ASEAN’s Model Cities to ‘graduate’ to SDGs Frontrunners in next phase
The 9th EAS High-Level Seminar on Sustainable Cities (HLS-SC) was organised by the Government of Cambodia, Government of Japan, the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) and the ASEAN Secretariat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on 8-10 March 2018 under the framework of the EAS Environment Ministers’ Meeting (EAS EMM) with more than 250 participants comprising representatives of 101 national governments, 382 local authorities and 143 supporting organisations, including international/regional organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research institutions/academia, private companies and others.
Importantly, the seminar participants recognised the ASEAN ESC Model Cities Programme Years 1 – 3, among other initiatives, for having contributed to the support and promotion of critical local actions for sustainability in the ASEAN region.
Model Cities will continue to play a key role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that HLS-SC has been an important platform to encourage and strengthen city actions to contribute to the achievement of the goals by sharing lessons and experiences with participation of various stakeholders in the region;
Furthermore, many Model Cities are already actively aware of and busy incorporating SDGs in ground actions. They may serve as inspiration to other higher levels of government on how to harmonise and integrate multi-sector, multi-ministry development goals in practice.
Most excitingly, the seminar welcomed the ‘ASEAN SDGs Frontrunner Cities (FC) Programme’, a successor of the ESC Model Cities Programme. This new expanded version of the Model Cities progrmme will help Model Cities ‘graudate’ to the more challenging role realising local sustainability driven by the holistic framework of the SDGs, which positions environmental concerns as equally important as the pursuit socio-economic development goals.