Newsletter Archive:

VOL.17 NO.1 JAN-APR 2016
Joint workshops on waste management, 18 - 22 April, Pathumthani, Thailand

Participants of the Joint Waste Management Workshops   

Three waste management workshops were conducted at AIT, Pathumthani, Thailand from 18 to 22 April 2016. The Workshops on the Asia-Pacific Waste Management Outlook, the Academic Curriculum on Waste Management, and the Waste Knowledge Management Platform were jointly organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) and the AIT Regional Resource Centre for Asia and Pacific (RRC.AP). Experts on waste management from Australia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and New Zealand, including representatives from the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), participated in the joint workshops.

The Academic Curriculum on Waste Management workshop was focused on: (i) the discussion on the progress made and the challenges faced by the University Consortium on academic curriculum and course package development; (ii) peer review and feedback-sharing on the curriculum package; (iii) developing action plan for finalising the course package on holistic waste management, and preparation of the curriculum implementation plan; and (iv) identifying next steps in regional/global expansion of the University Consortium network.

The Asia Waste Management Outlook discussed and finalised the geographical coverage and the table of contents of the Outlook; identified the main and supporting authors, as well as members of the Steering Committee and the peer reviewers; and developed the timeline and the next steps towards the development of the regional outlook.

The Waste Knowledge Management Platform was aimed at bringing together experts, knowledge and technologies in one platform to serve and empower governments of developing countries and economies in transition; and enhance waste knowledge platform through partnerships across the regions and with close partnerships with the private and other key stakeholders.

As affirmed by the closing remarks of Mr. Osamu Mizuno, Director of RRC.AP and Mr. Surendra Shrestha, Director of UNEP IETC, all three workshops had successfully achieved the objectives. Mr. Shrestha further emphasized that partnerships and commitment of the discussed joint activities on Asia Waste Management Outlook, Academic Curriculum on Waste Management and Waste Knowledge Management Platform are essential in achieving sustainable development in the region.More detials...

RRC.AP participates in various CCAC events, 30 March - 1 April, Washington, D.C., USA

CCAC Science Policy Dialogue, 31 March 2016   

Dr. Supat Wangwongwatana, Senior Policy and Technical Advisor of RRC.AP attended various meetings of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) including the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) meeting, the CCAC Science Policy Dialogue (SPD) on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) and the CCAC Working Group meeting held in Washington, D.C., USA during 30 March to 1 April 2016.

As a member of the SAP, Dr. Supat attended the CCAC SAP meeting on 30 March 2016. The meeting discussed the arrangement of the CCAC SPD meeting, the Annual Science Update 2015, the role of SLCPs in achieving the sustainable development goals, the SLCPs in countries' intended nationally determined contributions, and the metrics for accounting SLCPs mitigation benefits.

Following the SAP meeting, the CCAC SPD on SLCPs was held on 31 March 2016 which was attended by the CCAC partners. The meeting was aimed at sharing knowledge and updates on current SLCP science; identify a priority list of gaps and needs for integrating SLCP actions into science-based robust policy making with special focus on accounting for SLCP emissions reduction benefits, i.e., how SLCP emissions reduction can contribute to the climate objective of "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C". The meeting also sought to improve interaction between the SAP, other experts, coalition partners and additional countries. Participants were equipped with information to help them pursue SLCP-related actions nationally or locally. Dr. Supat co-moderated the breakout group session on choosing options for action: emission sources and impacts.

On 1 April 2016, Dr. Supat represented RRC.AP on behalf of AIT as a partner of CCAC in the CCAC Working Group meeting. The CCAC Working Group discussed, among others, the science-policy links between SLCPs and both the Paris agreement and the sustainable development agenda; the partnership and engagement process for improving the CCAC and how to make SLCP action a policy priority; and the approval of the initiative funding proposals and the initiative frameworks. Dr. Supat also expressed RRC.AP's interest in collaborating with the CCAC Heavy Duty Diesel Initiative and the CCAC Clean Cooking Initiative as an implementing partner.

USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific Training for Trainers Program: Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (UCCAR) Workshop, 7 - 11 March, Pathumthani, Thailand

Participants of the UCCAR Training for Trainers   

The Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience training for trainers was the first activity of the Climate Change in Asia at AIT (CCA) and was conducted in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The training program was held on 7-11 March 2016 at the Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand. RRC.AP, having hosted the CCA Secretariat, organised the logistical arrangements of said activity. The UCCAR training course is aimed to improve the climate change adaptation knowledge among working professionals and experts in the fields of urban and infrastructure planning and help them design adaptation projects. This first edition of training for trainers was centered on preparing and localising UCCAR materials for delivery in a manner that would address the greatest concern of each country.

The training gathered participation of 25 representatives from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Philippines, and from AIT which are able to replicate and adapt the UCCAR training in their countries. Dr. Mara Regina Mendes and Ms. Hiromi Inagaki-Wagner from RRC.AP were among the participants of the training.

Facilitated by Dr. Kem Lowry from the East-West Center (University of Hawaii), Dr. Keith Bettinger of the USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific, with co-facilitation by Dr. Vilas Nitivattananon, Dr. Mokbul Morshed Ahmad, and Dr. Indrajit Pal from the Asian Institute of technology, the five-day training involved seven training modules which included Understanding Climate Change and local Climate impacts; Scoping of Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction; Techniques for Vulnerability Assessments; and Climate Finance Flows, among others.

International Forum on Sustainable Future in Asia: Converting Aspirations to Actions, 27 - 28 January, Pathumthani, Thailand

The participants of the International Forum on Sustainable Future in Asia   

The International Forum on Sustainable Future in Asia with the theme "Converting Aspirations to Actions" was held at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 27-28 January 2016. The event was jointly organised by the Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RRC.AP), AIT, the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan, the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science of the University of Tokyo, Japan, and the Alliance for Global Sustainability-Asia. The forum brought together more than 200 participants including researchers from universities and governmental institutions, various experts from the governments and industries, and graduate and postgraduate students who were interested in the discourses on sustainable development in Asia.

It aimed to seek new ways of building bridges between science and policy through stimulating discussions among key stakeholders, catalyzing coherent researches on relevant policy issues through knowledge networks and institutional mechanisms to support transboundary thinking and problem-solving, and determining feasible paths towards truly sustainable societies through converting aspirations into actions at local, national, and regional levels.

The forum covered four pressing environmental issues in the region; namely, low carbon society, waste management and recycling, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and environmental monitoring. Dr. Mara Regina Mendes, Senior Programme Specialist, and Dr. Supat Wangwongwatana, Air Pollution Expert, both from RRC.AP, made presentations on developing low carbon societies and environmental monitoring, respectively. RRC.AP's Director, Mr. Osamu Mizuno, moderated the panel discussion that aimed at compiling a wide range of opinions or viewpoints in converting the aspirations of Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement into action. The forum was concluded with the signing of a joint statement on collaborative activities by AIT, NIES, and The University of Tokyo. More details...

Regional Workshop on Emissions from Brick Kilns, 20 - 21 January, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Experts addressing the media during the press conference   

Dr. R. L. Verma, Programme Specialist of RRC.AP, participated in the Regional Workshop on Emissions from Brick Kilns jointly organised by Dhaka University, US State Department, and ARCADIS, USA at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, during 20-21 January 2016. The workshop which addressed regional air quality issues with emphasis on emissions from the brick kilns operations was attended by various experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and USA, including academicians, scientists, researchers, policymakers, and businessmen, particularly brick industry owners.

Dr. Verma presented the scientific background and mitigation initiatives for short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). He emphasized that brick production is a major source of air pollution in developing countries, including SLCPs, and that urgent mitigation actions are needed to curve down the pollution level. He cited, as an example, that the black carbon (BC) particles and the ground level ozone precursors in developing countries where bricks are produced using coal and wood as fuels, contributes to the build-up of SLCPs. During the press conference, Dr. Verma's statement on the contribution of air pollution by brick kilns and the environmental and health benefits associated with mitigating air pollution from brick production was highlighted in major print and electronic media.

RRC.AP participates in the IRENA Annual Assembly 2016 and the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), 15 - 22 January, Abu Dhabi, UAE

IRENA Annual Assembly (Photo Source: IRENA website)   

Dr. Mara Regina Mendes, Senior Programme Specialist, represented RRC.AP at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly and the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 15-22 January 2016. She had actively participated in a significant number of high-level side events which included the following:

New Energy Future, Towards Renewables-based Energy Systems in Developing and Emerging Economies, 15 January 2016: This one-day event highlighted the need to accelerate the transition of developing and emerging economies into renewable energy generation in light of the recent Paris Agreement on global temperature increase by supporting the national sustainable development objectives of each economy, citing three enabling components of the transition, namely, (i) clean energy corridors; (ii) institutional frameworks; and (iii) financing. The event further discussed on specific country needs to set the three components in place and elaborated how IRENA can participate in achieving the transition goals.

6th IRENA Annual Assembly, 16 - 17 January 2016:The IRENA Assembly was the first major inter-governmental meeting that took place following COP21 in Paris. The sixth session of the IRENA Assembly highlighted the critical facets of the global energy transition that the world is undergoing and focused on several key elements to accelerate the renewable energy transition, including finance and investment, innovation, and the power sector transformation. It also highlighted a portfolio of IRENA tools and resources that can help support countries, businesses and investors in scaling up renewable energy worldwide.

Financial Times Irena Question Time Debate, Scaling Up Renewables: Taking Climate Action to the Next Level, 17 January 2016:This event provided the platform for a discussion of the international renewable energy agenda. The event brought together global leaders to share experiences on approaches for rapid and larger scale use of renewables, successful policies and reasons, obstacles in terms of financing and policies, lessons learned, and lastly the challenges towards a 100% renewables scenario.

World Future Energy Summit (WFES), 18-22 January 2016: The World Future Energy Summit was held from 18-22 January 2016 in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibit Centre (ADNEC) located in the capital city's diplomatic district as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability. The Summit was attended by 101 official delegations, 123 expert speakers, with over 3,700 attendees, as well as hosted 40 side events and high-level meetings.

Roundtable on Enabling Environments for Clean Energy Investments, 19 January 2016: This roundtable event was jointly organised by IRENA and the International Energy Charter, and focused on the implementation of enabling environments to clean energy investment in developing countries. It brought together governments and experts from international organisations, financial institutions, and private investors to discuss experiences and views on strategies, achievements and challenges to promote, remove barriers to, and mitigate risks of clean energy investments in developing countries.

Financing renewable energy projects in developing countries, 19 January 2016: This event was centered on: (1) presenting how the sustainable energy marketplace and the IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) Project Facility together with other funding facilities can contribute in accelerating public and private investments into renewables after COP21, and (2) engaging experts related to evaluating projects for funding facilities. The event discussed in length project development challenges, information need, as well as how projects are evaluated, and the structures of financing and co-financing in both public and private sectors.

Low carbon Technology Stakeholder Consultation Workshop, 13 January, Jakarta, Indonesia

The Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RRC.AP) in partnership with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) conducted a Low Carbon Technology Assessment in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam from July 2015 till February 2016 with funding from the Ministry of Environment, Japan. The technology assessment involved the evaluation of both supply and demand side through stakeholder consultations and employing SWOT analysis. Further stakeholder consultation workshops were held to validate the quantitative results of the SWOT analysis in the three target countries. The workshops in Vietnam and Thailand were conducted on 17 and 23 December 2015, respectively.

Visiting the 24 kWp Solar PV installation at the DEN rooftop in Jakarta   

The Low Carbon Technology Stakeholder Consultation Workshop in Indonesia was organised on 13 January 2016 in Jakarta. Carried out in collaboration with Wahana Universal, the workshop successfully brought together 31 representatives from government, private sector, NGOs, industry associations, academia and international organisations. Site visit was conducted on 14 January 2016 to do a shared learning of the implementation of solar PV rooftop at the National Energy Council (DEN) in Jakarta. The site visit was attended by Mr. Satohiro Ozawa, a solar PV expert from Panasonic, Dr. Mara Mendes of the RRC.AP-AIT, and representatives from Wahana. Besides technical discussions with DEN representatives, the participants observed the solar PV panels located at the parking lot which has capacity of 80 kWp and on the building rooftop at 24 kWp.

New Staff
Dr. Mara Regina Mendes has joined RRC.AP in November 2015 as a Senior Programme Specialist, focusing her work on climate change mitigation and waste management. In the past 20 years, she had been working on climate change mitigation and municipal solid waste management. At academia, international organization, and private sector, Dr. Mara has gained solid experience in market-based mechanisms, and has worked intensely in projects on solid waste management, renewable energy, fuel switch, energy efficiency, and forestry. Prior to joining RRC.AP, she acted as an Ad Hoc consultant for the UNFCCC, mostly focusing in the assessment of waste and wastewater related projects and methodologies. She has also worked as Climate Change and Sustainability (CCS) Coordinator for Latin America at Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), where she was in charge or CCS products and services and she was also part of auditing team of waste and renewable energy carbon projects.

From 2005 through 2012, Dr. Mara was a Senior Carbon Market Analyst and country manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities (MUMSS) in Brazil, where her work included the origination, development and financial assessment of Clean Development Mechanism projects. She also worked in the assessment of technology transfer potential for low carbon projects in Latin America and supported business matching activities. Prior to this, she held positions as a researcher at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and at The University of Tokyo. Besides extensive work on climate change mitigation and low carbon economy, Dr. Mara has also experience on GHG inventories, MRV, municipal solid waste management, recycling, environmental urban management and life cycle assessment. She authored research papers, academic and technical reports. Dr. Mara holds a PhD on Urban Environmental Management from the University of Tokyo.

Dr. Puja Sawhney has recently joined RRC.AP as the Senior Climate Change Specialist. She holds a B.A in Geography, University of Delhi; M.A. in Geography, Delhi School of Economics; M.A. in Environment and Development, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University, UK; and Ph.D. in Natural Sciences (Geography), Centre for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn, Germany. Puja is the focal point for Climate Change Asia (CCA). The overall goal of the CCA Program is to "assist countries to meet, and even surpass, the targets outlined in their Nationally Determine Contributions by enhancing national capacities to meet diverse but specific needs—technical, institutional, and policy-related".
Ms. Ma. Bernadeth "Daye" Borleo Lim has re-joined as a Senior Programme Officer supporting the waste management team at RRC.AP. Her current responsibilities involved project management, proposal writing, and research on waste management landscape in the countries of Asia. Daye had been part of the RRC.AP family when she was Associate Programme Officer of the Male Declaration Secretariat, few years back. Her professional experiences involved consultancy, coordination and program/project management, proposal writing and reporting, as well as teaching. Previously, Daye provided consultancy services with international organisations, like World Vision International and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, mostly in areas related to disaster risk reduction. She had obtained her Master in Engineering degree from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand, and currently a candidate for Ph.D. in Engineering and Technology in Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT) Thammassat University, Thailand.
Mr. Lyan B. Villacorta is currently engaged as a Programme Officer to work on the assessment of climate finance schemes focusing on the successful transfer of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies in Asia. Lyan is a young professional in the field of climate change with strong practical experience in ocean environment and climate change, climate finance, GHG calculation, renewable energy technologies, and environmental reporting. Previously, Lyan interned with RRC.AP and was responsible for module development and facilitation of the Integrated Water Resources Management Applications e-learning course which is a joint UN ESCAP - UN HABITAT - AIT project.
Ms. Naritsara "Jay" Bootdeekun has recently joined RRC.AP as an Administrative Officer, assisting the waste management and climate change clusters. Jay previously worked at the Mekong Adaptation and Resilience on Climate Change (MEKONG ARCC), DAI Thailand Co., Ltd - USAID Contractor as an administrative assistant and also a Project Assistant Coordinator for GMSRID Program, Kenan Asia Institute - USAID Contractor. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Business English from Rakabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RRC.AP)

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