Viet Nam is creating its first zero plastic waste city: Here's how
03 July 2020 - Only 10-15 % of collected waste in Viet Nam is reused or recycled. A new Zero Plastic Waste City project will model local solutions. The project is centred on a social business-driven approach. The chosen pilot city will be announced later in 2020.
03 July 2020 - Five South-East Asian countries are responsible for more marine plastic waste leakage than the rest of the world combined - and Viet Nam is one of them. While the Mekong River plays a crucial role in the socio-economic development of the region, it also ranks among the 10-most impactful sources of global marine litter.

The main causes behind Vietnamese land-based marine litter can be attributed to a combination of rising consumption and poor national waste management. Alongside Viet Nam's rapid economic development over the past decades, the country's solid waste generation has also increased consistently at annual rates of around 10%. Only about 10-15% of collected waste in Viet Nam is reused or recycled; much of the remainder is sent to dump sites and incineration facilities, underlining the necessity of more sustainable approaches to solid waste management in the country.

With currently more than 2,000 small-scale enterprises and high industrial growth rates, plastic recycling constitutes a very promising industry in Viet Nam. However, until recently, most of the plastic material recycled in Viet Nam was imported from other countries such as China. In an effort to avoid a dramatic increase of global waste streams to the country, the Vietnamese government banned the import of material for recycling in 2018, an act that has boosted demand for recyclable domestic plastic waste. Accordingly, the most severe barriers that hinder an improvement in Vietnamese plastic waste management are found in the inadequate or non-existent disposal, collection and segregation of waste at household and provincial level. Due to insufficient investments in waste recycling technologies and resources, most Vietnamese provinces are not adequately equipped for the separated collection of waste at source.

On-the-ground studies show that neighbourhoods that enjoy regular waste collection benefit from an effective and cost-efficient service. However, many communities remain unreached by regular collection services. In response, local households dispose of their municipal waste independently via measures such as incineration or dumping. While these informal and uncoordinated activities not only cause harmful direct effects such as air pollution and the spread of mosquitoes, they also indirectly foster marine litter along the entire Mekong Delta.

It is precisely against this backdrop of much-needed capacity building in strategic municipal waste segregation, collection and recycling that the Zero Plastic Waste City project was initiated as a collaboration between The Grameen Creative Lab and The Alliance to End Plastic Waste. Consisting of a modular social business approach, the programme aims to increase the waste collection rates of currently unconsidered waste types and increase the amount of waste being reused for new purposes, while simultaneously empowering local waste pickers. The modular approach allows for the development of a social business based on the needs of local communities as well as the gaps in the waste value chain, and which is integrated into the existing ecosystem of local waste management stakeholders. Social businesses - a concept developed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and co-founder of The Grameen Creative Lab, Muhammad Yunus - base their business activities not on the maximization of profits but on solving their customers' specific social or environmental problems. They combine the best of two worlds: the social mission of a charitable organization with the business acumen of traditional for-profit businesses, ensuring long-term financial self-sustainability.

To ensure the successful implementation of the Zero Plastic Waste City approach in terms of both a long-lasting socio-environmental impact within the project region as well as a contribution to the global effort to reduce marine plastic litter, the project’s specific locations will be identified according to a variety of factors such as their proximity to rivers or the sea, and a current high volume of solid waste leakage. Furthermore, in order to specifically target municipal waste collection schemes, the project will be primarily implemented in small and medium-sized urban areas. In Viet Nam, these criteria should ensure a high probability of success for the Zero Plastic Waste City programme. Furthermore, the project is potentially scalable along the entire Mekong Delta as well as through an extensive local network of partner organizations.

In the Mekong Delta particularly, the price sensitivity of existing informal schemes of waste collection and recycling constitutes a remarkable finding by our on-site investigations and a particular challenge of local waste management schemes. In many municipalities, informal waste pickers collect and recycle household waste in addition to governmental waste management services or as full substitution of them. However, interviews with local waste pickers indicate that their informal collection and recycling services highly depend on local market prices for recyclable materials. If revenues on secondary materials are low, informal collection and recycling rates drop. These findings not only stress the importance of market mechanisms in understanding informal sector value creation; more importantly, they underline the need for formal employment opportunities and stable wages for waste collectors from the informal sector – one of the major contributions of the Zero Plastic Waste City project.

Grameen Creative Lab is currently identifying local partners for implementation, aligning other stakeholders in the areas and initiating pilot assessments. The city will be announced in early 2020 and Grameen Creative Lab will also explore approaches to scale these social businesses to additional cities in 2021. We look forward to working with platforms like the Global Plastic Action Partnership, which launched its first pilot in Indonesia and will soon partner with the Government of Viet Nam, to drive effective action against plastic pollution in Viet Nam and its neighbouring countries, paving the way towards a more sustainable and pollution-free ASEAN region.


Image: Grameen Creative Lab

Chairman of Indonesia's Waste Pickers Union (IPI) on COVID-19
03 July 2020 - This video message was created by IPI and shared during the NPAP Indonesia Digital Conference on 22 April 2020.
The business case for tackling plastic waste
03 July 2020 - Plastics reduction and climate change are sustainable investors' top priorities. Solutions to plastic waste must come from all sectors. Financial institutions have a unique vantage point from which to address this issue.

03 July 2020 - The World Economic Forum's Global Plastic Action Partnership sat down with Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley, to discuss the role financial institutions can play in tackling plastic waste.

What is ‘sustainable finance’? How is it different from ‘business as usual’?

We define sustainable investing as taking traditional investment practices and strategies and enhancing them with additional insights gained from considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. We believe this can provide added insights into risks that could affect investments, as well as provide unique opportunities for investors.

Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing has been polling investors since 2015 on their thoughts and attitudes around ESG. Over that time, investor interest in sustainable investing has grown from 71% in 2015, to 75% in 2017, and jumped to 85% among US investors last year. Investors have also told us they believe their investment decisions can impact the issues they care about most, with 84% wanting products that will allow them to match their investment choices with their values, and 86% saying that they believe ESG practices may potentially lead to better profitability and maybe better long-term investments.

When we asked investors last year about which areas of ESG they were most passionate, climate change and plastic reduction topped their list. In 2018, the number of earnings calls that included mentions of “plastic waste” increased 340% year over year. Matching this growth in interest, the amount of assets allocated towards sustainable investing has also grown; in the US, $3 trillion was allocated to sustainable investments in 2009, and by 2018, this had quadrupled to $12 trillion. Globally, one in every three dollars is now focused on sustainable assets, topping $30 trillion — up 34% over the previous two years. More recently, green bonds have experienced significant growth — from $2.6 billion in 2012 to more than $200 billion in 2019.

One obstacle to sustainable investing is the myth that doing so means sacrificing returns. In fact, our own analysis of 11,000 mutual and exchange-traded funds over 15 years finds that sustainable funds do not deliver lower returns – but they may offer lower downside risk. They exhibit less volatility, and on average, the downside deviation of sustainable funds is 20% smaller than traditional funds.

I believe sustainable investing will continue to accelerate and attract more assets as investors increasingly recognize the value of ESG data, driving the full integration of sustainable investing into mainstream investing.

You’ve pledged to prevent, reduce and remove 50 million metric tons of plastic waste from the environment by 2030. How will you achieve this?

In April 2019, we made a major firm-wide commitment, the Morgan Stanley Plastic Waste Resolution, to facilitate the prevention, reduction and removal of 50 million metric tons of plastic waste from rivers, oceans, landscapes and landfills by 2030. We believe that tackling the plastic waste problem will take a systemic and holistic approach across the economy that considers everything from materials engineering and industrial design to consumer use and recycling infrastructure. It will require cross-sector collaboration from governments, philanthropy, industry, finance and individuals.

To meet this goal, we are leveraging all of Morgan Stanley’s businesses and our operations to reduce plastic waste by developing new investment products, underwriting bonds to help reduce plastic waste and offering low-minimum portfolios to positively influence the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal on ocean conservation while we continue to work with municipalities, public agencies, universities, hospital systems and other public and not-for-profit entities to finance improvements to collection, recycling and disposal systems for plastic waste.

We hope that our pledge inspires other businesses and financial institutions, and so far we’ve seen some really amazing progress. In April, we underwrote a $10 million World Bank blue bond with proceeds focused on plastic waste reduction in oceans and the promotion of marine resources. Just six months later, we were the sole green structuring advisor and lead underwriter for PepsiCo’s $1 billion inaugural green bond offering that focused on key initiatives around PepsiCo's sustainability agenda, including their commitment to reduce the virgin plastic content across their beverage portfolio by 35% by 2025.

What role can – and should – financial institutions play in accelerating action on plastic pollution?

We’ve always believed that solutions at scale have to come from across the plastics value chain because no one company, industry sector or individual alone can clear away the billions of metric tons of plastic waste already in our environment or curb the ever-increasing amount of new plastic waste that is generated daily. Currently 79% of all the plastic waste ever produced remains with us. Plastic packaging worth up to $120 billion per year is used once and then thrown away. This is an enormous waste of resources.

As a global financial institution, we believe that we have a unique vantage point from which to work with the different actors who need to be a part of plastic waste solutions. We can also connect investors seeking to align their portfolios with plastic waste reduction to the entrepreneurs and corporations focusing on creating less plastic waste. By bridging these investors and companies, we believe we can contribute to the systems change we need to retain the beneficial qualities of plastic in the economy, while reducing the environmental downside of plastic waste.

Read the full article here:

Hamamatsu Voluntary Local Review Report 2019
01 July 2020 - 

Hamamatsu City is a government ordinance designated city, located between Tokyo and Osaka along the Pacific coast, with an area of 1,558km2 and a population of about 800,000. The population of the city is on a downward trend from its peak in 2008. It is projected that the population trend will continue and the aging ratio (27% as of 2018) will increase. One of the features with regard to the population in Hamamatsu is the number of foreign nationals, which accounts for 3% of the total population, 1% higher than the national average.

As a result of the merger of 12 local municipalities in July 2005, Hamamatsu became the second largest municipal area nationwide with diverse natural and social environment that includes urban, rural, mountainous and hilly areas. For this reason, it is referred to as a government ordinance-designated city that is a model of Japan in miniature. With rich forest and fishery resources, the primary industry is thriving in Hamamatsu. In addition, the city is famous for manufacturing and is the location of large corporations that are active on the global stage, such as Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawai, Hamamatsu Photonics, Roland, and FCC. Not only large companies but also small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and venture companies are also active. The higher ratio of primary and secondary industries compared to other government-ordinance designated cities in Japan is one of the characteristics of Hamamatsu.


Hamamatsu City faces various challenges including the administrative costs to maintain and upgrade municipal services covering large administrative area, independence of underpopulated areas, administrative services that can meet to socio-economic environment and social needs that changes according to the population decline, low birthrate and progressive aging society, and co-existence with foreign residents. Against the background of the nuclear disaster as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent deregulation of the electric power industry, Hamamatsu is also facing the need to put measures in place to continue to secure a stable supply of energy and to protect people’s lives and livelihoods against natural disasters (disaster prevention and mitigation).

Localisation and mainstreaming of the SDGs in Hamamatsu City

To tackle with a lot of local challenges, Hamamatsu City is managing city administration in partnership with various local stakeholders and by leveraging municipal budgets and local resources effectively. The Hamamatsu City Comprehensive Plan, the 30-year plan from 2015 is integrated with the principles of the SDGs, and therefore the city is promoting the SDGs implementation through the implementation of the comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan of the city was drawn up using backcasting techniques. The comprehensive plan includes 12 vision-points for the desirable future of city called the “One Dozen Futures” and sets out comprehensive policies to achieve the vision. In the process of making the comprehensive plan, "the Hamamatsu Future Design Council" composed of experts and citizens having different backgrounds was established to review and discuss the plan. In addition to the discussion at the Council, the city interviewed citizens to hear and reflect more voices from citizens.

Read the full report here or download the attached PDF of the report.

Voluntary Subnational Review: Oaxaca, Mexico
01 July 2020 - This preliminary version of the Voluntary Subnational Review is a first report on the activities that Oaxaca has carried out in relation to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well as a space for reflection and self-evaluation that identifies the challenges and lessons learned.

This exercise will be complemented by a methodology that enables the inclusion of citizens, academia, and the productive sector to evaluate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the state and municipalities. Additionally, management and performance indicators will have to be built to allow monitoring and faithful monitoring of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its impact, in order to generate periodic evaluations of the work carried out in the state and municipalities.

Subnational Level

1. As part of the efforts at the subnational level, a diagnosis was made of the situation in Oaxaca to determine the level of linkage between the planning structure and the state priorities with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • An analysis of the compatibility of the goals of the 17 SDGs with the objectives set out in the 2016-2022 State Development Plan
  • An exercise to link the 97 indicators of the 2018 budget programs with the 240 indicators of the 2030 Agenda
  • A classification of the 240 indicators of the 2030 Agenda according to the competencies, attributions, and scope of the 32 dependencies that make up the State Public Administration

2. The Legal Group made a proposal to reform the State Planning Law with the modification of 27 of its 121 articles, with the objective that the SDGs are considered in the planning process and that sustainable development is understood in its three dimensions: social, economic, and environmental.

3. The 2016-2022 State Development Plan is the governing document of public policy in Oaxaca. Currently, work is being done to update this plan with a focus on sustainability framed in the 2030 Agenda.

4. In 2018, the 12 sector plans, which establish the priorities, objectives, goals; as well as the current expenditure and investment estimates of each sector for the fulfillment of its objectives, were aligned in its strategic framework to the 2030 Agenda.

5. Three trainings were carried out during 2019 related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for state public officials, municipal authorities, the staff of the Technical Liaison Modules, and for students of the Economics Department at the Benito Juarez Autonomous University.

Multi-Actor Alliances

1. The methodology for the inclusion of civil society, academia, and the productive sector was set up through which three Working Committees have formed: 1) Social Inclusion, 2) Economic Growth and 3) Environmental Sustainability, considering the three dimensions of sustainable development. These committees are integrated by representatives of state agencies, civil society, academia, and the productive sector. They aim to be a space for public policy innovation.

2. The Government of the State of Oaxaca has a technical cooperation agreement with the GIZ, which has the purpose of contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the state and municipal level so that the vision of sustainable development is adopted for the fulfillment of the SDGs.

Municipal Level

1. As part of the technical cooperation with the GIZ, the Municipal Sustainable Development Plans Guide was prepared, which has as its main objective to guide the municipal governments in the preparation of the Municipal Development Plans with a participatory approach and sustainable development.

2. Likewise, in this same cooperation, a pilot sample of 10 municipalities was chosen to work in a coordinated manner with the GIZ and the Technical Work Committee in municipal planning, the prioritization of works, and citizen participation.

3. In order to strengthen the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, 547 Municipal Social Development Councils have been installed, which are spaces for a plural and inclusive participation and dialogue for the implementation of this agenda and are constituted as instances of linkage of the three levels of government, the social, and private sectors.

Read the full report here or download the attached PDF of the report.

Anticipating Risks and Uncertainties for Asia and the Pacific: A Hybrid Horizon Scanning Report

Through the RBAP Regional Horizon Scanning Initiative, the UNDP RBAP Strategic Foresight Network strives to introduce insights from foresight – rooted in collective intelligence and made relevant through extensive sensemaking – to embed more anticipation into existing decision-making processes. 

Anticipating Risks and Uncertainties for Asia and the Pacific: A Hybrid Horizon Scanning Report

FEBRUARY 26, 2023 by UNDP

The Asia-Pacific region is fast growing and fast adapting. The nexus of geopolitical, economic, natural, and biological risks has heightened uncertainty across the region. Their intersection with ongoing global volatility, a looming recession and the impacts of climate change continues to intensify these interconnected challenges. New modes of long-term and cross-disciplinary thinking are required to inform adaptive and anticipatory approaches to policy, programming, and governance. 

This bi-annual exercise seeks to continually monitor and analyse development trends, risks, and uncertainties within the Asia-Pacific region to produce insights for UNDP Country Offices to consider when designing future-fit policy and programming. 

The UNDP Regional Horizon Scanning Initiative 2.0 (HS 2.0) builds from the inaugural edition of the RBAP Regional Horizon Scanning Initiative (September-December 2021) by further exploring identified signals and risks, while building on methodological best practices and lessons learned. This includes work to understand the implications of the signals for policy and programming, as well as to strategically analyse weak signals and emerging trends relevant to the region. 

This year, to advance ongoing engagement with findings, as well as facilitate ongoing monitoring and integrated sensemaking of challenges and opportunities raised through both Horizon Scanning exercises, their findings and insights are presented in a hybrid, phased and dynamic manner. 

Access the full report here or download the attached PDF of the full version

Please find the online signals noted in this report on UNDP’s Data Futures platform here:

UNDP’s Re:Think 2022 Conference Explores How Cities Can Build Resilience in an Uncertain World
March 6, Chengdu - The Re:Think 2022 conference took place in Chengdu today, with a special focus on boosting resilience of cities in an increasingly uncertain world. Globally, cities are grappling with responding to shocks and crises including the lingering impacts of COVID-19 as well as conflicts, natural disasters and energy shortages, brought on by climate change, with devastating consequences.

UNDP’s Re:Think 2022 Conference Explores How Cities Can Build Resilience in an Uncertain World

MARCH 6, 2023 by UNDP China

Re:Think 2022 was hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Management Committee of Chengdu High-tech Zone, supported by the China International Center for Economic and Technological Exchanges (CICETE) under the Ministry of Commerce and Institute of New Economy of Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG). This is the third Re:Think conference, an annual multi-stakeholder innovation event initiated by UNDP’s SPARK SDG innovation Lab in Chengdu.

“This year’s Re:Think conference is important and timely. Cities are the breeding ground for the kind of innovation, forward-thinking policies, and solutions we need to tackle 21st century challenges and reinvigorate the SDGs,” said Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China in her welcome remarks.

Bringing together top government officials, renowned academics, civil society leaders and the private sector, Re:Think 2022 sparked conversations and ideas around rethinking urban planning approaches and policies, as well as exploring social innovation and community-led participation to build resilient and inclusive cities that are fit for the challenging future ahead.

“Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone always strives to realize people's aspiration for a better life. We will continuously optimize public services to be more attractive, and accelerate the construction of a park city demonstration area that implements new development concepts,” said Chen Hongtao, Deputy Director of Management Committee of Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone.

“For the development of cities, we must put people first and provide solutions with systematic logic and frameworks. In addition to intelligent infrastructure, accessible public services and refined social governance through technology, we should also improve cities' self-regulation and self-improvement capacity in the face of emergencies and complex environments, said Zhang Yi, Deputy Director of CICETE.

The first panel session looked at what is meant by building resilient cities in these times of unpredictable and unprecedented challenges and the ways in which innovation can be a key tool to help construct livable, sustainable and smart cities. In his keynote speech, Xu Haoliang, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assisitant Administrator, and Director of the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support, reiterated, “Progress to achieve the SDGs will remain elusive unless resilience considerations are integrated into policy, planning and implementation as well as the socio-economic development process. With 2/3rds of the infrastructure and socio-economic assets between now and next decades yet to be built, investments in risk-informed urban planning, development and implementation are a must for reducing mounting economic losses and social inequities, and preventing new risks.”

Rafael Tuts, Director of Global Solutions Division, Officer-in-Charge of Office of the Deputy Executive Director, UN-Habitat echoed the importance of designing cities that meet the needs of our transforming world, in particular the needs of vulnerable groups and cities that are gender-inclusive. “Building urban resilience takes on multiple forms but, in its essence, it must seek the betterment of people - specifically those in vulnerable situations. In addition, a successful urban resilience agenda requires partnerships between key international actors as well as engagement with principal city players”.

In the first thematic session panelists brought innovative ideas and approaches to a key challenge facing cities globally: tackling the worsening climate crisis and enhancing cities’ climate resilience. “Cities are home to most of the world's population and have the largest concentration of socio-economic activities,” said Tu Ruihe, UNEP Representative to China. “Therefore it is critical for them to contribute to reducing pollution and carbon emissions.”

The second session looked at innovative people-centred and community-based solutions city leaders can explore to future-proof and improve the resilience of urban centres. Speakers emphasized how urban life can be redesigned and reimagined to bridge structural gender inequality gaps. They also provided fresh takes on innovative community-based governance initiatives for social resilience.

The following day delegates will have the option of attending four offsite visits to explore social innovation initiatives in action, including the Tianfu Social Innovation Center and local innovation piloting community center in Caojiaxiang.

During the conference, the SPARK UNDP SDG Innovation Lab in Chengdu also released two research reports– one examining Chengdu Hi-tech Zone’s industrial carbon neutral approach, and another looking at the Hi-tech Zone’s ambition to develop as the next carbon service hub. 

Retrieved from

AIPH World Green City Awards 2024: Register your city's interest today!

AIPH and partners are proud to have launched the 2024 edition of the World Green City Awards.

Building on the legacy of the inaugural edition, the stage is set to celebrate innovative approaches to city design and function which have the living green at their heart.

The AIPH World Green City Awards 2024 are designed to champion ambitious nature-orientated approaches to city design and operation. Specifically, it recognises initiatives relying on a greater use of plants and nature to create better city environments – helping to fulfil local aspirations for improved economic, social and environmental resilience.

Entries will open early in 2023 but you don’t have to wait until then to express your city’s interest. To make sure you don’t miss this announcement, register your interest on behalf of your city and we will guide you through the entry submission process when it opens. Registering your city’s interest is not a commitment to entering at a later stage. It simply allows you to be the first to know when entries are open.

Register Your City's Interest Here

After assessment by the Technical Panel, eighteen entries to the 2022 Awards were selected as finalists. The shortlist comprises the three highest-scoring entries in each of the six categories. View the 2022 finalists here

The six category winners, and the Grand WInner of the inaugural AIPH World Green City Awards 2022 were selected by the world-renowned jury in the second round of judging and announced at a gala dinner on the 14th October 2022 as part of the IUCN‘s Leaders Form in the Special-Self-Governing Province of Jeju, South Korea. You can view the winners here.

The video edit of the Awards ceremony is now available online. You can view it on Dropbox or find it on our YouTube channel here.

The Press Release announcing the winners is available here.

Case Studies from all finalists and winners of the 2022 edition are available here.

To stay in the loop with the AIPH World Green City Awards 2024, and to stay informed of other AIPH Green City Activities, we invite you to subscribe to our monthly AIPH Global Green City Update and join the AIPH Global Green City Forum.

UNESCAP's Urban Air Pollution Project

This Urban Air Pollution Project intends to help regional cities create Action Plans and that map out a future to ensure their citizens have access to clean air now and in the future.

Urban Air Pollution


Air pollution is universally recognised as one of the most pressing environmental challenges Asia and the Pacific. And the crisis has only heightened in recent years, leading to a rise in premature deaths, threatening livelihoods and the sustainable development of the region, particularly in many cities where air pollution rises with the exponentially rising urban population. A 2019 report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based solutions, claims that 2.3 billion people in the region are exposed to air pollution several times the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for safe air. The most damaging air pollutants are fine particulate matter (PM) and ground-level Ozone (O3). In 2015, the majority of global deaths, 35 per cent, were from ambient (outdoor) air pollution, occurred in East Asia and the Pacific, and another 33 per cent occurred in South Asia. If the current condition persists, this may threaten the region's economic growth, add to the mounting death toll air pollution already takes, threaten food security and potentially prompt regression away from international targets to combat climate change and increase equity.

In recent years, the region has become acutely aware of the anthropogenic activities that cause their dirty air and has begun taking action to mitigate the sources. These measures have made some improvement in air quality. However, policymakers in developing areas often lack the capacity to gather, utilise and employ data on air pollution to apply science-based measures that effectively ensure green growth and clean air for the ever-expanding people of Asia and the Pacific. Futhermore, there is a need for better urban planning that emphasises environmental priorities such as clean and efficient energy, regulations on industry standards, low-carbon development, transport policies and sustainable transportation.
This Urban Air Pollution Project intends to help regional cities create Action Plans and that map out a future to ensure their citizens have access to clean air now and in the future.


Project Goals

The Project aims to have three major results:

  • Enhance knowledge base on air pollution in the region: This includes a review of air pollution trends, existing policy approaches, and technology solutions, focusing on urban areas to facilitate city-level actions.
  • Build capacity to mitigate air pollution at the city level: This includes the compilation of a methodology/manual to develop city-level, science-based, air-pollution mitigation policy plans.
  • Enhance policies to mitigate air pollution at the city level: This includes the application of the manual/methodology in pilot cities and will result in draft air pollution Action Plans.

This Project focuses on reviewing the air pollution situation in Asia and the Pacific to develop a way forward to assist policymakers at the national and local level by providing opportunities to exchange experience and knowledge and enhance their awareness and capacity. The goal is to implement a science-based policy action plan at the city level to effectively tackle air pollution in urban areas.

The Project activities align with the mandates of ESCAP Resolution 75/4: Strengthening regional cooperation to tackle air pollution challenges in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/RES/75/4), adopted at the Seventy-fifth session in May 2019.

In addition, the Project bears in mind other relevant UN resolutions, including (i) World Health Assembly resolution 68/8 of 26 May 2015, Health and the environment:  addressing the health impact of air pollution and (ii) resolution 3/8 of  6  December  2017  of the  United  Nations  Environment Assembly on preventing and reducing air pollution to improve air quality globally. 

Tackling air pollution is a crucial focus for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the followings: 3.9 - substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination and 11.6 - reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management. The above SDGs have linkages to many other SDGs, such as 7 -affordable and clean energy, 13 - climate action, 6 - clean water and sanitation, 14 - life below water, 15 - life on land and 12 - responsible production and consumption. By reaching these targets, the region can also make significant headway in complying with other global pacts, like the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change enacted in 2015 that aims to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5, degrees Celsius.

Retrieved from

Sustainable Coastal and Marine Tourism Webinar Series

These webinars will present key insights from the body of work commissioned by the Ocean Panel on coastal and marine tourism, including a special report: ‘Opportunities for Transforming Coastal and Marine Tourism: Towards Sustainability, Regeneration and Resilience’.

Sustainable Coastal and Marine Tourism Webinar Series

Wednesday 18 January 2023

06:00-07:30 GMT (UTC + 0) - Asia/Pacific audience



14:00-15:30 GMT (UTC+ 0) - North America/Europe/Africa audience


According to new research from the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel), coastal and marine tourism represents at least 50% of all global tourism and supports millions of jobs and livelihoods worldwide.

The global pandemic revealed the fragility of the current model of global tourism. As the world begins to recover and reopen again, all destinations will be faced with a choice. Either return to business as usual or use this moment as an opportunity to invest in a more sustainable model of coastal and marine tourism that will be prepared to address eminent and future crises, like climate change and biodiversity loss, and which equitably distribute wealth in host destinations to ensure economic well-being of coastal and island nations. 

Despite extreme economic hardship, many inspiring stories have emerged over the past few years from coastal and marine areas. This global webinar series will provide an opportunity to hear from experts across the tourism industry on innovation and best practice, with a view to understanding how different actors within the tourism sector are considering the future of coastal and marine tourism. 
These webinars will present key insights from the body of work commissioned by the Ocean Panel on coastal and marine tourism, including a special report: ‘Opportunities for Transforming Coastal and Marine Tourism: Towards Sustainability, Regeneration and Resilience’.

They will also provide an opportunity to hear from experts across the tourism industry on innovation and best practice, with a view to understanding how different actors within the tourism sector are considering the future of coastal and marine tourism.


Asia/Pacific Event

  • Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesian Ambassador to Germany
  • Russell Reichelt, Sherpa to the Australian Prime Minister for the Ocean Panel
  • Eliza Northrop, Co-Director, Sustainable Development Reform Hub, University of New South Wales
  • Randy Durband, CEO, GSTC
  • Wouter Schalken, Senior Sustainable Tourism Specialist, ADB 
  • Darrell Wade, Co-founder and Chairman, Intrepid Travel 
  • Anna Spenceley, Chair, IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS Group) (Moderator)
  • Other speakers to be confirmed

North America/Europe/Africa Event

  • Peter Schuhmann, Professor of Economics, UNC Wilmington
  • Eleanor Carter, Co-Director of Chumbe Island MPA, and Executive Director of Sustainable Solutions International Consulting 
  • Osbourne Chin, Senior Director, Tourism Policy and Monitoring, Ministry of Tourism Jamaica
  • Ilihia Gionson, Public Affairs Officer, Hawaii Tourism Authority 
  • Mauricio Martínez Miramontes, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, La Mano del Mono
  • Sue Snyman, Director of Research, School of Wildlife Conservation, African Leadership University
  • Cynthia Barzuna, Director, Ocean Action 2030 Coalition, World Resources Institute (Moderator)
  • Other speakers to be confirmed

Register for the Asia/Pacific event here or for the North America/Europe/Africa Event here.

Organizer logos.

Cover image by Edgar Chaparro / Unsplash 

Retrieved from