Philip Sayeg

CAGAYAN de Oro City is one of two cities in the country chosen by the German Technical Cooperation for the Clean Air for Small Cities project under the Clean Air Initiative (CAI)-Asia.

The project, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, aims to improve the air quality in non-metropolitan areas in Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) countries, help the stakeholders in understanding clean air issues as well as developing detailed planning and implementation of clean air measures.

Aside from Cagayan de Oro, the other city included in the project is Iloilo in the Visayas.

On Wednesday, two German experts met with representatives from the academe specifically Xavier University, the government, the transport sector, industries and non-government organizations at the City Tourism Hall to discuss the details of the project.

Roland Haas, principal advisor and project coordinator from GTZ, said other countries participating in the project with two cities each as well are Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Haas said the two cities in each country are selected based on transparent criteria.

“Smaller cities play a vital role in the national development but suffer from extensive environmental degradation,” Haas explained.

For Iloilo, Haas said the road map mission to plan activities towards a clean air plan was completed in October 2009 and the executive order creating the city’s coalition on clean air and climate change was launched early January this year.

He said Cagayan de Oro is still on its way to the road map mission to plan activities related to the project.

Phil Sayeg, an international transport expert, facilitated the meeting as the German experts get inputs from the different stakeholders present.

Once provided with a concrete plan for the proper implementation of the project’s action plans, Haas said the stakeholders would also seek the active participation of the residents to ensure the project’s success. (Alamira Alonto/MSU-Marawi Intern)

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