CEBU CITY — The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has recognized Cebu City as among five leading “eco-cities” in Southeast Asia.
The four other eco-cities are in Vietnam, Thailand, China and Malaysia.
UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
UNIDO eco-city expert Jan Dictus said Cebu’s vision and ambition of becoming environmentally-friendly was a major factor why the organization chose it as one of the core eco-cities in building a bigger network of metropolises.
“Cebu was chosen because of its strong ambition to become a leading environmental city. It is important to have cities where both politicians and city administrations share the same ambition, in order to combine with all other partners like industries, non-government organizations so that there is an existing network within the cities,” Dictus said.
He said Cebu is being lauded for its shared commitment towards environment, governance, transport, water, waste management, legislation and enforcement, among others, in participation with barangays, industries and stakeholders.
Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera, head of the council committee on environment, said the city’s environmental programs and projects have been strengthened like reinforcing the environmental development and solid waste management.
Cabrera also said the city has partnered with local and international non-government organizations like Kaabag sa Sugbo Foundation Inc. and the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) to help the city in terms of program implementation and policy formulation.
Cebu is UNIDO’s “fourth peer review support visit.”
The four-day forum from June 17-20 promotes exchange of experiences and knowledge and good environmental practices and tackles water resource management, waste production and management, transportation and governance.
The program was an initiative of the Japanese government.
“What the cities’ shared are their ambitions of becoming an environmental-friendly and social economical city. These cities joined forces by visiting each other and learning from each other,” Dictus said.