CDIA Shares Insights on Preparing Resilient Infrastructure at Asia Water Forum 2022

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CDIA Program Manager Ramon Abracosa participated in the Asia Water Forum (AWF) 2022 as a panelist for the session on “Innovative tools for awareness-raising and decision-making.” He shared his insights on how cities can mainstream climate resilience into their water, sanitation, and other infrastructure projects using a holistic resilience framework.

Organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), AWF 2022 provided a platform for sharing knowledge and experience on water information, innovation, and technology.

During his presentation, Ramon introduced CDIA as a project preparation facility that supports cities in developing bankable and sustainable infrastructure projects. He explained that it adopts an integrated resilience framework, earlier developed under the ADB-managed Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund.

This framework integrates four key elements: infrastructure, ecological, social and institutional, and financial resilience. They underscore the importance of combining engineering works with nature-positive solutions, social safeguards, local capacity strengthening, and municipal financial frameworks.

“We don’t look at resilience as an add-on, a safeguard, or about tweaking the engineering design of infrastructure to strengthen its structural integrity,” he explained. “Instead, climate resilience to us is part of the development package, in the sense that, the development process itself is part of the resilience solution.”

Ramon likewise introduced CDIA’s newest publication Climate, Infrastructure, and Your City that provides concrete examples of how some cities in Asia have integrated climate resilience into their infrastructure projects.

In closing, he advised participants not to limit resilience solutions to “incremental” climate-proofing, such as by merely adjusting engineering design parameters or modifying the project plan during its later stages. Instead, he stressed the importance of a more holistic and well-rounded approach, starting with embedding climate concerns early in the project conceptualization and integrating the objectives of development and resilience-building.

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