21-23 January 2019 | BALI, Indonesia – UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Dr. Bernadia I. Tjandradewi took part in the 10th High-Level Seminar on Sustainable Cities (10HLS-SC). The event is organized annually since 2010 and serves as a platform for prominent policymakers and senior officials from East and Southeast Asia to discuss environment and urban development. The HLS-SC has provided important contribution to the region’s exchanges of initiatives and collaboration. It also puts forward concrete recommendations to the East Asia Summit Environment Ministers Meeting, which include ASEAN Environment Ministers.

This year, 10HLS-SC focused on the on-going efforts of “localizing SDGs” taken by cities and how such efforts can be further strengthened with partnership of national governments, citizens, NGOs and businesses. The Forum will also share aligning the priority SDGs for the review at the upcoming High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2019.

As a key player, representing cities and local governments in Asia-Pacific, UCLG ASPAC has been actively supporting the localization of SDGs through various platforms and initiatives. UCLG ASPAC also serves as a focal point of the Asia Pacific Local Governments (APLG), a network comprising of various institutions, and is currently coordinating the inputs from local governments for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), to be organized by UN ESCAP in Bangkok, in March 2019. The Forum also serves as a preparatory event for HLPF.

During 10HLS-SC, Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC chaired the session and shared UCLG ASPAC’s initiatives to support local governments in localizing SDGs in a Plenary Session on “Motivating City Actions on SDGs”. She also explained UCLG ASPAC’s work to create enabling environment for SDGs achievement and stressed the importance of political will and citizens’ commitment in making progress.

UCLG ASPAC Training Coordinator for the EU-LOCALISE SDGs Project also provided contribution to a thematic session on “Awareness Raising and Education for Sustainable Development”. She provided an overview of this initiative and presented the project’s activities in 2018, covering 16 provinces across Indonesia. She further informed that the local training utilized creative methods to share knowledge on system dynamics, multi stakeholder partnership, and other relevant topics.

10HLS-SC brought together the perspectives of various key urban players, while at the same time highlighting emerging issues facing the Asia-Pacific region, namely marine plastic debris. The Forum recognized the needs of national regulation to include targets on plastic pollution reduction. Relating to this, the forum saw the importance of filling in the financial gap challenge faced by local government in waste management. The discussion throughout the Forum helped shape the recommendation for the East Asia Summit Environment Ministers and their support to on-going ASEAN sustainable cities initiatives. It also encouraged ASEAN to provide necessary guidance and framework such as the “Circulating and Ecological Economy” and the “Sustainable Urban Development Plan 2015-2045”.