The Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) is a joint UN-HABITAT/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) capacity-building and institutional strengthening facility, with the goal of ensuring environmentally sustainable local development fully realises the vital contributions that urban areas make to overall social and economic development. SCP promotes good environmental governance at all levels to support local and national partners adopt environmental planning management (EPM) processes and integrate good practice into national policy and legal frameworks.
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The Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) - Asia
The 21st century undoubtedly marks the beginning of the 'city millennium', with more than half of the world's six billion people expected to be living in cities by the end of 2007. Currently, Asia accounts for 40 percent of world's urban population, which will increase to 56 percent by year 2030. Moreover, Asian cities will house more than half the world's urban population, i.e. 2.66 billion out of a total of 4.94 billion. This trend further increases the already enormous pressure on city managers and urban management institutions, structures and human capacities to cope with urbanization. Not only must they find ways to reduce the obvious environmental degradation that occurs, but now also have to address a wider array of more complex sustainable urban development issues as cities become more vulnerable to climate change impacts. Thus, it is increasingly necessary to find better ways of balancing the needs and pressures of urban growth, and change with the opportunities and constraints of the local environmental resource base.
The Sustainable Cities Programme-Asia (SCP-Asia) provides a well-proven Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) process to help cities respond to these challenges. Since its launch in 1995, the programme has grown from an UN-HABITAT Chennai-city based initiative, testing ways to integrate environmental concerns into urban development decision-making, to become an Asia Regional Environmental Support Programme based in UN-HABITAT's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP). Today it provides capacity-building and institutional strengthening support to some 66 demonstration cities and their national partners in 10 countries, with specialised technical support from the Global Programme Team in Nairobi.
SCP-Asia applies Agenda 21 principles to support implementation of the Habitat Agenda and MDGs 7/10 and 7/11, whilst building local capacities to apply UNEP's global environmental conventions and agreements at the local and national levels.
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