In an effort to scale up the Nexus approach to the national level, several workshops have been conducted by the “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus” project. Building on the previous events, the “Policy Development Workshop” was conducted on the 5th and 6th March 2019 at the UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand.
Urban Nexus Policy Development Workshop
Through an interactive format, national and local representatives from India, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Vietnam presented the status of each country’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) preparations, in relation to the Urban Nexus approach. The countries also identified challenges to advance vertical and horizontal integration, considering inter-institutional collaboration on all levels, knowledge sharing (including data collection), learning/training formats, financing and technological capacity.
Additionally, UNESCAP provided a brief overview on the SDG regional process and roadmap, and introduced participants to relevant activities, tools and data sources (e.g., Urban Nexus and APFSD websites, localizing SDG work, SDG Help Desk, Urban SDG Knowledge Platform, resource efficiency simulator).
The Urban Nexus as a means of implementation to deliver on global agendas and concrete examples of cross-sectoral and integrated resource approaches in cities were also discussed.
The second day was focused on finding solutions to the challenges of the first day by using the Logical Framework (Log Frame) as a tool. India and Indonesia took up the challenge of strengthening institutional cooperation, while Mongolia and Vietnam took up the challenge of a sustainable financing mechanism.
Participants recognized the synergy between the global agendas and the Nexus approach and learned how to apply the Nexus approach in their implementation and reporting of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.
It should be noted that the participants found the indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals broad and not suitable for implementation. As the implementation and monitoring of the SDG goals are country-led, the countries adapt (rather than superimpose) the indicators to suit their implementation and monitoring plan. Moreover, the countries also have their National Development Plans with accompanying goals and indicators. Often, countries integrate the SDG goals into these National Development Plan and adapt the indicators rather than using the global indicators directly. For example, India has 4 National Development Flagship Programs: Swachh Bharat, Housing for All, Smart City Mission, and AMRUT. These programs integrate the SDG goals to the program’s goal and adjust their indicators for monitoring of implementation progress.
The “Policy Development Workshop” was conducted in the framework of the GIZ “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus” project financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Urban Nexus project’s political partner is UNESCAP and the implementing partner is ICLEI South and South East Asia.