Cities and climate change: Mercy Corps joins the global discussion

Indonesia, March 23, 2012

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  • Cities and climate change: Mercy Corps joins the global discussion

Next week London will host the Planet Under Pressure conference, a gathering designed to discuss solutions to the global climate challenge. It's a discussion in which we're heavily invested at Mercy Corps, and Ratri Sutarto, from our Indonesia team, will be there to present on our experience integrating urban climate resilience strategies into city planning and governance in Indonesia.

Over four days, senior policymakers, industry leaders, NGOs, scientists, health specialists and other experts will focus on how to move societies toward sustainable practices and will create leadership for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June. Our contribution features work in Semarang, Indonesia, which in 2009 became part of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCRN), funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Mercy Corps has worked with Semarang's government to develop a Climate Resilience Strategy for the city, which recognizes that climate change is exacerbating current hazards from flood, drought and landslides.

This prioritizes actions to address these threats and enables ACCRN activities including rainwater harvesting and related disaster risk reduction approaches to be easily integrated into city planning processes and budget cycles. Ratri will discuss the background of this integrated approach and share how it succeeded in making climate change a crucial consideration in the city's future plans. The key elements of this kind of resilience planning are similar to sister programmes in another eight ACCRN cities.

Our urban programming in Semarang is dynamic and innovative. It is built on local, national and international partnerships. It addresses, in part, a massive development gap that must be urgently ramped up. Millions of urban citizens around the world are increasingly vulnerable to impacts of climate change, including increased storms, more frequent drought and flood cycles, stronger disease carriers, and growing food insecurity. Yet some countries are not yet equipped to face these challenges. Many governments recognize this and are requesting technical and financial assistance from the international community. With its trusted partners, Mercy Corps has filled a leading edge niche in Indonesia, and the model has fantastic potential to be replicated around the world for the benefit of the urban poor.

Please download our working paper, Integrating Climate Resilience Strategy into City Planning in Semarang, Indonesia, for more information. Ratri will speak at the "Urban Governance Challenges for Sustainability and Global Environmental Change" session on Wednesday, March 28. We'll be talking more about this topic throughout the year and are keen to share more here — and welcome your feedback — on the knowledge and experience we’ve built with our partners and colleagues.


PDF icon city_resilience_semarang.pdf PDF icon city_resilience_semarang_figures.pdf