South Korean President Myung Bak Lee announced the national 5-Year Green Growth Strategy in 2009, positioning Korea as the global leader for Green Growth and Low-Carbon Development. From 11 to 13 November 2010, CIFAL Jeju convened over eight country delegations in Jeju Self-Governing Province, the leading area for Green Growth piloting for localization of national Green strategies. Since 2007, Jeju province was designated as the pilot area for Green Growth development, and as such the UNESCO World Heritage island harbours the richest variety of local examples in Green Growth and Low-Carbon pilots for the Asia-Pacific Region.
Part of UNITAR's global network of nine CIFAL training centres for local development, CIFAL Jeju's mandate will be to develop capacities among regional local governments in this area, and it successfully completed its first training by building capacities in Green Growth among delegations from Pakistan, The Philippines, Viet Nam, Nepal, and other countries. Partiicpants hailed from a variety of cities such as Dhaka, Bangladesh to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and had the chance to visit Jeju's Smart Grid testing centres exploring future innovations and test products used on Jeju Island for Renewable energy (Smart Grid technologies) and even in household products to conserve and even trade household energy resources, while limiting carbon emissions.
With a variety of presentations from high-level Korean officials from the Presidential Commission on Green Growth and Jeju Province, participants learned about the background of Korean development, where "the last 30 years focused on growth, and the next 30 years the focus is on Green Growth." Korean officials reiterated phrases like "A Carbon Advantage = Money + Opportunity" to drive home the concepts of how a Low-Carbon city can also produce sustainable economic development, and how economic growth can go hand in hand with environmental protection. Other lessons learned from the Korean experience were that the key factors for driving a national green growth strategy not only depended on the over $85 billion budget for the 5-year plan, but especially the Presidential leadership backing this new strategy, the country's expertise in IT developments, and the success of public awareness and civic education campaigns, the complementary public policies behind the plan, and the vision for building a carbon market among the country's financial sector.
While many high-tech green technologies were explored, participants also contrasted these with practical comparative examples in their own countries such as local adaptation activities and investments in renewables, community awareness and education, and even creative adaptation projects such as bicycle lanes or plastic grocery bag bans. Key learning priorities for the delegations included topics such as inter-governmental coordintion (translating national climate change commitments into local implementation, obtaining financing for green growth plans, green technology transfer, greening waste management services in their cities, generating public awareness and education effectively, and city to city cooperation for increasing capacity development in the region. If anything the training confirmed that there is a high demand for integrating green growth into local development across Asia, and the the region has a wealth of experiences to exchange on Green development and catapult governments into confronting the challenges of Climate Change while reaching poverty reduction targets in innovative ways.
In 2011, CIFAL Jeju will continue to host introductory Green Growth training courses, as well as more specific workshops for developing Green Growth plans and programmes across local governments in the Asia-Pacific region.For more information contact: www.CIFALJeju.orgor Programme Manager Bo Young Rhim at Boyoung.firstname.lastname@example.org.