City2City
Heatwaves: Addressing a sweltering risk in Asia-Pacific
This report aims to inform and help focus strategic directions for local governments, frontline agencies, and policy makers responsible for climate and disaster risk management, urban development, and health and social protection, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region with further attention given to the urban poor. It reviews the current knowledge about human impact of heat waves. 

Heatwaves: Addressing a sweltering risk in Asia-Pacific

by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) | Publication Year: 2022

The last decade was the warmest on record, and leading organisations on climate change indicate that warmer temperatures are not a potential threat but a surety. This report considers ways in which disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA), and related scientific communities can rise to data challenges in order to provide policymakers with the evidence needed to set priorities and make decisions. Given the sizeable threat posed by extreme heat events, the report details the human impacts of heat waves, ranging from individual and community health to the built environment.

The purpose of this report is to:

  1. Explore the drivers of increased risk and socioeconomic impact of extreme heat.
  2. Identify and propose priority risk management policies for reducing vulnerability and human impact of extreme heat events.

This report aims to inform and help focus strategic directions for local governments, frontline agencies, and policy makers responsible for climate and disaster risk management, urban development, and health and social protection, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region with further attention given to the urban poor. It reviews the current knowledge about human impact of heat waves. The discussion is enriched by the expertise and practice shared by key informants from a range of fields, including but not limited to public health, meteorology, medicine, and disaster risk management.

Access the full report here (37 pages): https://www.undrr.org/publication/heatwaves-addressing-sweltering-risk-asia-pacific

Making Cities Heat Resilient: Moving from Understanding to Action
This Regional Heatwave Meeting will be part of a series to support cities of various MCR stages of resilience. The resources and tools shared will apply to cities of all stages of resilience, however, technical guidance will focus in particular on simple, scalable heat-health actions to increase understanding to mitigate heat-health risks and raise awareness for Stage A cities. 

Making Cities Heat Resilient: Moving from Understanding to Action

  • Date:                   Tuesday, 17 May 2022 
  • Time:                  14:00 – 16:30 hours Kuala Lumpur time 
  • Language:          English 
  • Format:               Virtual Zoom event  
  • Registration:      https://bit.ly/APHeatwave 
  • Audience:           Local Government officials, National Society and Country Technical Staff, Red Cross Red Crescent Youth Volunteers 

Description:

Heatwaves, or silent disasters, pose a Sweltering Risk in Asia-Pacific, and their increasingly severe, frequent and cross-cutting impacts span human health, well-being and livelihoods, especially those most vulnerable. Although heatwaves are a clear and rising threat in Asia Pacific, their impacts are preventable. Cities and Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, as auxiliary to government and interlocuters to communities, play a critical role, as those are on the front lines of this public health emergency.  This year, in preparation for Global Heat Action Day June 14, we invite you to join us to:   

  • Understand the Asia-Pacific heatwave context: drivers of risks, socio-economic impact, priority risk management policies for reducing vulnerability 
  • Gain inspiration from examples of municipal and Red Cross Red Crescent heat-health collaboration 
  • Empower your City and National Society with resources, tools and support via the MCR network for joint heat-health action  

This Regional Heatwave Meeting will be part of a series to support cities of various MCR stages of resilience. The resources and tools shared will apply to cities of all stages of resilience, however, technical guidance will focus in particular on simple, scalable heat-health actions to increase understanding to mitigate heat-health risks and raise awareness for Stage A cities. For more information, please see the detailed agenda attached. In case of inquiries, please contact, IFRC Asia Pacific Urban Community Resilience Hub, urbanhub.asiapacific@ifrc.org

Cover Photo of Ahmedabad, India: ideepakmathur/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Great Upheaval: Resetting Development Policy and Institutions for the Decade of Action in Asia and the Pacific

The Great Upheaval: Resetting Development Policy and Institutions for the Decade of Action in Asia and the Pacific 

Originally published by

://undp.org">UNDP on 28 March 2022

Description

At the turn of the 21st century, Asia pulled one billion people out of poverty in one generation, a meteoric rise suddenly stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. This volume examines the strengths of the Asian-Pacific response to the pandemic and weaknesses that the region must re-engineer to rebound.

The 18 authors included in this volume reimagine social and economic pathways to inform policymakers, development practitioners and other readers about opportunities to revamp production modes and networks to rekindle sustainable growth. They call for bolstering investments in universal public health, education and social protection to strengthen human capabilities and recommend marshalling a suite of global public goods to fortify societies for new digital and climactic realities.

Home to three-fifths of the world’s population, the Asia-Pacific Region already accounts for close to half of all global output. By 2050 – after a detour of two centuries and a few pandemics – Asia-Pacific can again become a centrifugal economic and social force. This volume sets out options for policymakers to consider as we head into a new Asia-Pacific Century, one where economic strength will be necessary but insufficient by itself, as inclusion, resilience and sustainability – once seen as moral choices – become imperatives for the planet’s future.

Editors:

  • Swarnim Waglé is the chief economic advisor at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in New York. Waglé also chairs the Institute for Integrated Development Studies, a South Asian think-tank. Previously, he served as a member and vice-chair of the National Planning Commission of Nepal (for three intermittent years between 2014 and 2018) and as a senior economist at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and UNDP in Hanoi, Colombo and New York.
  • Kanni Wignaraja is the United Nations assistant secretary-general and director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. Previously the director of the United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office, Wignaraja has worked for the UN for over 25 years in the United States and the Asia-Pacific and Africa Regions, including as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zambia. Wignaraja has published articles on human rights, development policy, leadership and sustainability.

Access the full publication here: https://www.undp.org/publications/great-upheaval

or download the PDF of the publication in the attached document.

Pacific women’s leadership in inclusive disaster risk reduction: A public webinar
UNITAR Division for Prosperity will convene an online panel discussion to explore women’s leadership in disaster risk reduction (DRR) to promote inclusion and equality. The panel will be held on 26 January 2022, noon to 1:30 p.m. (Japan Standard Time), and is free and open to the public (registration required).

Pacific women’s leadership in inclusive disaster risk reduction: A public webinar

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)'s Division for Prosperity will convene an online panel discussion to explore women’s leadership in disaster risk reduction (DRR) to promote inclusion and equality. The panel will be held on 26 January 2022, from noon to 1:30 p.m. (Japan Standard Time), and is free and open to the public (registration required).

Around the world, disasters strike the more vulnerable communities and people including women, children, older persons and people with disabilities. To better anticipate and mitigate such disaster risks, leadership from among those most affected is essential.

Women in particular are often primary caregivers to others. Empowering them to take part in decision-making processes will help vulnerable populations learn how to prepare for and support themselves in emergencies.

The following experts will discuss how we can better integrate gender perspectives into DRR policies and practices:

  • Ms. Maualaivao Namulauulu Tautala MAUALA, Secretary-General, Samoa Red Cross Society
  • Ms. Vasiti SOKO, Director, Fiji National Disaster Management Office, Government of Fiji
  • Ms. Emiko NUKUI, Certified Disaster Prevention Officer, Welfare and Disaster Prevention Community Association

Dr. Richard CRICHTON, Training Officer at Division for Prosperity, will moderate the session.

The public is invited to join for free.

Please register at: https://unitar-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dZMHuAXEQc2tuGvzC2mAwA

This webinar concludes the 2021 round of the UNITAR Women’s Leadership in Tsunami-based Disaster Risk Reduction Programme. The programme trains women from the Pacific small island developing states and was supported by the Government of Japan.

For more information: No more people will have to go through what Anzonetta and Jared had to – building resilience by having inclusive DRR plan

UNDP hosts virtual impact ecosystem mapping dialogue to strengthen private sector alignment to SDGs across Asia-Pacific

UNDP hosts virtual impact ecosystem mapping dialogue to strengthen private sector alignment to SDGs across Asia-Pacific

by

ndp.org/content/seoul_policy_center/en/home.html">UNDP Seoul Policy Centre for Knowledge Exchange through SDG Partnerships | Posted on October 15, 2021

On 17 September 2021, the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre hosted an interactive virtual impact ecosystem mapping dialogue across four cities in the Asia-Pacific - Seoul, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore - to explore the challenges and opportunities of data flows that are essential to reinforce the private sector’s alignment to SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region.

The dialogue was organized as part of the Youth Co:Lab initiative, co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation since 2017, to empower and invest in youth entrepreneurs across the Asia-Pacific to create innovative and sustainable solutions towards achieving the SDGs through leadership and social innovation. The Korean chapter of Youth Co:Lab, led by the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, seeks to support young and innovative impact-driven startups from Korea and developing countries tackle global development challenges.

This year, the event was streamed live as a side event of Try Everything, a global startup festival launched by Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The dialogue brought together ecosystem stakeholders from around the region, including startups, investors, accelerators, government representatives, international organizations and academia, all aiming to collectively map out the current status of local impact ecosystems and discuss tangible actions towards a more sustainable and inclusive growth of impact-driven startups and surrounding ecosystem enablers.

In four city-by-city impact ecosystem mapping sessions, participants discussed how access to SDG-data affect efforts to support impact-driven entrepreneurs and what can be done to improve the collection and sharing of SDG-data.

“By collectively sharing our knowledge and experiences, best practices and challenges, to move towards a strengthened ecosystem for social entrepreneurship, we hope to inspire young minds and future generations to continue developing innovative solutions that will help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs,” said Anne Juepner, acting Director of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre.

In the wrap-up plenary dialogue and showcase session, participants acknowledged the need for more systematic and active data sharing among different sectors in order to create a strengthened enabling environment for entrepreneurs to align their business with the SDGs.  The session further highlighted partnership efforts to foster data sharing for the SDGs and showcased examples of SDG-aligned solutions created by young entrepreneurs from the Asia Pacific region.

The Impact Ecosystem Mapping Dialogue complements the broader 2021 Impact Collective, a six-month online investment and acceleration program for impact-driven startups looking to scale in the Asia Pacific region. Impact Collective is a special iteration of Urban Innovation Challenge: Citypreneurs Seoul programme, which Youth Co:Lab supports as a Global Expansion Partner. Among 50 teams that have reached the main round of the program, the top 20 teams and their innovative solutions, selected as a result of the demo days in November, will be sponsored by Youth Co:Lab for opportunities to expand their reach more widely within the Asia-Pacific region.

Retrieved from https://www1.undp.org/content/seoul_policy_center/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2021/undp-hosts-virtual-impact-ecosystem-mapping-dialogue-to--strengt.html

Policy Dialogue on Infrastructure, Technology, and Finance for Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Asia Beyond the Pandemic

This interactive ADBI-University of Indonesia-Toshiba International Foundation policy dialogue will explore the role of infrastructure, technology, and finance in enabling sustainable and inclusive post-pandemic economies in Asia and the Pacific.

Policy Dialogue on Infrastructure, Technology, and Finance for Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Asia Beyond the Pandemic

18 - 19 February 2021 | Online | Registration Form

Time of event

Day 1: 08:30–13:05 Tokyo time/10:30–15:05 Jakarta time
Day 2: 08:55–12:40 Tokyo time/10:55–14:40 Jakarta time

Summary

Quality infrastructure growth that fosters technological innovation and economic resilience, sustainability, and inclusiveness could provide a timely boost to COVID-19 recovery across Asia and the Pacific. Building policy and financing capacity will be essential to maximizing these dynamics.

Particular focus will be on how quality infrastructure can both promote, and benefit from, the wider adoption of new technologies, as well as COVID-19 era infrastructure policy and financing challenges and solutions.

Objectives
  • Examine infrastructure, technology, and finance keys to advancing COVID-19 recovery in Asia and the Pacific
  • Assess digitalization and infrastructure development trends, and their potential to support sustainable and inclusive economies
  • Spotlight regional case studies and lessons learned
Participants
Output
  • Enhanced understanding of the role of infrastructure, technology, and finance in building sustainable and inclusive post-COVID-19 economies
  • Identification of measures to harness digitalization and quality infrastructure development
  • Greater impetus for policy dialogue and collaboration within the sector
Partners
  • University of Indonesia
  • Toshiba International Foundation

Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/news/events/infrastructure-technology-finance-sustainable-inclusive-development-asia?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alerts

Representational Image from Unsplash by Shawn Ang (@shawnanggg)

    New Zealand lifts all Covid restrictions, declaring the nation virus-free
    10 June 2020 - New Zealand has lifted almost all of its coronavirus restrictions after reporting no active cases in the country.

    All of New Zealand has moved to level one, the lowest of a four-tier alert system.

    Under new rules, social distancing is not required and there are no limits on public gatherings, but borders remain closed to foreigners.

    New Zealand has reported no new Covid-19 cases for more than two weeks.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters she did "a little dance" when she was told the country no longer had any active virus cases.

    "While we're in a safer, stronger position, there's still no easy path back to pre-Covid life, but the determination and focus we have had on our health response will now be vested in our economic rebuild," Ms Ardern said.

    "While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone. So can I finish with a very simple, 'Thank you, New Zealand'."

    'A sustained effort'

    New Zealand first went into lockdown on 25 March, setting up a new four-stage alert system and going in at level four, where most businesses were shut, schools closed and people told to stay at home.

    After more than five weeks, it moved to level three in April, allowing takeaway food shops and some non-essential businesses to re-open.

    As the number of community cases continued to decline, the country moved into level two in mid-May.

    The move to level one comes ahead of time - the government had originally planned to make the move on 22 June, but it was brought forward after no new cases were reported for 17 days.

    Under the new rules, all schools and workplaces can open. Weddings, funerals and public transport can resume without any restrictions. Social distancing is no longer required but will be encouraged.

    The country's borders remain closed to foreign travellers, and rules remain in place requiring New Zealanders arriving from abroad to go through a 14-day period of isolation or quarantine.

    Ms Ardern warned that the country would "certainly see cases again", adding that "elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort".

    New Zealand has recorded 1,154 confirmed cases and 22 deaths from Covid-19 since the virus arrived in late February, but has been widely praised for its handling of the crisis.

    For many, the latest announcement is a cause for celebration - but not without caution. Auckland-based lorry driver Patrick Weston told the BBC: "Everyone is so happy we're finally through this, but we're still nervous.

    "I think the main thing people are worried about is the economy - so many people out of work, so many people looking for work at the same time.

    "[On Tuesday] all restrictions are lifted and we can carry on as normal. Sporting events, music events can all take place with no restriction of numbers. We're still being encouraged to social distance of course, so we hope people will be sensible.

    "We're happy, but nervous about the future."

    ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52961539

    Image: Life has (almost) returned to normal in New Zealand (GETTY Images).

    Australia on track to see coronavirus largely gone by July, sport resumes
    10 June 2020 - Australia is on course to have largely eradicated the coronavirus by July, a public health official said on Wednesday, as the country’s most populous state announced the removal of restrictions on community sports.

    “Our view has been that we had hoped that by June/July that we would see coronavirus largely disappearing from the country, so this is pretty much on track,” said Bill Rawlinson, a senior medical virologist with New South Wales Health.

    New South Wales said it would resume community sports like netball and cricket from July 1, after the state went for two weeks without any cases of community transmission.

    Australia logged an increase of seven cases overnight in the eastern states, three in NSW and four in Victoria, bringing total nationwide cases to 7,274. Three of the most recent cases were from unknown sources, after the country recorded no cases acquired from an unknown source overnight to Tuesday.

    Despite the low numbers, some Australian states including Queensland and Western Australia have kept their borders shut, resisting calls to reopen them by their hard-hit tourism industries.

    The state border closures have also slowed progress towards opening a travel bubble between Australia and neighbouring New Zealand, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said.

    New Zealand lifted all restrictions except international border controls after declaring on Monday it was free of the coronavirus.

    “Before we went to lockdown, we were talking about getting out of it and having a bubble of success between both countries,” Peters told Channel Nine, discussing the prospect of opening travel between New Zealand and some Australian states first.

    “Let’s not restrain the movement between our two countries based on the slowest state in Australia.”

    ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK: https://in.reuters.com/article/us-coronavirus-health-australia/australia-on-track-to-see-coronavirus-largely-gone-by-july-sport-resumes-idINKBN23H0J6

    Image: People stroll through a park in front of the Sydney Opera House amidst the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Sydney, Australia, May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

    Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report 2019