Recipients Of The 3rd ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities Award 2014 (2)

Melaka – Malaysia

Melaka, a city rich in history blends many cultures from all over the world, is seen in Melaka’s architecture, traditions, music, and cuisine. It is located on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia between the state of Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

Melaka is divided into three districts: Melaka Tengah, Jasin and Alor Gajah which cover an area of 1650 km2.

The state of Melaka is administrated by four (4) local authorities that is Melaka Historic City Council, Alor Gajah Municipal Council, Jasin Municipal Council and Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council.

The main functions of the city council are:

  1. To plan and encourage the growth of the city in accordance to the laws and guidelines set by the state and central governments;
  2. To prepare and maintain public amenities such as the road, drains, sewers, street lights, market places, hawker stalls, bus and taxi stands and such;
  3. To provide services related to the city and public health such as the disposal of solid waste, sewerage, road and drain cleaning, and such;
  4. To maintain public health by monitoring food producers, preventing contagious diseases, conducting pest control operations, etc.
  5. To plan and execute beautification projects within the city and its tourist attractions.
  6. To provide recreational infrastructure and facilities like sports complexes, recreational centers, parks and other city amenitie
  7. To encourage and activate trade, industrial, and tourism activities in line with the state development strategy.
  8. To plan and encourage the development and growth of small businesses and hawkers by providing facilities and approving licenses
  9. Figure X – Boundaries of Local Authorities in Melaka

    Figure X – Percentage (%) of populations Melaka in 2010

    Melaka state has a population of 771,500 person comprising of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Peranakan (straits born of Chinese), Chitty (straits born of Indians) and Portuguese.

    In 20 October 2010, Melaka was declared a Developed State by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Melaka has fulfilled the requirement as a developed state, in five (5) criteria namely economic, social affairs, infrastructure, environment and administration.

    Out of 32 indicators benchmark listed by OECD which had been achieved by OECD countries like the European Nation, Japan, United State, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, Melaka has achieved 29 indicators.

    To ensure accessibility to quality water supply, Melaka Historic City Council has gazetted the upstream water catchment area. These areas are not allowed for any development to ensure adequate quality water supply. Percentage of household accessible to portable water infrastructure in Melaka Historic City Council is 100%. Water supplied within the City Council meets WHO drinking water standard.

    All sewage treatment system in Melaka Historic City Council is in accordance to National standard for housing and industries. It is intended to protect water resources, safeguard ecosystems and public health. The Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd responsible for sewage treatment plant ensures that all the sewage plant must comply with Regulation 7(3) of Industrial Effluent Regulations 2009 and Regulation 10(3) of Sewage Regulations 2009. Annual average level of water quality is in accordance to Water Quality Index (WQI) and Interim National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia (INWQS). The WQI is computed based on six main parameter that is; Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Ammonia Nitrogen (NH3-N), pH, Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Suspended Solids (SS)

    Melaka River Rehabilitation and Beautification Project are the ambitious project to rehabilitate, revitalize and beautify the river and subsequently revitalize the city which the river flows through.

    In the course of implementation, the project has archived many benefits. Among them are as follows;

    1. Melaka River has once again become a clean and living river with the introduction of sewer interceptor reticulation system. All raw sewage and water discharge would no longer end up in the river. Marine life such as fresh water, tiny mudskippers and giant water lizards flourish as they had years ago.
    2. Mudskippers that were almost extinct are now flourishing again when the broadwalk on opposite side of Kampung Morten built on concrete piers to allow the riverine nipah and berembang tree species to flourish. These tree species and the environmental character of the muddy banks is the habitat for the mudskippers.
    3. Icons and features associated with the history of the city were incorporated into the project such as planting of the ‘Melaka’ trees, brass caricature of the famous warrior Hang Tuah and the medieval map of Melaka. The creation of a spice garden reminds us of the products that made Melaka famous for its trade and shipping activities.
    4. The citizens of Melaka City Council can enjoy a clean and beautify river with well-designed landscapes, proper jogging track, benches and pavilions for resting and recreation. Lightings enhance the ambience at night and also ensure safety of the users.
    5. The river quality has improved from grade 4 to grade 2 after the implementation of this project and the state government hopes it will be further improve to grade 1. That will be the biggest impact of the project.

    This river is now the main venue for state functions and social activities like fishing competition and launching awareness and cleanliness programs.

    The Melaka River project has also created interest among other city council in and around the country. We have hosted visits by Indonesian, Thai and Finnish delegations and within the country tens of city councils have made study visits to see the project.

    The benefits of this project are immeasurable and it will be continuous because the catalytic and generating effect will keep on going.

    Melaka River runs through the heart of this historical city and forms the spine of its economy, from the days of the Portuguese galleons and Chinese junks to the barges that unload a variety of cargo at the steps of the Old Port just over 50 years ago. However, in the early 1930s, the reclamation of the original coastline had altered the course of history and Sungai Melaka slowly degenerated into oblivion, sadly turning into an abandoned waterway of pollutants, refuse and sewage. It was perceived to have a negative effect on the city even though it has immense potential as a tourism draw and a tourism source of revenue; it has however has a negative effect on the city because of the unsightly condition and the smell that it emits.

    In additional to that, because of lack of enforcement, throughout the last century or so, the riverbanks have been encroached upon by buildings and haphazard structures, slowly turning the river into backyards of polluted and dirty water. There was barely any space to walk along the embankment, as a result of these illegal and ad hoc extensions of buildings. These properties abut both sides of the river with direct connection while discharging raw domestic and commercial waste into the river.

    In the year 2000 the Melaka state government together with Melaka Historic City Council undertake this gigantic to come up with a comprehensive master plan to beautify and rehabilitate the Melaka River and apply for financial aid from the Federal Government.

    For the first stretch of the river of 4.5 km the Federal Government approved RM 183,398,000.00. The project is broken up into 4 phases and work began in 2002 and completed in 2010. The successful implemented of the first stretch prompted the state government to apply federal funds for the next stretch of 6.5 km. work for the second stretch began in 2012 and expected to complete in 2014. A total of RM 234,396.50 was approved for it. The total cost of the project is RM 418,094,396.50 funded by the Federal Government.

    When the second parcel completes in 2014, the city council will be looking at improving the upstream of Melaka River because it has tremendous potential to bring benefits to the people of Melaka.

    The Melaka Historic City Council has received various award for this project. Among them are;

    a. 2005 Sustainable City Award – Category for Best City Services by Department of Environment
    b. 2009 Winner Category 8 : Special Category Melaka River Rehabilitation and Beautification (PAM 2009 Awards For Excellence in Architecture) by Malaysia Architect Association
    c. 2010 Sustainable City Award for Management of Melaka River by Department of Environment
    d. 2013 Green Apple Award in Category Sustainable Water Management for Melaka River Rehabilitation and Beautification Project by Green Apple United Kingdom
    e. 2014 Green Apple Ambassador by Green Apple United Kingdom

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    Yangon – Myanmar

    Yangon formerly known as Rangoon in its popular and anglicised named is a city with a history of more than three thousand years, as related to the genesis of its world famous Shwedagon Pagoda.

    After Yangon was brought under British rule in 1852, a new city plans was drawn up in consultation with Dr. William Montgomery of the British Military Medical Science and Captain Fraser of the Bangal Garrison Engineers. On January 2, 1853, Captain Fraser, in collaboration with Dr. Willian Montgomery, drew up a submitted a new plan for a modern city. The British Colonial Government, after making a few minor modifications to the design, began construction for a new modern city. Yangon under British rule was renowned as the most beautiful and cleanest city in South- East Asia. Prior to World War II, Yangon famed for its beauty and cleanliness, had earned the title “Princess of South East Asia.”

    The topography of Yangon City comprises slightly undulating and hilly land in the center of the city and low, flat land on the fringes. Yangon former capital city of Myanmar has now become the business center of the Union of Myanmar. It has a population of about 5.5 million with annual growth rate of about 2.3 percent. The city is growing with increasing population, reinforced by continuous migration of rural people to the city and new satellite towns. At present, Yangon City consists of 33 townships which cover an area of about 680 km2 (280 square-miles).

    Yangon met the national criteria as an environmentally sustainable city due to the following:

    • solid waste management, pollution control and industrial waste water management, cemetery and public toilets management and waste to energy implemented by the Pollution Control and Cleansing Department;
    • water supply to cities, clean water management, pipe line construction, tube-well, and sewage management;
    • disease and food sanitation management implemented by the Ministry of Health;
    • 2040 Urban Planning for the Greater Yangon with support from JICA which includes regulation reforms, new water supply planning, fly over construction, low cost house project, waste to energy planning, road network system extension, new market construction, green belt area extension, playground area extension, green growth and green economy in city area;
    • pursue of emission reduction, low carbon city, and environmentally friendly and sustainable development planning.

    In particular, Yangon city has distinct environmental achievements, namely:

    • ASEAN Energy Management Scheme (AEMAS) is a significant contributor to the APAEC (2010-2015). Cumulative target is reducing the region’s energy intensity by 8 % (based on 2015 level) by the year 2015). Training courses were organized in the period from September 2011 to January 2012 with more than 200 registered from various industries. These includes 2 courses in Hanoi for general trainees, 1 courses in Da Nang city, 4 courses in Hochimin City, 1 courses in Cao Bang province.  Among the registers, these is about 100 trainees who was certifies as Energy Manager.
    • Non-renewable energy project activities – Fuel switching from coal or fuel oil to natural gas; Replacement of fossil fuel with alternative fuels by biomass such as rice husk, palm kernel shell, agricultural residues, etc.
    • Renewable energy project activities – solar energy, wind power, hydroelectric power plant, geothermal, biogas, biomass.
    • Waste handling and disposal: Landfill CDM projects have now high potential in this sector.
    • Transport: Substitution of fossil fuel with bio-fuels and natural gas fuels.
    • Agriculture: Methane production avoidance from biomass decay; gas recovery and utilization projects in livestock breeding.
    • Afforestation and reforestation: afforestation and reforestation activities, agroforestry programs

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    San Carlos City – Philippines

    San Carlos City is located is located at the Northern part of Negros Island, 123°23’65″ longitude and 10°25’15″ latitude, bounded on the North by the Municipality of Calatrava, on the West by the Municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto and the City of Bago, on the South by Municipality of Vallehermoso (Negros Oriental) and the City of Canla-on, and the East by Tañon Strait.

    San Carlos City is one of the component cities of the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines with well-planned agro-industrial and socio-economic development initiatives, alongside environmental sustainability. It is a second class component city with a population of 133,000 as of 2010 census and has a total land area of 45,150 hectares with about 20,000 hectares are forest protected areas namely; the North Negros Natural Park and Mount Kanlaon Natural Park.

    The city consists mainly of sloping to rolling lands ranging from 0-18 percent. The northern side of the city is dominantly moderate to rolling slopes while the rest are slopes with some steep areas. The city lies along the coast of Tanon Strait with an estimated 21-km coastline stretch, and the southern side borders the province of Negros Occidental from the Oriental side of Negros.

    There are eight (8) major rivers in the City. These are the Talave, Palampas, Andoon, Gigalman, Mainit, Katingal-an, Sta. Cruz and Buluangan Rivers. The Talave and Palampas rivers and their tributaries emanate from the western slopes of the forest reserve area and drain to Tañon Strait. The Sta. Cruz and Bulungan rivers originate from the western slope of Mt. Kanlaon and also drain towards Tañon Strait.

    The city is accessible by land through arterial highways of the province and by sea through its own national seaport. In general, the city’s climate is considered as type I characterized by two pronounced seasons: dry from December and extends until early May while the wet season starts in June climaxing in September, and finally ending in October. It is characterized by relatively low annual rainfall of about 1,336 to 1,500 millimeters. The people of San Carlos City speak the Ilonggo and Cebuano dialects.

    Climate change, dwindling fossil fuel supplies and food shortages are prodding communities to promote sustainability strategies. San Carlos City is among those that have adopted the sustainability framework in its development strategy. In pursuing the sustainability framework, the people of San Carlos City initiated a development project—the San Carlos Sustainable City Project—to remodel the city as the standard of excellence in sustainable development. It is unique in balancing economic growth and environmental protection, and for its equal focus on rural and urban development. Necessarily, the project entails the involvement of all sectors of the community.

    San Carlos City developed its own practical and sustainable development strategy, dubbed as the Master Development Plan (MDP), which spans a 20-year period. The MDP is the city’s blueprint to transform the traditional and historic sugar-based economy to a more ecologically oriented commerce and industry. Among the programs outlined in the MDP include the establishment of key energy-efficient infrastructures (e.g. roads, solid waste management, and energy development), economic productivity (e.g. special economic zone, rural growth centers, tourism facilities), social development initiatives (i.e., health, social housing, job creation), and environmental protection (i.e. reforestation, aquatic resource management).

    Regular consultations were conducted with communities and stakeholders in the planning and implementation of programs and projects. The Local Participatory Planning approach was employed in formulating the barangay (village) development plans, which became the basis for project initiatives and interventions in the eighteen barangays (villages) of the city. This approach ensured people’s participation. The villages identified their own development needs and designed projects and activities that were tailored to their specific conditions and resources. This practice ensured that the communities controlled the sustainable use of their land and water resources.

    The city government then set the tone in sustainable environmental practices with the energy efficient design infrastructures, solid and liquid waste management programs, coastal resource management programs, implementation of forest reserve management programs, watershed development programs and other programs related to environmental management.

    In terms of environmental practices, the solid waste management program of the city is so effective that it has managed to divert almost 70% of the waste. The city has an Eco-Center which is an integrated facility for handling waste. It has a sanitary landfill, wastewater treatment, materials recovery facility and composting. While the city makes use of an integrated system in garbage collection and disposal, its recognized that a technical solution is not sufficient and that a long term solution lies in changing people’s attitude and orientation towards waste. The city initiated the “Ecological Waste Management Lifestyle Change Project” which had promoted to the change in values and attitudes of the people towards environmental responsibility through effective Communication, Education and Advocacy.

    With regards to the upland eco-system management, the city has implemented various environment and ecological security programs such as the North Negros Natural Park and Mount Kanlaon Natural Park Reforestation Programs and is actively engaged in the rehabilitation of Bago River Watershed Forest Reserve covering hundreds of hectares of rainforestation and agroforestry. In fact, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office has commended the city’s outstanding performance and accomplishment in this undertaking, specifically in its work on the rainforestation where it achieved 97.91 percent survival rate.

    Imperative in the City’s reforestation program is the watershed protection which is being taken cared of expertly by the San Carlos Development Board through its Watershed Development Program funded by the P1.00 water levy for every cubic meter consumed by water consumers. The water levy project generates more than 1.5 million pesos annually and more than 400 hectares of idle and marginal private and public lands had been planted with indigenous forest tree species.

    The city is also implementing various environment and ecological security programs such as Wastewater Management Program and Coastal Resource Management Program where marine resources are amply protected with the declaration of two Marine Protected Areas as marine reserves.

    To further promote appreciation of the environment, the city has been regularly conducting Localized Environment Week and Wildlife Month Celebration, promoting water and energy conservation by participating in the international “World Water Day and Earth Hour” celebration, conducting annual tree planting activity every Charter Day and organizing coastal clean-up drive to protect our rich marine resources. The city also launched the “No Plastic Day Program” where the use of plastic materials is rampant as it is now imperative that we minimize the use of plastics which are non-biodegradable and very hazardous to the environment.

    Among the flagship programs of the San Carlos Sustainable City Project is the establishment of the first bioethanol plant in the country, which generates forty million liters of ethanol annually or one-tenth of the national annual requirement. This substantially reduces the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuel. The city is also very active in pursuing advocacy on Renewable Energy which to date expanded to the Biomass Power Plant and Solar Energy with an output of 18 MW and 25 MW respectively.

    The distinctiveness of the strategies employed by the local government of San Carlos gained the attention of more than 30 Local Government Units (LGUs) here and abroad who intend to replicate the project. But the formation of an independent body such as the SCDBI is applicable only if the minimal conditions and key result areas are present, such as a strong private sector, active civil society groups, a transparent LGU, and a dynamic community. With these elements in place, more cities could start moving up on the sustainable development ladder. As of to date, the city has no single liability on whatsoever financial institutions in the country.

    With these achievements, San Carlos City was awarded as the 2nd Most Liveable City in the World in a category of 75,000-150,000 population, and a Special Whole City Award and Special Award in the Individual Criteria Awards in the UN-backed 2011 International Awards for Liveable Communities held October 27-31, 2011 at Songpa, Seoul, South Korea.

    San Carlos City also bagged the Hall of Fame in the annual Search for Excellence in Local Governance Awards sponsored by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region VI. For winning the Best Performing City award for the third time in a row last 2010.

    Aside from the Hall of Fame and Best Performing City (city category) awards for its accomplishments, the city also received the awards Excellence in Environment Management, Excellence in Social Services, Excellence in Economic Development and first runner up in Administrative Governance and in Local Legislation during the DILG Pagdayaw awards last December 20, 2010 at Sugarland Hotel, Bacolod City.

    The city was also awarded 1st place in the “2009 Zero Basura (Garbage) Olympics” held in Malacanan Palace. The Solid Waste Management Team were awarded as the “Presidential Lingkod Bayan Awardee” last 2011 for the teams outstanding work performance and exceptional service to the government and the people for the Search for Outstanding Public Officials and Employees. This is the highest award in the country received by a group or individual working in government service. And lately, they were the 2013 finalist of the “3rd Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan (Environment Hero)”.

    To date, San Carlos City has a total of three (3) international awards and six (6) Galing Pook (Best City) Awards – including the “Sustainable City Project” award. The Galing Pook awards was launched in 1993 as a pioneering program that searches and recognizes innovative practices by the local government units in the entire country. LGU finalists with outstanding initiatives are carefully selected and winners are recognized in a very prestigious awards ceremony. The award is conferred by the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

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