Solutions Towards Sustainable Communities Biennial Summit and EXPO 2018-2022


Coming together for good!

Green Growth Asia (GGA) is currently working together with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Expomal International Sdn Bhd to mount a pioneering international summit in Kuala Lumpur. This project is at an advanced planning stage and has the working title, ‘Solutions Towards Sustainable Communities Biennial Summit and EXPO 2018-2022 (STSCS and EXPO)’.

ICLEI is an international association of local and metropolitan governments dedicated to sustainable development. It provides technical consulting, training, and information services to build capacity, share knowledge, and support local government in the implementation of sustainable development at the local level. ICLEI’s Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Executive Director, ICLEI South East Asia, Mr. Emani Kumar believes that locally designed and driven initiatives can provide an effective and cost-efficient way to achieve local, national, and global sustainability objectives.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a multilateral finance institution that promotes economic and social progress in the Asia-Pacific region. ADB is a leading advocate for environmental sustainability in the Asian region and will take a lead role in promoting innovative financing mechanisms that will make it easier for local governments and city stakeholders to adopt the technologies and solutions offered by private sector organisations at the summit. These innovative financing models are viewed by GGA as a crucial element inovercoming traditional funding barriers and achieving sustainability objectives.

Expomal is one of the leading organisers of trade and consumer fairs in Malaysia. Its fortes lies in delivering successful, quality events, at both national and regional levels, and providing excellent customer service based on the modus operandi of “Strategic Partnership”.

The idea for the conference was born out of an opportunity to build upon the success of recent conferences like the Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Congress (RCAP) held in Melaka, Malaysia in March 2016 and the World Cities Summit 2014 and World Cities Summit 2016: Liveable & Sustainable Cities: Innovative Cities of Opportunity anchored in Singapore.

As Mr. Kumar, explained,

‘When we were considering the umbrella theme for the proposed summit, we considered a number of important areas like resilient cities; the impact of climate change on cities; and Sustainable urban development. However, we quickly realised that these specific themes were already well covered and therefore there was little room for GGA to add value. In the end, we decided that there was greater value for a summit that draws upon the high level challenges laid out in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), therefore making sustainability the umbrella theme for the summit.

Drawing on his work on the Green Cities Action Plan (GCAP) initiative in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand and his practical experience in promoting sustainability issues with local governments, Mr. Balamurugan, CEO GGA, explained,

We believe that a sustainability theme will have resonance with local governments, the private sector and academia who are now beginning to face up to the challenges and targets set through the SDGs. We also believe that by taking guidance from the SDGs it will be possible to build upon the experience gained from the GCAP initiative that we have already started in the region.’

The underlying platform for the proposed summit is therefore to bring affected local government leaders and mayors together with the private sector with a clear focus on the provision of relevant and viable solutionsembracing private sector solutions, technologically innovative solutions and encompassing financial solutions. This is the basis for the, ‘Solutions Towards Sustainable Communities’ summit and EXPO. As Mr. Balamurugan  explained,

‘We have designed a summit that considers the themes guided by the SDGs, but within a fresh and extremely relevant and practical framework that brings the key community stakeholders together.’

The STSCS and EXPO will be directed towards sustainable solutions for communities. Whilst the main focus of the summit concentrates on the Asian region, invitations will be extended to cities around the world to participate, so that there can be a broad exchange of ideas and experiences in implementing the SDG. To make this element a success, the summit will benefit from ICLEI’s extensive global network comprising a powerful movement of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities and urban regions, 450 large cities, and 450 small and mediumsized cities and towns in 84 countries dedicated to sustainable development. Further, its highly respected name will carry weight in promoting the summit as a definitive global event and initiative on living cities and sustainability and therefore worthy of attending.

This is an exciting project for GGA and its strategic partners. It is also another example of the people-to-people approach that GGA is pursuing in an attempt to ensure that the pursuit of green growth is undertaken inclusively, ensuring that all stakeholder voices are heard. It is also a good example of the mobilising role that GGA likes to play, in this case bringing local governments, grappling with the implementation of SDGs, into direct contact with academics and private sector solution providers, and financial institutions providing innovative financing models and solutions.

GGA would welcome an opportunity to discuss this summit with you and explore how we might partner together in implementing the summit. So, please do Contact Us!

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