29 October 2021 | UCLG ASPAC, as the Secretariat of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Southeast Asia (GCoM SEA) called on the commitment of related stakeholders in the “Bilateral Meeting for GCoM Asia Project Implementation in Indonesia” eyeing for smooth implementation of the programme.

Continuing the successful implementation of the GCoM Phase I (known as the International Urban Cooperation/IUC Programme) in Indonesia, this meeting aimed to regain support from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia (MoEF) and the Association of Indonesian Municipalities (Asosiasi Pemerintah Kota Seluruh Indonesia/APEKSI) for the implementation of GCoM Asia Programme Phase II.

In the opening remarks, Seth van Doorn, Representative of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Indonesia, highlighted that the Foreign Policy Instrument carries out international cooperation on behalf of the EU in fields of shared interests between the EU and the countries it is working with, including urban climate change.

Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC and the GCoM SEA Secretariat, Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, also shared how city leaders are taking active participation to tackle climate change in the global covenant and hoped for better commitments in Asia Pacific. “There are more than 10,000 cities in the world committed to the GCoM, and 800 of them have targets for climate mitigation and adaptation. From this, we know that the commitment from local governments is there, but the number of committed local governments in the Asia Pacific region is still small.”

In addition, the Executive Director of APEKSI, Alwis Rustam, echoed the important role of local governments in prioritising climate action in local development planning. “This project goes beyond capacity building; it is aimed at the decision-makers. Thus, it is crucial to ensure this project is included in the development plan and budget of the local governments,” he said.

Implementation of GCoM Asia Programme in Indonesia

In the meeting, the Team Leader of GCoM Asia Project, Asih Budiati, shared the plan of GCoM Asia Programme 2021-2023 to representatives of MoEF, APEKSI, and the Centre for Climate Risk and Opportunity Management in Southeast Asia and Pacific of IPB University (CCROM-SEAP IPB). Executive Director of CCROM-SEAP IPB, Dr. Rizaldi Boer, also presented the technical approach to the project for Climate Action Plans (CAPs) development and Mitigation and Adaptation training

Representing the Secretary of Directorate General of Climate Change Control of the MoEF Novia Widyaningtyas, Head of Program and Evaluation Division, Budi Wirawan, showed his full support to the GCoM Asia Programme. Responding to the concern on regulation, Mr. Budi said that an enabling environment for climate action at the local level should be encouraged through regulations. For example, the Decree of the Minister of Home Affairs No. 050/3708/2020 has made it eligible for local governments to include activities on climate adaptation and mitigation into their local planning budget. MoEF will also be in touch with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) to ensure project sustainability.

Moving Forward

Implementation of GCoM Asia Programme in Indonesia included the selection of four pilot cities for development of their local Climate Action Plans (CAPs) assisted by CCROM-SEAP IPB and delivery of capacity building activities on Mitigation and Adaptation together with additional 16 other cities. Selection process included assessment of cities conducted by UCLG ASPAC with inputs from APEKSI on the criteria. Following this bilateral meeting, GCoM SEA Secretariat will conduct a dedicated validation meeting with each potential pilot city in order to validate questionnaire results as well as get in-depth information from the cities.The process resulted in the selection of Medan, North Minahasa, Pontianak, and Tangerang as pilot cities and Probolinggo City, Madiun City, Jambi City, Banda Aceh City, Yogyakarta City, Sawahlunto City, Manado City, Sukabumi City, Tanjung Pinang City, Bontang City, Palu City, Ambon City, Jayapura City, Wakatobi Regency, Salatiga City, Tual City to receive capacity building activities.

Overall, strong city leadership and commitment are keys to the achievement of project’s ambitious targets, engagement of more cities becoming GCoM signatories, and cities’ improved capacity on climate actions.

With positive responses from all stakeholders, the meeting ended with a hopeful and optimistic note, signalling a green light for the implementation of the GCoM Asia Programme.

Bilateral Meeting is a meeting organised by the GCoM SEA Secretariat to ensure the vertical and horizontal integration during the GCoM Asia Programme implementation period. This meeting will always expect representatives of the Ministry of Environment, association of local governments, and technical partners.