Rapid urbanization in Asia and the Pacific is leading to an increase of urban poverty in many countries, with about 1/3 of the region’s urban population now estimated to live in slums. Coastal areas of the Asia and Pa-cific region were identified by IPCC as particularly exposed to climate change. The urban poor are particu-larly vulnerable to climate change as their settlements are often on marginal land, with poor quality of hous-ing and infrastructure, and they lack adequate coping mechanisms and asset security when disaster strikes. If these climate change challenges are unmet by cities and no adaptive measures are set, it would compro-mise the achievement of most MDG targets and exacerbate the situation of the region’s urban poor.
Despite an emerging understanding of the threats, most local governments, especially those of smaller cities and towns, are still ill-equipped to face the challenges that climate change brings. There are limitations in conducting vulnerability assessments and in developing adaptation and mitigation plans, and urban govern-ance structures are already greatly challenged by the speed and magnitude of urbanization with climate change now presenting greater pressures. Meanwhile external support for cities is limited, especially in the Pacific where none of the bigger Climate Change initiatives have an urban component.
Increased local government awareness and capacity to conduct integrated climate change vulner-ability assessments and develop adaptation and mitigation options
Strengthened regional cooperation and knowledge sharing mechanisms on climate risk manage-ment, including through sharing of good practices