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INDONESIA-MALAYSIA-THAILAND GROWTH TRIANGLE (IMT-GT) GREEN CITY ACTION PLAN

 

 

The Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle is a sub-regional economic cooperation program aimed at spurring economic development in participating provinces and states in the three countries. The IMT-GT focuses on enhancing trade and investment opportunities, tourism, strengthening infrastructure links and institutional arrangements, amongst others, to achieve a vision of “a seamless, progressive, prosperous and peaceful subregion with improved quality of life.” Sustainable urban development in the form of green cities is seen as a priority in the region.

 

The 9th IMT-GT Chief Ministers and Governors Forum (CMGF) held on 26 September 2012 in Port Dickson proposed to pursue a new initiative for Green Cities in IMT-GT. The proposal was deliberated and supported by IMT-GT Ministers during the 18th IMT-GT, Ministerial Meeting held at Port Dickson on 27 September 2012.

 

TADB was requested to further elaborate the proposed comprehensive sustainable green urban concept in the subregion which could then radiate across their respective regions, and eventually other Member States of ASEAN, linking with ASEAN’s larger effort in developing sustainable cities.

 

In this regards, ADB have agreed to assist the cities of Melaka (in Malaysia), Songkhla (in Thailand) and Medan (in Indonesia) to develop a comprehensive Green City Action Plan (GCAP) taking into account their existing Green City frameworks, development master plans, and planned anchor projects. The identification or early definition of projects, including under the PPP model, with a regional outlook to ensure sustainable regional economic development and integration, would be a special area ofinterest.Melaka’s is the first GCAP as part of this initiative and will set an example that will be emulated by other cities within the subregion.

 

IMT-GT Green Cities Initiatives was formallyendorsed by the 7th IMT-GT Summit on 25 April 2013 in Brunei Darussalam, the Leaders also welcomed the designation of Melaka, Malaysia, Songkhla, Thailand and Medan, Indonesia as the first three priority cities participating in this initiative. The Summit also directed Melaka to fast track the implementation of 3 initial projects under this program namely;
   •    Energy efficient (EE) State Owned Government Buildings;
   •    Electric Management Unit (EMU) System; and
   •    Green City Benchmarking and Baseline Indexing.
The progress update of the projects will be updated to the Leaders during 8th IMT-GT Summit on May 2014 in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

 

Melaka has already embarked on a path towards sustainable urban growth. Efforts include government led policies and projects, as well as private sector and citizen initiatives, that seek to enhance livability in Melaka. Melaka took a first step in preparing a comprehensive approach towards urban sustainability, when it adopted the Green Technology Blueprint in 2011 and formalized a vision to transform Melaka into a Green Technology state by 2020. In addition, Melaka established the Green Technology Council for the purposes of overseeing efforts to achieve the vision.

 

The Green City Action Plan is a next step towards helping Melaka reaching its vision. It is based on the underlying premise that integrated and comprehensive approaches will lead to a greener Melaka. Five types of actions are recommended to promote such integrated and comprehensive approaches:

 

‘Process-oriented actions’ that institutionalize coordination, stakeholder engagement and cross-disciplinary decision-making during implementation and monitoring;

‘Planning actions’ that require a comprehensive view of a topic to identify follow up actions (examples include, a Watershed Plan or an Energy Plan);

‘Feasibility studies’ that require a detailed multi-criteria evaluation of a specific intervention before proceeding with large investments;

‘Specific government programs’aimed at achieving specific outputs that require recurring government engagement to further integrated;development; and

‘Demonstration projects’that consist of specific activities that showcase best practices to raise awareness and build capacities towards achieving a greener Melaka.

 

The GCAP provides a set of recommendations that are aimed at maintaining Melaka’s competitiveness as a popular tourist and investment destination, keeping environmental challenges to a minimum, and establishing the state as a role model for livability in the region.