2-4 May, Jeju, South Korea. Delegations from over eleven regional countries convened for CIFAL Jeju in Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. It is the 5th training to take place, in a series to build local government capacities on green growth and low-carbon cities in the Asia-Pacific Region. CIFAL Jeju is part of UNITAR’s global network of nine CIFAL training centres for sustainable local development. it's mandate is to develop capacities among regional local governments in the areas of ‘Green Growth’ and ‘Human Security’.
Jeju serves as a model for decentralization and green growth test-bed for the Korean governments, placing the Island as an ideal place for hosting-workshops on decentralization, strengthened local governance, and integrated planning approaches for Green Growth. Jeju’s international profile as an “Island of World Peace” has risen with it playing host to many Korean peace negotiations and security summits over the last decade. Since 2007, Jeju Province has been designated as the national pilot area for Green Growth development, and as such the UNESCO World Heritage island harbours the richest variety of local examples in Green Growth and Low-carbon for Asia-Pacific Region. One such key example s the world renowned Smart-Grid Test Bed in Jeju, which participants also visited to explore aspects of technology transfer and project management for low-carbon planning and development. In September 2012, Jeju Island will also host the IUCN Internationl Conservation Congress.
With guest lectures and presentations from regional experts representing UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre, Seoul National University, Choong-Ang University, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and the Sustainable Environmental Education Center of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, participants learned about the concept of green growth, Korea’s green growth policies, and UNEP’s Eco-Towns Model in the Asia-Pacific Region for generating low-carbon and integrated waste management plans for local governments.
Also through a variety of case study presentations from participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, they learned about common challenges and shared applicable good practices in implementing green growth policies across the region to better adapt their local planning.
Through self-assessment, peer exchange and action plan development with UNITAR’s trademarked CityShare Methodology for the CIFAL Network, participants had a chance to exchange knowledge “assets” participate in facilitated knowledge exchange. Based on needs assessments and key challenges identified during the workshop, there was convergence on four key themes for knowledge exchange or working groups where participants could maximize their knowledge for localizing green growth and greener economies in their institutions:
- Learning on access to green technology and financing,
- Learning how to generate political will and local leadership,
- Learning how to generate mass behavioral change through effective communications, and
- Learning how to ensure local integration of national commitments and plans to develop effective local policy and planning frameworks.
They also had chance to visit Jeju Smart-Grid Testbed to explore future innovations and test products used for renewable energy and even in household products to conserve energy resources while limiting carbon emissions.
The workshop was delivered through the generous sponsorship of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province of Republic of Korea.
In September 2012, CIFAL Jeju will continue to host similar Green Growth training workshops for local governments in the Asia-Pacific Region.