VOL.19 NO.1 JANUARY - MARCH 2018
Meetings and Events
AIT headed by RRC.AP co-organised a Side Event at the 5th Asia pacific Forum on Sustainable Development
30 March 2018
The event was co-organised by AIT (which was headed by RRC.AP), the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Environment, the United Nations Development Programme, the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, while also relying on contributions from other key actors such as the NDC Partnership. AIT kicked-off the event with a presentation on the work developed under the Climate Change Asia (CCA) initiative in capacity building on climate finance for stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific. In his presentation, Lyan Villacorta, Senior Programme Officer at AIT-RRC.AP, provided the current energy scenario in the region characterized by coal-dominated growth in energy supply and decreasing share of renewables in energy consumption, and outlined the challenges that lie ahead considering the projected increase in energy demand throughout the region moving towards 2030.
With this eye-opening presentation, he highlighted the need to transition to a new energy paradigm where users are fully aware of their energy consumption patterns, energy is consumed efficiently and produced predominantly from renewable sources. Lyan Villacorta also emphasized the central role of RE in addressing the region's many energy related challenges, including the lack of energy access still faced by large proportions of the population in Small Island Developing States in the Pacific and sparsely populated countries where grid extension and connectivity is not possible.
The presentation ended with an inspiring story from the Marshall Islands, whereby William Reiher, a local entrepreneur that without much institutional support, launched a thriving sustainable energy business providing energy auditing services, supplies energy efficient appliances, and delivers training to local stakeholders and institutions in the country. In just over 5 years, William was able to expand his business to include solar PV installations and move beyond the Marshall Islands. Lyan Villacorta emphasized the need to foster these entrepreneurial initiatives in the region.
On a similar note, Thomas Chrometzka, Director Renewable Energy at GIZ, talked about the energy dilemmas faced in Southeast Asia that with its continuous economic and population growth, is driving increasing energy demand. This growing demand is currently being met by fossil fuel increments, undermining climate change mitigation efforts.
He stressed that the energy sector is still rather conventional, with many large actors and incumbents, that are slow to act and do not innovate. Thus, there is a need to foster a startup and entrepreneurial mentality in the region to develop out-of-the box solutions, such as using blockchain technology for solar PV deployment allowing, for example, peer-to-peer sharing and commercialisation of solar electricity among neighbours. He ended by presenting GIZ's recent initiative "Energy Nexus" that aims to support sustainable energy incubators and create a community by bringing together tech innovators and key energy actors, including CEOs of large energy companies.
The event went on with more interesting presentations from the other organizers who, for almost two hours, showcased solutions to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region. The event was attended by 37 participants.
National Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation
23 March, 2018
The Conceptual Framework for Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation for Thailand was developed by the RRC.AP and SEA START and presented for the final review and recommendations at the National Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation on 23 March 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. At the workshop, Thailand's Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) presented a background concept of the national climate change adaptation plan and the national vision for the concept of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for climate change adaptation. Conceptual designs of climate change adaptation M&E at different levels and scales (sectoral, and local level) were shared by various agencies who are working on climate change adaptation. The main concerns raised by participants at the workshop were: (i) the need for defining the roles of responsible agencies for adaptation M&E process, and (ii) the availability of data and information required for the M&E. Recommendations on follow-up activities for effective implementation of the climate change adaptation M&E frameworks at all levels (national, sectoral and local) included, among others, (i) ensuring greater collaboration and data sharing between various agencies working on climate change adaptation M&E processes; and (ii) further integration and linking of M&E sectoral and local level processes with national adaptation M&E process.
RRC.AP participates at the Clean Air Week Events
19-23 March, 2018
RRC.AP's Air and Atmospheric Pollution Cluster had joined in various events during the 2018 Clean Air Week (19-23 March 2018), organized by the UN Environment at the United Nations Conference Center (UNCC) in Bangkok, Thailand. On 20 March 2018, the "Workshop on Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles in Asia" was organized by the UN Environment Headquarter, Nairobi, Kenya. RRC.AP participated and assisted in the organization of the workshop which aimed at sharing experiences in adopting and developing stricter vehicle emission standards and fuel quality. On 21-22 March 2018, the "Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership Joint Forum" was held where RRC.AP's Deputy Director, Dr. Jonathan Shaw, served as a panelist on Session 7: Working Together Against Air Pollution – Partnerships and Cooperation. He presented the Malé Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its likely Transboundary Effects for South Asia (Malé Declaration), on behalf of the Secretariat for Malé Declaration (RRC.AP). The Joint Forum was organized as part of the week-long programme under the theme 'Solutions Landscape for Clean Air'. Representatives from regional networks and organizations discussed the contribution and role of regional organizations towards improving air quality in the Asia-Pacific region.
On 23 March 2018, the Science and Policy Dialogue on the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) was held at the margins of the Clean Air Week. Presentations on policy actions to tackle recent acid deposition and air pollution issues including ozone and particulate matter by each participating country of EANET was one of the highlights of this event.
Field visit to Si-Mum-Muang Fruit and Vegetable Market, Rangsit
16 March, 2018
RRC.AP's Waste Management Cluster together with AIT Solutions organized a half day field visit to the Si-Mum-Muang Central Market. The purpose of the visit was to be familiarized with the good waste management practices and trigger research interests as well as explore the possibilities of replicating the good practices elsewhere. Established in 1983, the Si-Mum Muang Market is one of the largest fruit and vegetable wholesale markets in Thailand. The market is owned and managed by the Donmuang Pattana Company, Limited. With a business of around 6,000 tons of various fruits and vegetables a day, the market generates nearly 200 tons of solid waste (from the market and the households). Out of the total waste generated, 80% is organic waste, 10% is recyclable and the rest are the rejects. The market management manages the organic waste by utilizing it into animal feed, effective microorganism and liquid fertilizers, while the recyclables fraction of the waste (paper, glass, plastic, and metal) are sorted and sold to the (recycling) industries. Looking at the interest of the market management for biogas production in order to better manage the organic waste and reduce its current rate of landfill disposal, the WMC together with AIT Solutions will further discuss and develop a potential project on 'biogas digester' in the Si-Mum-Muang market.
Meeting with IUCN on Himalayan and Mekong (HIMEK) Alliance
14 March, 2018
A meeting was organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at its Asia Regional Office (IUCN ARO), Bangkok, Thailand, on 14 March 2018 on the proposed HIMEK Alliance that was initiated by IUCN and AIT RRC.AP. The meeting was attended Mr. Anshuman Saikia (Regional Programme Support Coordinator, IUCN ARO), Mr. C. P. Muttanna (Founder and Secretary of Environment and Heath Foundation, India (NGO)), Dr. T. P. Singh (Deputy Regional Director, IUCN Asia) and Dr. R. L. Verma (AIT RRCAP). The HIMEK Alliance is a proposed regional cooperation framework between the Himalayan countries and the countries of the Mekong Region to promote efforts on climate change mitigation and adaptation to reduce and avoid the adverse effects of the climate change on the Himalayas and the Mekong regions, with special focus on the emission reduction of black carbon particles and forest landscape restoration. To establish the Alliance and identify opportunities for joint project proposal development, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is under discussion between the AIT and the IUCN. It was also discussed that it would be a good idea to involve the Bangkok-based UN organizations, international organizations, and potential funding agencies in the initiative.
AIT RRC.AP Co-organised a Webinar on Experiences of SPREP as a Direct Access Entity to Green Climate Fund
9 March, 2018
AIT RRC.AP together with the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Centre, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan jointly hosted a webinar to provide peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and information sharing on practices and lessons learnt by SPREP in the project initiation, preparation, submission and implementation. The webinar also provided insights on future approaches by the national and regional Direct Access Entities on project design, development and funding submission to GCF. About 140 participants registered for the webinar and showed great interest in follow-up communications and the willingness to participate in more similar events in the future.
Economics of Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Training Programme
26 February - 9 March, 2018
AIT RRC.AP with the help of its partner agencies coordinated the second run of the Economics of Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) training programme which took place between 26 February and 9 March 2018, at the Sukosol hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
Twenty-three participants from 17 countries in Asia, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, attended training programme. Participants coming from government officers, NGOs and research institutes around Asia had been hearing from experts on the key aspects to project proposal development and the importance of economic analysis in climate change project proposals, with insights on sector economic analysis, particularly in the agricultural sector. Simultaneously, participants had been working on their project ideas with the support of the trainers. Participants spent the first week learning the basics of proposal development for climate change projects and where economic analysis feeds into it, which is a requirement by some key financiers such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF). On the second week, the focus was on the necessary steps in conducting a cost benefit analysis (CBA) of different adaptation options. Overall, participants were highly satisfied and reported significant learning increases from the pre-training to the post-training assessment, particularly in the second week, with 83% reported knowledge increase.
Training Programme on Concept Note Development for the Green Climate Fund
19 February - 2 March 2018
A training programme was conducted under the "Programme on facilitation of project development utilizing the Green Climate Fund" that is being jointly implemented by the AIT RRC.AP and the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Centre with funding support from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. Entitled "The Training Programme on Concept Note Development for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)" brought together 28 participants composed of National Designated Authorities (NDA), Direct Access Entities (DAE), and project proponents from Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. During the training programme, the participants elaborated their project ideas in actual GCF Concept Note templates.
As a result of the programme, 11 GCF Concept Notes were developed, including 8 mitigation and 3 adaptation projects, covering all 8 result areas of the GCF Investment Framework. If all project ideas were taken forward, a total funding requested from the GCF would amount to USD 350 million. This would include 1 Micro, 8 Small, and 2 Medium-sized projects. In addition, 10 Terms of Reference for feasibility studies and 7 PPF requests were prepared, with one PPF request submitted to the GCF secretariat during the event.
RRC.AP Director Meets with Executive Director of the Green Climate
12 February, 2018
On 22 February 2018, Mr. Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Mr. Osamu Mizuno, Director of RRC.AP, met on the margins of the Global SDG 7 Conference and the 2018 UN High-level Political Forum at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Mizuno briefed Mr. Howard on the activities that AIT RRC.AP has been conducting under the umbrella of Climate Change Asia initiative since 2016 to build the capacity of developing countries in Asia and the Pacific to access, mobilize and manage climate finance from various sources, in particular from the GCF. To date, more than 570 government officers and other stakeholders from 31 developing countries, including nine least developed countries, have been trained under this initiative. Mr. Bamsey expressed his appreciation of the ongoing capacity building work of AIT RRC.AP and its partners. He encouraged AIT RRC.AP to explore avenues of promoting technology innovation and deployment in developing countries in the context of GCF projects. Mr. Bamsey also encouraged continuous dialogue between the GCF Secretariat and AIT RRC.AP and welcomed further discussions on collaboration between the two parties.
Downscaler Training for Climate Change Impact Assessments, Adaptation Planning and Urban Planning
19-20 February, 2018
19 Participants from 7 countries; namely Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan gathered at AIT, Pathumthani, Thailand on 19-20 February 2018 to learn about a Downscaler for climate change impact assessments, adaptation planning and urban planning.The training workshop was organized by RRC.AP in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, University of Tsukuba, and the Center for Environmental Science in Saitama, Japan. Spatially-detailed climate prediction is essential for assessing impacts of climate change and designing corresponding adaptation strategies and measures to address the impacts. Climate projection can also allow for assessing effects of urban planning and land-use alternation on local thermal environment. Currently, climate impact assessment researchers and land use and urban planners would need to either request climate modeling specialists to generate necessary data or apply dynamic downscaling to the data by themselves in order to obtain detailed spatial climate prediction data in accordance to their respective purposes.
However, dynamic downscaling requires advanced specialized knowledge; hence its application is extremely difficult. Responding to the needs for making local climate change projections and assessments without advanced modeling skills, Dr. Hiroyuki Kusaka (University of Tsukuba), Dr. Masayuki Hara (Center for Environmental Science in Saitama) and Yasutaka Wakatsuki (Ibaraki University) have developed a downscaling assessment system called S8·SI-CAT Downscaler. It aims to keep the workload to a minimum for those non-specialists of climate modeling, including government officers and researchers responsible for local climate change projections. The workshop provided the participants with hands-on exercises on the specific functions of S8·SI-CAT downscaler required for particular purposes for utilization.
Workshop on Understanding Paradigm Shifts: Japan's efforts in accelerating developing countries' access to the Green Climate Fund
13 February, 2018
The Ministry of the Environment, Japan and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Centre, the Global Environment Centre Foundation, and the Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific at the Asian Institute of Technology under the umbrella of the Climate Change Asia Initiative jointly organized a workshop to shed light on what a paradigm shift and a transformative change mean in different contexts. The workshop brought together a total of 68 National Designated Authorities, Accredited Entities, government officials, international development agencies, and practitioners from 11 countries across Asia and the Pacific. Throughout the workshop, participants exchanged views on what a paradigm shift and a transformative change are and discussed how a paradigm shift can be integrated into GCF country programmes and project proposals.
CCA Training on Managing Project Preparation for Climate Change Adaptation
16-20 January, 2018
The Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific(RRC.AP) at the Asian Institute of Technology under the umbrella of the Climate Change Asia Initiative jointly organized and conducted a training course on "Managing Project Preparation for Climate Change Adaptation" in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development's Climate Change Adaptation Project Preparation Facility for Asia and the Pacific (USAID ADAPT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from 16-20 January 2018 at UNDP Office, Bangkok, Thailand. The training aimed to develop skills among project proponents that are essential for engaging in or supervising the preparation of a bankable climate change adaptation projects that effectively address the most important adaptation needs while attending to the goals and requirements of specific financiers.
These skills include: (i) prioritizing adaptation needs according to environmental and socio-economic criteria; (ii) identifying financing sources and their requirements; and (iii) understanding and complying with fiduciary requirements of financiers (e.g. procurement, financial management, economic and financial analysis, financial and operational sustainability, risk assessment and risk management). The outcome of the training was to provide basic tools to help participants develop a "roadmap" for moving from project concept to project design documents, some of which could later be developed into full-fledged proposals to access suitable financing sources, including from both domestic and international options. About 35 people attended the training including 16 government officials from the seven Southeast Asian countries, namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Making the Climate Change Argument: Tips & Tricks on Writing a Winning Proposal
A booklet "Making the Climate Change Argument: Tips & Tricks on Writing a Winning Proposal" has been jointly developed by RRC.AP's Climate Change Cluster under the umbrella of the Climate Change Asia Initiative, and the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center with generous financial support from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ). The booklet presents tips and tricks for developing a successful project proposal to access international climate finance. It relies on extensive desk research and interviews with preeminent experts in the field of climate finance. An initial version of the booklet can be found here; This publication is the second in a series of knowledge products on climate finance being developed by RRC.AP with partner organizations. The first publication, "Beginner's Guide to the Climate Change Mitigation Funding", can be accessed on RRC.AP's website. An online user-friendly version will be developed by RRC.AP soon.
Regional Workshop on Enhancing Urban Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy in Asia and the Pacific
19-20 March, 2018
RRC.AP participated at the two-day Regional Workshop on Enhancing Urban Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy in Asia and the Pacific. The workshop was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and was held on 19-20 March 2018 at the UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand. The objective of the regional workshop was to share sustainability lessons from ESCAP's normative, analytic and technical cooperation activities in enhancing urban resource efficiency through improved waste-to-resource recovery. One of the expected outcomes of the workshop was to develop robust policy recommendations for adopting and scaling-up circular economy approaches, including appropriately scaled zero-waste and waste-to-recovery solutions. The regional workshop brought participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. RRC.AP's Waste Management Cluster attended the workshop to explore potential partnerships for the development of ideas and concepts for future projects in sustainable waste management through urban resource efficiency and circular economy.
Seminar on Environmental Technologies for Integrated Waste Solution in Thailand- Developing B to B Partnership
27-28 February, 2018
RRC.AP participated in the two-day seminar on Environmental Technologies for Integrated Waste Solution in Thailand- Developing B to B Partnership, on 27-28 February 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The seminar was organized by the United Nations Environment, International Environmental Technology Centre (UNE IETC) and the Global Environment Centre (GEC). The seminar explored the way forward in considering integrated waste management and considering/identifying sound technology options as solutions utilizing possible financial schemes, through a session on developing B to B partnership. Mr. Guilberto Borongan and Ms. Prakriti Kashyap from RRC.AP's Waste Management Cluster attended the seminar and explored networking opportunities for partnership and collaboration in developing projects on integrated waste management with the participating organizations, particularly during the Mercury Waste Management side event.
RRC.AP participated in the Workshop on "AgriFoSe2030: Translating Science into Policy and Practices"
26-27 January, 2018
RRC.AP participated as a practitioner in the Workshop on "AgriFoSe2030: Translating Science into Policy and Practices", which was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 26-27 January 2018. The workshop was jointly organized by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the AgriFoSe Consortium and was sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Aimed to build the capacity of researchers in the Asia and the Pacific region on how to influence local and national realistic, sustainable and equitable agriculture policy development and implementation, the workshop was attended by a total of 25 participants, which included 15 policy makers and practitioners from the region. During the workshop, stakeholders shared insights from science communication and science policy practice dialogues in the Mekong Region and beyond. Discussions focused on identifying knowledge gaps and key challenges facing researchers, policymakers and practitioners today, and how science can help.
Ms. Qing Xia joined AIT RRC.AP in January 2018 as as a Senior Climate Finance Programme Specialist of the Climate Change Cluster. Qing has 10-year hands-on experience in project management (PMP certified), renewable energy and waste management consulting, international development coordination, and climate change adaptation & mitigation. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Engineering, and two Masters Degrees in Environmental Management and International Development. Qing was awarded Summa Cum Laude from Sciences Po, Paris for her Masters studies in Development Practices, with concentrations in Emerging Economies and Asian Studies.