Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. was invited by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific ROAP to participate in a three-day learning visit in Japan.
The governor joined the Learning Visit to the Kitakyushu Eco-Town Model and the 14th UN-Habitat Environmental Technology Expert Group Meeting (EGM) held in the cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu on September 11 to 13, 2023.
He was accompanied by Provincial Planning and Development Office chief Mario Nillos. There were also 14 delegates from other local government units and the UN-Habitat personnel from the Philippines.
During the first day, the Philippine contingent visited the Kitakyushu Eco-Town Project which showcases conservation policy and industrial promotion policy. It utilizes industrial infrastructure and technological capabilities.
The resource speakers from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) lectured on the “Journey to Creating Sustainable Cities".
Acting as a regional hub, the IGES promotes zero carbon, circular economy and Sustainable Development Goals to realize Sustainable Cities.
After the presentation, the group was toured to the food waste recycling facility. The food waste including fermented waste from food plants, hospitals, restaurants, and local public bodies as well as other city businesses is collected and fully composted and then sold to farmers and others for reuse.
On the second day on September 12, Governor Defensor was among the presenters during the UN-Habitat 14th Environmental Technology Expert Group Meeting with the theme, 'Sustainable Urban Development Through Climate Adaptation and Action'.
The event brought together a selection of private sector partners in Japan and senior government officials from Asia Pacific partner cities.
Defensor highlighted in the presentation his 'Purok Resilience' program that aims to resettle communities in vulnerable areas to flooding, storm surges and landslides.
The governor underscored that the programs and services of the provincial government on disaster management and climate change adaptation are in sync with the national government through its various national government agencies.
Asia Country presentation followed from the representatives of Cambodia, Mongolia, Nepal, Vietnam and the Philippines.
On the third day, the delegates visited the Taiho Metals which is a flood lock factory. They also went to Shabondama Soap Factory for a lecture and tour.
The presence of Governor Defensor in the event is in preparation for the proposed engagement of the Iloilo Provincial Government and the UN-Habitat to its TRANSCEND Project otherwise known as the “Transformative Actions for Climate and Ecological Protection and Development".
The TRANSCEND project would also be collaborated by both national and international partners.