Building capacity of the CDIA to help develop climate resilient and low carbon infrastructure projects in Asia Pacific

Building capacity of the CDIA to help develop climate resilient and low carbon infrastructure projects in Asia Pacific

By Jennifer Steeves

Acclimatise has joined forces with the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), in an assignment supported by the Agence française de développement (AFD) and Expertise France, to integrate climate change into CDIA’s infrastructure development activities in Asia Pacific. Last month, Acclimatise’s Senior Advisor in South Asia Jennifer Steeves travelled to Manila to run a capacity assessment workshop with CDIA, to better understand the team’s current capacity and future goals for mainstreaming climate change. This was a first step in designing a capacity building programme and developing practical approaches to ensure CDIA considers climate change throughout its project development process.

Infrastructure has played and will continue to play an important role in economic growth and poverty reduction in the Asia Pacific region, with $1.5 trillion/year in infrastructure investment required in the next decade (ADB, 2019). CDIA, established in 2007, is a multi-donor trust fund managed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that supports medium-sized cities in Asia and the Pacific to prepare sustainable and bankable infrastructure projects, link these projects to finance, and strengthen individual and organisational capacities in cities. CDIA supports infrastructure projects that promote poverty reduction, environmental improvement, climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, and good governance.

Though CDIA estimates that eighty percent of its work contributes to climate change adaptation and/or mitigation to some extent, it is now looking to strengthen the way it considers climate change concerns at every stage of its project development process. Supported by AFD and Expertise France, this intervention in turn will help ensure that CDIA’s partner cities have the best chance to identify climate-resilient and low-carbon infrastructure projects at an early stage – and importantly, link these to finance.

Acclimatise will be working with the CDIA team over the coming months toward this aim. Having now identified potential entry points for integrating climate change into CDIA’s operations, from scoping mission to ToR development to monitoring & evaluation, the next step will involve a delivering a bespoke training programme, followed by developing concrete guidance and interventions within the project cycle to systematically address climate risks and opportunities. The assignment will end with field missions to selected partner cities to apply the approaches developed with CDIA.

Cover photo provided by author.

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