NIUA, WRI India Announce the Leaders in Climate Change Management Program to help urban professionals champion climate action in India

Mumbai : In conjunction with the World Environment Day that was observed on June 5, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and World Resources Institute (WRI) India, jointly announced ‘Leaders in Climate Change Management’ (LCCM), a practice-based learning program that aims at building capacity among urban professionals to lead climate action across sectors and geographies in India. To facilitate this face-to-face learning program, the Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Mysuru, also singed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NIUA and WRI India today, becoming the first delivery partner of the LCCM program.

LCCM envisions capacitating 5,000 professionals, including mid to junior-level government officials and frontline workers, and preparing them to champion climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions towards a coordinated effort to achieve India’s climate commitments. The launch also marked the achievements of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs towards India’s urban climate goals.

The Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, launching the learning program and a half-day workshop to build capacities among climate leaders in Indian cities, said, “It is most appropriate and fitting that we are launching the (LCCM) program today immediately after the celebration of World Environment Day yesterday. This program is another initiative in a long line of government interventions to not only combat climate change but also to build a new path of sustainable development that fulfils our economic conditions.”

 

At COP26 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a five-fold strategy – Panch Amrit – to global leaders, extending India’s co-operation to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius targets. The LCCM program, designed and implemented in partnership with the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and Indian School of Business (ISB), aims to strengthen India’s workforce to achieve this goal.

LCCM is a blended learning program for urban practitioners looking to upskill and prepare themselves to deliver effective climate action. The program has four phases: the first phase- is an online learning module that can be completed over eight weeks; the next includes face-to-face sessions spanning four to six days; the third phase mandates participants to complete a project over six to eight months and attending exposure visits; and the final phase includes networking and establishing a community of practice.

The online learning will be hosted on the National Urban Learning Platform (NULP), the capacity building arm of NIUA. It will also be hosted and supported by ATI, Mysuru. The program aims to sign similar MoUs with ATIs across India over the next few months.

Mr Puri also launched the Climate Data Observatory 2.0 website, Knowledge Product on Public Spaces, Urban Outcomes Framework 2022 – Data Collection Portal, and Citizen Engagement for Urban Transport Compendium, to celebrate another milestone achieved by NIUA in the urban environment sector. The National Climate Photography Award Winners and Stage One qualifying cities for Transport 4All Innovation Challenge were also announced.

In his keynote address, Mr Puri, said, “In the last eight years, the Modi government has taken many concrete steps in pushing the sustainability agenda forward. At COP26 in Glasgow, the PM announced India’s aggressive agenda on climate change through the Panch Amrit action plan which envisages India becoming a net-zero emission country by 2070.

 

“The LCCM program launched today, seeks to not only identify hundreds of climate leaders but also focus on how these leaders can be oriented in terms of their training and how will they move forward. The very fact that we are thinking about this is a revolutionary step,” he said.

Mr Kunal Kumar, IAS, Joint Secretary, MoHUA, said, “To achieve these goals, we need to have Innovation, Participation, Technology, Integration and Capacity Optimization. We have already started on this journey through various missions of the Government of India, including the Smart Cities Mission. MoHUA, in collaboration with the French Development Agency (AFD), European Union and NIUA, launched the initiative – City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) as an Urban Innovation mechanism. The program has developed project management tools and frameworks across the urban sector, including environmental and social safeguards. Leaders in Climate Change Management (LCCM) is connected to the CITIIS program. The first cohort of the LCCM program will have participants from the 12 cities getting assistance under the CITIIS program. LCCM will become an integral part of CITIIS 2.0, as it will act as a capacity-building arm.”

Dr OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India, presenting the LCCM program, its structure and its aim to upskill urban climate leadership in India, said, “The key challenge in building capacity for mid-career professionals is using the right kind of pedagogy – a teaching style that encourages learning by doing, rather than by just listening to lectures. The LCCM has fully recognized this and adopted this kind of teaching style.

 

Mrs V Manjula, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka and DG, ATI Mysuru, said, “As a premier training institution in Karnataka, with an established center for sustainable development goals, we find resonance in this program. We intend to leverage this collaboration and the experience gained in the process as a springboard for launching an extensive state level training partner program in LCCM, and to emerge as a center of excellence at the national level for LCCM.”

 

Mr Hitesh Vaidya, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, said, “Given the rate of investments towards urban sectors in India, for example $30 billion for the smart cities program, the need for incorporating climate action within existing and future investments towards physical, social, and environmental services is paramount to ensure sustainable development. Through LCCM, the National Institute of Urban Affairs will be working toward its goal of building capacities and knowledge dissemination on dynamic discourse of urban issues, with reference to the climate change issues.”

The launch event was followed by a half-day workshop addressed by Mr Hitesh Vaidya, director, NIUA, who spoke about the role of the institution in anchoring capacity building training in the urban sector. A panel discussion on the Capacities for Climate Leadership in Indian Cities was joined by industry experts including Dr B R Mamatha, IAS, Jt Director-General, ATI, Mysuru; Mr Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA; Mr Atul Bagai, Country Head, United Nations Environment Program, India; Mr Anshu Bharadwaj, CEO, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation; Dr Sanjeev Chadha, Professor and Head, Urban Development Center and Leadership Development Center, Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration; and Ms Rejeet Mathews, Program Director, Urban Development, WRI India. The discussion was moderated by Dr OP Agarwal (Rtd IAS), CEO, WRI India.

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