ESCAP 73rd Commission Session, Commission Paper
 S. Hallegatte et. al (2013). Future flood losses in major coastal cities. Nature Climate Change (Vol 3): 802-806, available from https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1979
Urban Resource Management
- Sustainable Solutions for Asian Cities through Innovative and Integrated Resource Management: The Urban Nexus
To respond to the challenges of natural resource scarcity, increasing waste and sanitation problems, and growing inequality, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been implementing the project “Integrated resource management in Asian Cities: the urban nexus” since 2013, in partnership with ESCAP and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The overarching goal is to increase uptake of urban nexus approaches in selected cities and by relevant stakeholders. The project objective is to enhance the capacity of national and local governments in developing countries in Asia-Pacific to formulate and implement integrated policies, plans and initiatives for the sustainable management of natural resources in urban areas focusing on water, energy, solid waste and wastewater. The project assists selected cities in identifying opportunities for introducing a nexus approach and developing concrete project ideas, while establishing a dialogue between national and local governments to identify and remove policy barriers to promote integrated resource management in cities.
- Localizing an SDG Sub-set on Sustainable Urban Resource Management in Cities of Asia Pacific
Local governments are vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They need to be ready to plan and implement the SDGs in their cities and to review progress at local level – or in other words, they need to be enabled to effectively participate in the “localisation of the SDGs”. ESCAP jointly with UN-Habitat and partners is starting a new initiative to assist city governments and other key urban stakeholders in adapting their local development plans and in implementing linked activities in line with a thematic subset of SDGs on sustainable management of natural resources and sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The project defines this thematic SDG subset as consisting of SDGs: 6 (clean water and sanitation) 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), and 17 (partnerships for the goals) and refers to it collectively as “urban resource management”. The project will develop regional training and reference materials and assist several pilot cities with strengthening a) multi-stakeholder partnerships, b) evidence-based policy-making, and c) systems based approaches to urban planning and action.
- Closing the Loop: Unlocking the informal economy to recover plastic waste and reduce marine pollution as part of an inclusive circular economy approach
A new project from ESCAP aims to strengthen the capacity of policy makers to improve urban waste management systems and reduce pollution by understanding the possible intersection of formal and informal waste processes as one building block of a larger circular economy approach that maximizes social, economic and environmental impacts (SDGs 11, 12, 14 and 17). ESCAP is in a unique position to facilitate this process through its regional network and expertise in resource efficiency, circular economy and integrated municipal solid waste management.
- Integrated Resource Recovery Centers and Sustainable Development in Small Cities in Asia-Pacific
Since 2009, ESCAP, Waste Concern and their partners have been promoting a waste-to-resource approach to sustainable solid waste management in towns and cities across the region. The project has helped local actors to deploy inclusive programs and strategies for adopting 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycling) practices and establish Integrated Resource Recovery Centers (IRRCs). Under this approach, rather than view waste as a problem and burden, it is a valuable resource, one that can be managed to produce sustainable benefits for a range of actors. The project has now come to an end, but tools and lessons learned can be accessed here:
- Valuing Waste, Transforming Cities
A waste crisis is emerging in the Asia and Pacific region, fueled by rising quantities of waste, on the one hand, and poor regulation and management, on the other. This crisis threatens to overwhelm the resources and capacity of local governments and communities alike. Within this crisis, however, is a significant and largely untapped opportunity for transformative change. The waste-to-resource approach promotes a paradigm shift in the management of solid waste.
- Publication link: https://www.unescap.org/resources/valuing-waste-transforming-cities
- Valuing the Sustainable Development Co-benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Actions
The paper uses the case of the waste sector to illustrate the co-benefits associated with certain typologies of climate change mitigation projects, provide suggestions for their quantification and monetization, and draw recommendations for the design of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), including the role of government.
- Publication link: http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/Valuing%20the%20Sustainable%20Dev%20Co-Benefits%20%28Final%29.pdf
- Wastewater Management and Sanitation in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas
The course on Wastewater Management and Sanitation has an emphasis on Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) policies and is based on the corresponding Policy Guidance Manual. The course focuses on developing policies to promote wastewater management and sanitation to ensure water security in South-East Asia, using the integrated water resource management (IWRM) approach.
- Policy Guidance Manual on Wastewater Management with a Special Emphasis on Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems
Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS), which is packaging enabling policy and technology, are outlined to be the most effective solution to these issues in the region. This manual provides a step-by-step guide to developing and implementing DEWATS with a set of financial schemes, market opportunities, investment and potential impacts. ESCAP and UN-Habitat jointly implemented the project outlined in this manual to address wastewater and sanitation issues in developing countries of South-East Asia.
Urban Governance and Municipal
- Empowering cities to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda: Mobilizing municipal finance for sustainable infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region
ESCAP/EDD has produced new analytical research for city and national governments to improve the institutional enabling environments for local governments to leverage their resources through longer tenor debt, equity and land based financing of urban infrastructure. A new paper draws on experiences from industrialised and developing countries in raising private debt, equity and land based financing for urban infrastructure and identifies appropriate policy actions for a typology of financing situations in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Working Paper on Water Markets in Asia and the Pacific: An overview of Trends, Opportunities, Risks and Policies
The purpose of this study is to provide an assessment of investment trends, and opportunities of water and sanitation markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It also highlights risks and key policies that are important to stimulate water markets and investments in the region. The study indicates increased investments in water infrastructure with the main drivers being regulatory and legislative conditions, and environmental protection initiatives.
- Publication link: https://sdghelpdesk.unescap.org/sites/default/files/2018-02/water%20markets%20study.pdf
- Working Paper on Development Financing for Tangible Results. A Paradigm Shift to Impact Investing and Outcome Models: The Case of Sanitation Asia
Traditionally, government, corporate and civil society cultivated their own approaches to financing or delivering sanitations systems which has proven to be inefficient. This report challenges these three groups to work together, and create a new financing paradigm. By identifying a number of opportunities to engage large-scale capital pools that should be tapped, the global sanitation issue can be addressed.
- Publication link: http://www.unescap.org/resources/development-financing-tangible-results-paradigm-shift-impact-investing-and-outcome-model-0
- Enabling Policies for Financing Water Related Sustainable Development Goals
This discussion paper is focused on exploring policies, actions, and strategies to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by improving the resilience of water systems and infrastructure. This requires strategic mobilization of public resources and augmenting the opportunities for private investment.
- Publication link: https://www.unescap.org/resources/enabling-policies-financing-water-related-sustainable-development-goals
- A Better World Vol. 5
A Better World: Volume 5 outlines the concept, the main elements and the current international framework for assessing the progress towards SDG11. It proposes a stepwise approach to further tailor national requirements with the overall goal of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The following articles discuss the progress and challenges in this essential topic, highlighting good practices in a wide variety of societies and disciplines.
- Publication link: https://sdghelpdesk.unescap.org/e-library/better-world-vol-5
- Quick Guide for Policy Makers on Pro-poor Urban Climate Resilience in Asia and the Pacific
The Quick Guide for Policy Makers on Pro-Poor Urban Climate Resilience in Asia and the Pacific focuses on the need to enhance understanding of the region’s key urban stakeholders on climate change, discusses how it affects efforts to realize sustainable urban development, and explores what actions can be taken to synergize continued commitments to poverty reduction alongside urban climate resilience.
- Publication link: http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/Quick%20Guide%20for%20Policy%20Makers.pdf
- Mainstreaming Climate Change into National Urban Policy
Under a joint initiative of UN-Habitat and ESCAP, ESCAP is leading the development of a regional guide on mainstreaming climate change related actions into national level urban related policies. This guide is the culmination of multi-year project interventions of UN-Habitat in a number of countries in Asia and the Pacific and brings together lessons learned and proposals on how to move forward. A link to this publication and related training materials will be available soon.
- Ocean Cities: Supporting Pacific island developing States to adapt sustainable urban development to island systems
A new project from ESCAP/EDD will strengthen the capacity of SIDS member States to develop and apply an integrated policy approach for oceans-friendly and climate-responsive urban development adapted to island systems. ESCAP is in a unique position to build the capacity of SIDS in developing an integrated approach and to sharing knowledge in and beyond the region. With multidisciplinary expertise and an office on the ground, ESCAP can fill the current vacuum of regional urban development partners in the Pacific and act as a catalyst to develop an integrated ‘ocean cities action framework’, facilitate South-South cooperation and knowledge sharing, and assist strengthening a regional voice of SIDS in a fragmented landscape of sustainable development agendas. With adequate regional cooperation and support, SIDS have the potential to pioneer a climate-smart ocean-centered framework for resilient urban development that can break this vicious cycle of interlinked challenges.
Tools and Methodologies
- Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide
- Publication link: Ocean Cities: Regional Policy Guide
- Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers
- Publication link: Ocean Cities: Snapshot for Policy-makers
- State of Asia Pacific Cities Report
- Publication link: The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015: Urban Transformations Shifting from Quantity to Quality
- Asia Pacific Urban Forum
- Sixth Asia Pacific Urban Forum: http://www.unescap.org/events/apuf6
- Urban SDG Knowledge Platform
- Urban SDG Knowledge Platform link: http://www.urbansdgplatform.org/index.msc