Last week, the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) was officially launched at the Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Conference in Bangkok.
Created in 2008, this Rockefeller Foundation-supported initiative has focused on building capacity, connecting practitioners, and providing a platform for sharing knowledge and advancing common agendas around climate change resilience.
Initially operating in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, the program was later replicated in Bangladesh and the Philippines, and now reaches over 40 cities in Asia. To address the demand for a practitioner network, ACCCRN as a program has evolved to become a network that is open to membership from individuals and institutions who can use both its online platform and offline activities to learn, share and collaborate to advance urban climate change resilience (UCCR) for the most vulnerable urban communities and systems.
At the Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific Conference, representatives across five of the original ACCCRN countries shared their support around the continued development of the network. Following the launch, the audience—which consisted of the newest members of the network—commented on the network’s ability to help to promote broader advocacy around UCCR issues in the region.
ACCCRN Network Director Jim Jarvie added that the network exists to serve practitioners, and mentioned his desire to learn how those in the region would like to see the network evolve. The ACCCRN network will be led by Mercy Corps Indonesia, working with a range of institutions who will serve as country network nodes, including TEI, ISET Vietnam, NIUA and ICCCAD.
Comments from the Conference
Thailand Environmental Institute (TEI)
This network now has the potential to engage with a broader set of new cities in the region.
International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)
Countries learn from “peers who are tackling the same problem”. The network can catalyze this type of interaction.
National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)
Climate change, urbanization and resilience are still not well understood in all countries. It’s important to “learn from the region itself”.
Mercy Corps Indonesia
The network has unique potential to serve as a connector across scales, “to facilitate sharing lessons from the local to regional level”.
There is a need to continue building a body of knowledge and to share these learnings, especially given that UCCR is a young field.
The network also promises to become a unique platform for organizations and practitioners across different countries to act collectively, and to change common narratives and assumptions about the growth of cities—specifically highlighting the fact that the poor are often the most vulnerable.
In addition, a website for the new network, ACCCRN.net, was launched during the conference and includes a range of features to enable practitioners to find a diversity of information about urban climate change resilience, connect with others, and to learn about new opportunities. Offline, country-to-country exchange visits are also planned in several countries as the network is “soft launched” at various events in the original ACCCRN countries.