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Last week in Singapore, 26-28 March, a joint training course on “Cities and Climate Change” was held for 19 city planners and high-ranking city officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
Organized and hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore; CDIA, and the Singapore Environment Institute of the National Environment Agency, this event aimed to accelerate the cities’ efforts on integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation into local policies.
The training course was conducted on the premise that urban infrastructure of Asian cities faces social, political, environmental and financial risks due to climate change. This then creates the need for city stakeholders to assess their cities’ vulnerabilities and to look for investment opportunities in designing and building resilient urban infrastructure.
The course focused on reducing vulnerabilities from flood risks through structural and non-structural measures. It helped participants understand urban development and climate change linkages; learn financing options for mitigation and adaptation measures; identify challenges and tasks regarding flood risk management; and collaborate with peer cities and international experts.
The workshops included a session on ‘peer-to-peer advice’, which intensively explored real cases. On the third day, an excursion to Marina Barrage in Singapore illustrated an example of urban flood protection in combination with improved water supply.
Exercises provided a powerful way of transferring training messages to the day-to-day work of the participants. These exercises did not focus on fictitious case situations but on the real conditions in the home countries and cities of the participants. The trainees identified key challenges addressed by the training and developed approaches to overcome the challenges.
In general, the feedback by the participants documents great satisfaction with the course, which was led by CDIA experts Mr. Alfred Eberhardt, Mr. Sasank Vemuri, with support from Ms. Joy Bailey.