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Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress

Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: About RCAP and ICLEI- key objectives.
  • For Mains: Significance and the need for urban resilience and climate change adaptation, challenges therein.

 

Context: 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress 2019 was recently organized by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) in association with South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

 

About Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific:

  • It is the annual global platform for urban resilience and climate change adaptation.
  • It is convened by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and co-hosted by the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and the City of Bonn.
  • It was launched in 2010 with the goal of forging partnerships and dialogues that matter.
  • The Asia-Pacific Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation – Resilient Cities Asia Pacific Congress (RCAP) is a response to heightened demand from the Asia Pacific Region, which encouraged ICLEI to expand the congress series to include Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific, bringing the event and the focus to the Asia-Pacific region, catering to the situation, challenges and opportunities of local governments specifically in this region.
  • Aim: To provide an Asian platform for urban resilience and climate change adaptation where partnerships are forged and concrete dialogues are happening, with the ultimate goal of identifying solutions and creating lasting impacts for cities in the region.

 

Need for urban resilience and climate change adaptation:

Current changes in climate, combined with rapid and often unplanned urbanisation, make Asia one of the regions of the world most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, intensification of extreme weather events and rising sea levels are already a reality in the region. At the same time, increasing population and spreading of human settlements in low lying, flood prone coastal areas magnify the risks coming from climate change related disasters, thus increasing the vulnerability of people, especially the urban poor, who live in hazardous areas. More than 60% of the world’s population resides in Asia and the region was most affected by natural disasters.

 

What can be done?

  1. Town planners need to integrate sustainable solutions such as harvesting solar energy, enhancing green cover and water conservation as an essential part of town planning.
  2. Municipal administrators to accord priority to tree plantation, solid waste management, protection and rejuvenation of water bodies.
  3. Need for collaborative efforts of governments at state and centre to reduce the divide by providing urban amenities in rural areas.
  4. Dependency on fossil fuel must be reduced and new forms of energy sources such as solar must be explored.
  5. Need to adopt multi-dimensional and innovative approaches to ensure low emissions oriented development. Need to promote public transport in cities to reduce congestion and air pollution.

 

Facts for Prelims:

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.