Introduction to the UNU-UNEP Innovative Communities Initiative
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Introduction to the UNU-UNEP Innovative Communities Initiative UNEP-IETC Innovative Communities 1. Why is it important to work at the community level? 2. But what is a ‘community’? 3. So where does innovativeness come in? 4. Introduction of the case study results … and together, these questions define an innovative community Innovative Communities Why is it important to work at the community level? Many of today's environmental problems can be traced back, directly or indirectly, to the local level – and to the lifestyles, choices, values and behaviours of individuals and local communities ... Innovative Communities Why is it important to work at the community level? The long-term success of multilateral and global environmental mechanisms can be ensured only if it is accompanied with strong local involvement and action of local stakeholders … Innovative Communities Why is it important to work at the community level? In recent years, the societal trend has been shifting from economic development - with focus on large scale projects and centralized governance systems towards sustainable development at the local level… Innovative Communities Why is it important to work at the community level? "Rediscovering" of community values and knowledge, along with implementation of unique local environmental solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, is an important aspect worth a detailed examination.… Innovative Communities But what is a ‘community’? Communities can be defined on the basis of a number criteria such as: Geographic, Economic, Social, Political/Administrative, or other criteria … Innovative Communities But what is a ‘community’? A 'community' is a group of people who live or work together in a geographically local area and have formed a social attachment to this area. It is small in scale, but may network with other entities. It is inclusive of all residents, and its members have formed human networks inside and outside the community to work towards commonly agreed goals and visions. Innovative Communities So where does innovativeness come in? The main foci are … Communities that have a combination of environmental management, community building, and ownership as strong components of their initiatives Innovative Communities So where does innovativeness come in? Also includes aspects such as … Communities that have attempted in implementing community-led initiatives focusing on the local environment and sustainability Innovative Communities So where does innovativeness come in? Also includes aspects such as … Communities that can respond flexibly to societal changes and emerging needs, sometimes by bring in new methods, ideas, etc. to improve their environment Innovative Communities So where does innovativeness come in? Also includes aspects such as … Communities that possess, and has access to, sufficient (internal and external) knowledge resources on their local environment Innovative Communities So where does innovativeness come in? And many other aspects, both internal and external to the community … Objective? • Develop the concept and the framework of innovative communities to be applied by communities in their environmental management (internally), and also by local stakeholders who work with communities (externally) • Disseminate and promote the use of the concept, identified tools, methodologies, and processes by cities and communities particularly in developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region Achieved through… 1. Detailed analysis of cases and identification of elements of innovativeness that lead to successful community-centered local environmental management 2. Identification of tools, methodologies, and processes used by innovative communities 3. Examination of the transferability of tools methodologies, and processes Target? • Ultimate target is developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region • Project outcomes will be disseminated through UN and other international organizations (UNDP, UN-HABITAT, UNESCAP, other units of UNU and UNEP, etc.) networks of NGOs and local governments (CityNet, ICLEI, etc.), and other organizations working directly and indirectly with the communities in developing countries of Asia-Pacific region • Information on possible tools, methodologies and processes is also collected from industrialized countries, if they are considered to be applicable for the target groups Project Activities • Research and case studies • Meetings and conferences • Book, concept papers, project website, e- learning course • Seminars and training workshops - later stage For more information, please visit: http://www.geic.or.jp Innovative Communities Case Studies in Nagoya and Nishinomiya • Conducted in February 2003 • Nagoya City: – City-wide Focused on Solid Waste Reduction Nishinomiya City: – Community-based Environmental Learning Waste Management in Nagoya • Cancellation of the project to reclaim the Fujimae tideland • Waste Emergency Declaration in February 1999 • Implementation of the “Waste Reduction Effort 100” programme • By 2001, achieved 23 % reduction of wastes Innovativeness? • Rethinking of a problem and setting goals high • Leap from past policies and development of new attitudes • New venture with risk • Mayor’s strong leadership with a clear vision • Others … Environmental Learning in Nishinomiya • Need for community-based / holistic environmental education after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 • Launched “Eco-card” project in 1997 under the leadership of the city government • Establishment of multi-stakeholder organization (LEAF) and its active role • Increased awareness of citizens on environmental education and strong community ties Innovativeness? • City government’s strong leadership with a clear “long-term” vision • Rethinking of conventional approaches for environmental education by positioning communities as the main actor • Creativity of the city government to establish the multi-stakeholder organization (LEAF) • Others … Thank you !