Water represents the most challenging and complex risk faced by man. Floods and droughts, pollution and water conflicts combined with a growing demand for food and energy, rapid urbanisation, migration pressures, and climate change are potentially catastrophic. Yet, the connecting and interdependent strength of water provides us with an opportunity that cannot be ignored.
Under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency initiated the Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities Asia. Under this program, three Asian cities were chosen (Khulna in Bangladesh, Chennai in India and Semarang in Indonesia) through an open competition to consider urban water-related challenges in an innovative and inclusive way. Researchers, consultants, governments, civil societies and NGOs came together over a period of one year to develop innovative, programmatic, and climate resilient/green, conceptual designs where water can be used as leverage for impactful and catalytic change.
Under this context, the IsDB through the Regional Hub Indonesia, participated in a regional workshop on 24-25 April in Singapore, which brought together the three city-level teams with the financiers including the IsDB, World Bank, ADB, AIIB, KfW and Green Climate Fund, etc., to share the conceptual design, gain initial interest from the financiers on potential projects under each of the city program which may be considered for future financing. Next steps were agreed on how various international partners may be able to support the city teams on the next steps, be they in pre-feasibility studies, full feasibility studies, piloting, or even further design development. The workshop allowed an opportunity to present the IsDB Group to the participants and an opportunity for IsDB to undertake an early screening of potential projects that it can consider supporting in the future, which are very relevant to the key areas of water, climate resilience/adaptation and sustainable urban development, all undertaken in a multi-stakeholder spirit of engagement.