The Kochi Municipal Corporation is implementing a programme named ‘A tree for a child’, as part of its environment conservation initiatives for the city. The initiative aims at increasing the number of trees per person in the city. As per the programme, the parents of a new born in the city can plant and nurture a tree in the name of the newborn. And the tree will be handed over to his/her name, when the infant is grownup.
According to mayor Soumini Jain, this unique project will be a role model for the entire country. The mayor inaugurated the project by planting a tree in the name of 3-months old Niranjan Menon of Vipanchika house at MG Road on June 4, ahead of World Environment Day on June 5, 2019.
The Subhash Bose park which is maintained by the Center for Heritage, Environment and Development is rich in biodiversity. Under the interact bio project, jointly conducted by Kochi Municipal Corporation, c-hed and ICLEI, Mapping, Identification and Naming of trees in Subhash Bose Park were done. A total of 434 trees were identified which included 61 species of 24 families of which 157 are indigenous trees and 277 are alien trees.
The tree naming ceremony and the handbook release were held in Subhash park on the 6th of February 2019. The trees were tied with boards containing their common name, scientific name and their native and the handbook containing details of the trees in the park was released by Justice (retd.) K. Sukumaran, an enthusiast in environment conservation. Mayor Soumini Jain presided over the event which was also attended by Imani Kumar, director, ICLEI- South Asia.
The CEPT University is conducting a drawing workshop “The sudden change of the line” as part of their winter school 2018 program. The workshop started on December 17th 2018 and has 19 students from various streams participating. The program is known for its distinctive spirit provides a dynamic and multicultural learning experience where the students can go beyond the structured classrooms to an intellectually stimulating and innovative sessions. The workshop will engage the students to document the buildings at various locations in Kochi for educational purpose through pictures/photographs under the guidance of Prof. Hans Van der Pas, using an innovative design tool. The final day will showcase the work carried out by the students from the past weeks. The summer winter school of the CEPT University provides a valuable learning experience through exposure and interaction. The winter school 2018 is held in Kochi with the support of c-hed.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India had launched a scheme on “Development of Solar Cities”. Under this scheme Kochi was selected as one among the 60 cities to be supported for development as “Solar/ Green Cities”. The council of the Kochi Municipal Corporation had assigned the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development(c-hed), an institution under the Kochi Municipal Corporation, the task of functioning as the Solar City Cell. As part of the cell’s campaigning activities, the Kochi solar city cell had conducted a poster designing competition with the theme “My vision of Kochi as a Clean Energy City” for the students in the grades 8, 9 and 10 in September 2018. Around 60 posters which showcased the creative visions of the young minds on the theme of the competition were received. The first six students with the best posters were awarded at the Council hall of the Kochi Municipal Corporation in presence of all the council members. Honorable Mayor gave away the certificates and trophies to the winners. The winners were – First: Nived Prem (TocH Public School), Second: Savvy Thomas (TocH Public School) Third: Angel Lizbeth (TocH Public School), Consolation: Pooja V Shenoy (Bhavans Vidhya Mandhir), Gayatri B Nair (Chinmaya Vidhyalaya), Shreya Shibu (Bhavans Vidhya Mandhir).
The Urban Pathways project helps delivering on the Paris Agreement and the NDCs in the context of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. It has established a facility in close cooperation with other organisations and networks active in this area to support national and local governments to develop action plans and concrete implementation measures to boost low-carbon urban development. This builds on UN-Habitat’s role as “a focal point on sustainable urbanisation and human settlements including in the implementation and follow-up and review of the New Urban Agenda”. The project develops national action plans and local implementation concepts in key emerging economies with a high mitigation potential. The local implementation concepts are being developed into bankable projects, focusing on the access to urban basic services to create a direct link between climate change mitigation and sustainable development goals.
URBAN PATHWAYS PROJECT CONCEPT – The project follows a structured approach to boost Low Carbon Plans for urban mobility, energy and waste management services that deliver on the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda. The project works on concrete steps towards a maximum impact with regards to the contribution of urban basic services (mobility, energy and waste management) in cities to global climate change mitigation efforts and sustainable and inclusive urban development. This project makes an active contribution to achieve global climate change targets to a 1.5°C stabilisation pathway by unlocking the global emission reduction potential of urban energy, transport and resource sectors. The project will contribute to a direct emission reduction in the pilot and outreach countries, which will trigger a longer term emission reduction with the aim to replicate this regionally and globally to make a substantial contribution to the overall emission reduction potential.
PROJECT AIMS – This project implements integrated urban services solutions as proposed in the New Urban Agenda, providing access to jobs and public services in urban areas, contributing to equality and social coherence and deliver on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. This is the first dedicated implementation action oriented project, led by UN-Habitat to deliver on inclusive, low-carbon urban services. Securing sustainability and multiplier effect, the project aims to leverage domestic and international funding for the implementation projects that will follow from this initiative.
The city of Kochi is the only city from India selected for this project. The Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development has been coordinating the project and is the nodal agency for the same. In this regard a consultative meeting was convened by the Kochi Municipal Corporation to discuss feasible interventions on urban basic services focusing on the city’s public transport system, urban energy and waste management. Target participants for the workshop were representatives from Municipal Departments relating to Natural Resources and Environment, Transport, Energy, Waste Management, Urban Planning and Investment, relevant institutions, NGOs and international organizations.
The renovated sculptures in the Subash Chandra Bose Park, was dedicated to the city on 6th of February 2018 by Artist Namboodiri and literary critic Prof. M.K. Sanoo who were the Guest of Honors for the evening. The renovated work was unveiled in the presence of Hon’ble Mayor Smt. Soumini Jain, Kochi Municipal Corporation Chairpersons A.B. Sabu, Shiny Mathew and Gracy Joseph and K.J. Antony (Leader of Opposition).
The artists, who came up with the sculptures about 28 years ago, worked in the camp to revive the original glory of the sculptures. Seven artists were available to revive their own works and they also helped to restore the work of other artists who were now unable to participate. The work also included landscaping, setting access and lighting.
The Subhash Bose Park lying on the banks of the Ernakulam backwaters and facing the harbour is the most scenic, tranquil and highly frequented public space in the city. As the city chokes with ever-growing traffic and congested living conditions, this park has become the green lung and breathing space for the citizens. The park was given a major changeover in tune with the changing times and demands of the people of the city in the recent past.
Around the Southern quarter of the park are several stunning sculptures and installations lying in poor rusting condition. These have a glorious story of its own and are the works of 14 eminent artists which include Japanese sculptor Hiroshi Mikami, Dutch sculptor Gerard Howeler, Irish Sculptor Fred Conlon et.al who converged to participate in the first International Symposium of Sculptors (Sculptors Camp) held in the park in 1990.
In order to restore these great works, a restoration camp was envisaged and was officially inaugurated by the Hon’ble Mayor Smt. Soumini Jain on 24th of January 2018 in the presence of Shri. M.D. Varghese, Cochin Shipyard Limited , Chairpersons of the Kochi Municipal Corporation, artitsts and various other stakeholders. The camp will be held till 6th of February 2018.
The city of Kochi has been invited to be part of new initiative – the Urban Pathways project that aims at action delivering on the New Urban Agenda in the context of the Paris Agreement by the UN Habitat. This is in continuation with the SOLUTIONs project (Sharing Opportunities for Low carbon Urban TransportationS) in which Kochi was a take-up city. In this regard, a preliminary meeting was held on 22nd of January , 2018 from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Ernakulam Government Guest House. The meeting aimed at shaping the local activities of this new initiative to develop implementation concepts for low-carbon urban energy, mobility and waste management solutions. It also included discussions on specific implementation actions, planning, financing and governance strategies and discussions with Key stakeholders.
The Urban Pathways project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Environment (BMUB) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The project is jointly implemented by the UN – HABITAT, UN Environment and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and Environment.
The project aims to work at an urban level in cities in Latin America, Africa and Asia to encourage the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project aims to assist cities in increasing their technical know-how through various capacity building activities and bring cities working on a common goal together through city twinning. The project aims to work on 3 major urban issues viz. Urban Mobility, Urban Resource Management, and Urban Energy.
Kochi is the only city selected in India as the pilot partner of the project .
A trade mission from Belgium led by Ambassador Jan Luykx and Consul-General Bart De Groof has offered technology solutions and ideas for the Kochi Smart City programme. During a joint session organised by the Belgium Embassy in India, Brussels Invest and Export, Kochi Municipal Corporation and Cochin Smart Mission Ltd on Monday, presentations and B2B (business-to-business) discussions were held on various urban development components, including waste management, e-governance solutions, public transport, public space management, energy, industries, street lighting and engineering solutions for infrastructure development.
The representatives of five major Belgian companies made presentations based on which the
interactions were held.The purpose of the trade mission visit was to showcase the best practices from Belgium and to have an exchange of ideas on the future of urban development in our respective cities.The meting was organised by c-hed.
As part of the SOLUTIONS project, UN-Habitat Urban Basic Services Branch Urban Mobility Unitse Sustainable Urban Mobility Specialist Ms. Stefanie Holzwarth visited Cochin and met Mayor Soumini Jain and Dr. Rajan Chedambath, Director , Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development to discuss on the various transportation initiatives of Cochin and to know more on UMTA and Non-Motarised Transport in the city. She also spoke on various other mobility projects that could be implemented in Cochin with the support of European Union.
The SOLUTIONS Project , funded by European Union , is being coordinated by c-hed .