The 2021 World Cities Day (WCD) celebration will center on climate resilience and top city executives in the Philippines had an opportunity to discuss environmental and climate action-related initiatives with experts in the field on Friday, October 29.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, concurrent national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), who presided over the virtual Friday WCD commemoration jointly organized by the LCP and the United Nations-Habitat Philippines, said this year’s WCD and Urban October celebrations anchored on the theme, “Better Cities, Better Life: Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience.”
“The Urban October provides an avenue for stakeholders to be part of the conversation about the challenges and opportunities created by the fast rate of changes in our cities and towns as more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and all have a stake in and can contribute to improving our urban environment,” an LCP project brief said.
According to the LCP brief, every October, everyone interested in sustainable urbanization, from national and local governments to universities, non-government organizations, and communities are encouraged to hold or participate in virtual or physical activities, events and discussions.
The UN-Habitat campaign, on the other hand, has adopted the theme, #ClimateActions4Cities, for the Urban October event.
All told, the twin virtual event–WCD and Urban October—hopes to provide an avenue to showcase climate actions in cities and highlight how cities can benefit from partnerships with development advocates in achieving local climate goals, Leonardia explained.
Expected to attend the World Cities Day online celebration are city mayors, local policymakers, technical staff, national government agencies, development partners, and other key stakeholders.
The Philippines has 146 cities, 33 of which are HUCs or highly-urbanized cities, including Bacolod. Messages of support to the 2021 WCD and Urban October will be delivered by Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif of the UN-Habitat and Undersecretary Marylin Pintor of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development. Program partners from the World Bank, represented by Marilyn Martinez, senior disaster risk management specialist; UN-Habitat Philippines, headed by country program manager Christopher Rollo, and Elsa Lefebvre, program management officer of the UN Environment Programme, will also deliver messages. The World Bank will also hold a final knowledge-sharing session on its Green and Resilient Cities Project as a highlight of the Oct. 29 WCD observance.