ICLEI and Santa Rosa City: Forging partnerships for sustainable development

ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS) was recognized as one of the development partners of the city of Santa Rosa, Philippines, an ICLEI Member, in pursuing its sustainable development vision and ideals during the Santa Rosa City Environment Day held on 10 July 2015.

The event, which had the theme, "1 Voice, 1 City in Global Climate Action," was graced by Senator Cynthia Villar who served as keynote speaker. Senator Villar discussed the direct correlation between environmental protection and poverty reduction and lauded Santa Rosa for its various environmental programs. The celebration, which coincided with the Santa Rosa’s 11th cityhood anniversary, also served as platform for Santa Rosa Mayor Arlene Arcillas to deliver the City’s first State of the Environment Address. During her speech, Mayor Arcillas presented several environment initiatives of Santa Rosa including those which are being supported by ICLEI.

Dubbed as the 'Lion City of South Luzon', Santa Rosa is one of the fastest-urbanizing cities in the Philippines. True to its ideals of pursuing urban development vis-à-vis environmental protection, the City is currently working with a number of development partners in various initiatives.

Mayor Arcillas shared that Santa Rosa is one of the pilot cities under the Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus. This project, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and executed by GIZ, supports selected Asian cities in utilizing the interaction and synergies of water, energy, and food sectors, in urban governance. The project adheres to integrated urban planning and breaking open of ‘silo’ (sectoral) thinking demonstrated through concrete pilot projects. ICLEI SEAS serves as Nexus implementation partner and helps Santa Rosa in applying Nexus principles in its development planning.

The city is also one of 15 Philippine local governments to undertake the ICLEI-ACCCRN Process, a methodology for building local climate change resilience, developed by ICLEI under the Asian Cities Climate Resilience Network (ACCCRN) initiative by the Rockefeller Foundation. Under the Process, ICLEI SEAS conducts rapid urban system assessment with an endgoal of helping local governments devise climate resilience strategies for identified vulnerable urban systems.

Having joined ICLEI in 2014, Santa Rosa has been one of more active ICLEI Members and recently joined the Compact of Mayors. This is an agreement by city networks and their members to undertake a transparent and supportive approach to reduce city-level emissions, reduce vulnerability, and enhance resilience to climate change. Santa Rosa, along with Quezon City and Catbalogan are the first three Philippine cities to sign the Compact.

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Mr. Ranell Martin Dedicatoria, ICLEI SEAS Regional Program Manager, receives the Plaque of Recognition for ICLEI SEAS as a development partner of Santa Rosa City, Philippines. Presentiing the award are (L-R) Senator Cynthia Villar, Mayor Arlene Arcillas, and City Environment Officer Erlinda Creencia. (Photo: Santa Rosa City Government)