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City joins Asia Pacific cooperation meet

Over 100 member cities in 20 countries, more than 2,000 participants from across the Asia Pacific Region and the globe came to participate in the ever expanding organization of Local Governments in Asia.
CITYNET is the Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements, it is an active network connecting more than 100 cities and local governments mainly in the Asia Pacific Region.
Among its core programs is to promote exchange of expertise and build partnerships to ensure that local governments have the means to cope with increasing population and demands in their cities.
As member of this reputable international organization, Baguio City has been represented by Vice-Mayor Daniel Farinas last July 9 to 12, 2012 during the holding of its 25th Anniversary Celebration and 29th Executive Committee conference in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Highlighting the theme “Paving the Way towards Environmentally Sustainable Cities”, participants focused on member cooperation in working towards people-friendly cities that are socially just, ecologically sustainable, politically participatory, economically productive, culturally vibrant and globally connected.
Farinas said, “being a member of the organization is very important to the city in terms of city-to-city cooperation and exchanges of good practices among local governments and organizations”.
“We need cooperation among other member cities, civil society entities and the private sector in order to move forward towards sustainable urban development”, he said.
Member cities also tackled challenges, best practices and solutions to issues affecting cities including climate change adaptation and sharing of disaster risk reduction management sound practices.
Farinas noted, ‘his field visit to the Environmental Preservation Areas in Surabaya is an eye opener which we can also adopt as a program in Baguio’.
Highlighted is the ‘Green and Clean Kampongs’(neighborhood areas) where communities participate in green and clean competitions as part of their Solid Waste Management Program which won the Energy Globe Award 2005, Green Apple Award 2007, ASEAN Environment Sustainable City, Indonesia Green Region Award 2011 and Smart City Award 2011.
“What is remarkable is they have successfully changed people’s minds towards waste treatment and the importance of green living”, Farinas said.
CITYNET is working with various partners such as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), UN-HABITAT, JICA, World Bank, UNESCO, UNDP, UNEP and other international organizations to address urban-related issues such as poverty, infrastructure, disaster and environment.
Other member cities in the Philippines include, Calbayog City, Iloilo City, Ligao City-Albay, Makati City, Marikina City, Muntinlupa City, Naga City, San Fernando City and San Jose City-Nueva Ecija.
CITYNET initially started with 27 member cities as a UNESCAP project in 1987. ***paul rillorta

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