Highlights of Kurseong, Gangtok and Panaji’s journey towards building resilience

The Rockefeller Foundation funded Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), has been working towards helping cities in improving their climate resilience and protecting themselves from projected impacts of climate change. ACCCRN cities from India, Kurseong, Gangtok and Panaji are advancing at a commendable pace towards making themselves more resilient and increasing their capacity to withstand, adapt and recover from climate change challenges.

A kick – off meeting and the first shared learning dialogue was organised in both Gangtok and Kurseong in August 2015 respectively. The main aim of these meetings was to present the ACCCRN project and briefly introduce the ICLEI ACCCRN process, a toolkit developed by ICLEI with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, which is targeted at city governments and their role in catalysing community building. The meetings in both cities were attended by the key officials from various government departments, city officials, NGO’s, educational institutions and other stakeholders.

In Gangtok, the potential climate risks for the city and its urban system were identified – increasing temperature and high intensity rainfall, namely. The climate core team and the stakeholder group also identified water supply, solid waste management, sewerage and drainage and urban transportation as the fragile urban systems. Mr. C.P Dhakal, Commissioner of Gangtok Municipal Corporation inaugurated the workshop and mentioned that the city has been experiencing changes in the overall climate (temperature and rainfall patterns) with subsequent impacts to the urban systems. There is a need for robust resilient strategies to deal with such situations, which can further lead to identification of prioritised projects and financing of such initiatives.

Meanwhile in Kurseong, increasing temperature and high intensity rainfall were again identified as potential risks for the city and its urban systems. Solid waste management, sewerage & drainage and water supply were identified as the fragile urban systems for the town. In subsequent phases, identification of areas in the town that are vulnerable to the expected climate impacts and assessment of the adaptive capacities of the affected urban actors will be undertaken. Based on the available information, some resilience measures will then be identified to address climate risk and vulnerability for Kurseong. The meeting was inaugurated by the Chairman of Kurseong Municipality, Mr. Samir Dip Blon, who expressed full cooperation and support towards developing the City Resilience Strategy for Kurseong. Mr. Sanjay Prasad, City Planner, Kurseong Municipality, also spoke about the importance and need of implementing this initiative in current times of climate change and global warming. He also stressed upon the need to have a plan for the city to help them adapt and respond to the changing environment.

Corporation of the City of Panaji, with ICLEI South Asia, is currently working to formulate Climate Action Plan through a comprehensive assessment of vulnerabilities in light of existing/potential climate risks. The action plan shall cover the prioritized adaptation and mitigation oriented measures with specific targets, essential ones for city's low carbon development and to combat climate change impacts, which are being identified through multi-stakeholder consultations in the Panaji city. The action plan will be an important key output of ACCCRN and Urban-LEDS project for the city of Panaji which shall be presented in the upcoming COP 21 in Paris.

More information on the ACCCRN Project's South Asian activities can be found here. 

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