thailand

Globally, the Asia and the Pacific region has the highest urban growth rates. More than 60 per cent of the worldwide urban population is living in this region, and approximately 120,000 people are added to its urban centers each day (World Migration Report 2015). According to the United Nations Environment Programme, material use in this region increased from 5.7 to 37 billion tonnes per year between 1970 and 2010, which is over 50 per cent of global material consumption. The region utilizes 3 kilograms of materials to produce one dollar of GDP, whereas the rest of the world uses only 1 kilogram per dollar of GDP. What is more, the World Bank estimates that daily waste generation in the region will increase from 1 million tonnes in 2012 to about 2.5 million tonnes by 2025.

The region’s increasing resource use and emissions, especially in urban areas, intensify risks and vulnerabilities that contribute to depletion of biodiversity and ecosystems services. Of all natural resources, energy, water and food are the most essential to sustain development efforts – but they are also the most vulnerable to future demands. There is an urgent need for measures and policies to support decoupling resource use, emissions’ reduction, unsustainable production and consumption patterns and a circular economy approach. Managing the resource footprint of cities calls for institutional coordination and other forms of collaboration.

The “nexus” approach aims to integrate planning and management processes of the key sectors of energy, water and food, contributing to the long-term sustainable development of rapidly growing cities and their regions. Since 2013, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been implementing the project “Integrated resource management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus”, in partnership with ESCAP and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project supports 12 cities in seven countries in Asia with developing cross-sectoral infrastructure projects and integrating the nexus approach into urban planning and policies. Horizontal and vertical integration, coordinating and collaborating between sectors and with different government levels, is a key component of the project.

Building on the outcomes and feedback from seven regional workshops and the project’s many national dialogues, outreach events, peer-to-peer exchanges and trainings, the Eighth Regional Workshop aimed to tap innovation and broaden stakeholder engagement, particularly with the academic and private sectors, to help build the business model for urban nexus initiatives.

The Eighth Regional Workshop aimed to achieve the following:
1. Review progress on project activities and share lessons learned and best practices on integrated resource management planning and policies as well as implementation of cross-sectoral infrastructure projects.
2. Exchange ideas on how to build the business model for urban nexus efforts by discussing how new partnerships can help promote innovation and secure sustainable financing.
3. Share experiences on how the urban nexus approach contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related global efforts.
4. Develop recommendations for advancing urban nexus efforts with a view to embed the nexus approach into national policy frameworks.

The target audience comprised:
1. Local, sub-national and national government officials from the Urban Nexus project cities and countries involved with public works and urban planning, energy, water, wastewater, solid waste and finance.
2. Representatives of city networks, international organizations, international financing institutions, academic organizations, private sector enterprises and other relevant stakeholders with an interest in integrated resource management.