On the sidelines of the Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum held last September in Naples, Italy, UN-Habitat convened an Interregional Steering Committee meeting to review the status of the Global Energy Network for the Urban Settlements (GENUS) initiative and to discuss the draft Anchoring Strategy of the initiative beyond the Development Account Support.
UN-Habitat hosts GENUS, which brings together institutions and stakeholders working on slum electrification, pro-poor urban mobility and waste-to-energy. It aims at facilitating new and dynamic collaboration, dialogue and information sharing.
The meeting brought together Regional Steering Committee members from Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as key stakeholders attending the World Urban Forum interested in joining the GENUS network. All members presented a summary of relevant key activities that each of them is undertaking.
Furthermore, each participant identified opportunities for contributing to the GENUS Network by leveraging ongoing or planned initiatives but, more importantly, participants highlighted different ways in which they found the GENUS Network useful in enhancing their activities. The GENUS Network welcomed six additional members, namely: the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC); the Chad-based Enterprise for Vocational Development (ENVODEV); the Appropriate Rural Technologies Institute (ARTI) based in India; the Fundacion Bariloche based in Argentina, and CUBASOLAR based in Argentina and Cuba, respectively.
The participants agreed to broaden the existing three thematic areas (slum electrification, waste-to-energy and mobility) to include, the following topics, in an attempt to align the GENUS Network with the UN Secretary General’s initiative on “Sustainable Energy for All”:
- Access to sustainable cooking and heating/cooling systems;
- Appropriate renewable energy and energy efficiency measures for the urban poor;
- Impact of financial strategies (including subsidies).
The Steering Committee also agreed that thematic issues should not be confined to one geographic region. Rather, thematic issues cutting across the three geographical focal regions of the GENUS Network – Africa, South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean – will be given greater attention.
An in-depth discussion followed the presentation of the draft Anchoring Strategy for GENUS. The Anchoring Strategy document aims at reviewing a number of key elements of the GENUS Network with the objective of setting the stage for Network to evolve into a more sustainable networking platform. The proposed strategy provides suggestions on the following issues:
- A review and expansion of the thematic areas covered by GENUS;
- Options for maximizing impact of GENUS Network;
- Some adjustments to organizational, membership and governance structure;
- Financial and human resource requirements for the Network;
- Options for mobilization of financial resources; and,
- Useful lessons that GENUS could draw from other networks
As the way forward, the Steering Committee resolved that the GENUS Network will primarily focus on “Pro-poor Access to Urban Energy Services” including household energy, mobility, energy efficiency, and energy for productive uses. In addition, a set of regional meetings are planned in the last quarter of 2012 in Dakar, New Delhi and Mexico City to create wider awareness of the GENUS Network as well as to obtain additional views on the draft Anchoring Strategy.
For more information, please contact:
Chief, Urban Energy Unit
United Nations Avenue, Gigiri
P.O. Box 30030 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254-20) 7624343,
Fax: (254-20) 7623080