Urban Nexus addresses integrated resource management in Asia Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia November 5-7, 2014

NWRB joined other regions in the Asia-Pacific in the Fourth Regional Workshop on Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on November 5-7, 2014.

During the three-day workshop, it was emphasized that water, together with energy and food security, are crucial sectors to be affected in the advent of urbanization, population growth and changing consumption patterns. The adverse effects of the phenomenon could be addressed through the implementation of integrated planning and well-thought management processes of basic resources alongside the active involvement of key stakeholders.

It appeared in the discussions that the major challenge being faced by the region is the efficient, equitable and balanced management of urban transformation parallel to natural resources which both play critical roles in the  economic growth and community welfare in the Asia-Pacific region. This challenge is intensified with the undeveloped coordination and integration of national and local governments.

Philippines, being one of the six countries sponsored by the Urban Nexus project, presented a progress report for the cities of Santa Rosa, Laguna and Naga City, Naga. City representatives discussed their updates, encountered challenges, expected benefits and lessons learned from the urban nexus activity in their respective locations.

The sponsor country Ulaanbaatar presented its experience in engaging with urban nexus through its “Smart and Sustainable City” project. The presentors shared their green building experiences, its best practices and the lessons they learned in implementing the initiative. It transpired that economic and fiscal incentives as well as review of energy and water tariffs are important aspects in promoting the establishment of green buildings and integrated water resource management.

Relevance of gender dimension in the urban nexus project was emphasized during the forum. It was stated that guidelines in addressing gender roles and norms related to urban nexus planning and management must be carefully devised since women play a vital duty in domestic management of water, energy and food resources.

The Urban Nexus is a collaborative project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zussamenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It supports six Asian countries including China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines,Vietnam and Thailand where the 5th regional workshop is tentatively located.