The Kochi Corporation has prepared a local biodiversity strategy and action plan which sets 29 goals for the city to achieve on biodiversity conservation by 2025. The city is the first in the country to develop a ‘scientifically informed and participatory’ action plan, according to Mayor Soumini Jain’s message in the plan.
The plan was readied as part of the Integrated Subnational Action for Biodiversity (Interact-Bio) project being implemented in the city by the civic administration’s Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED), which is collaborating with ICLEI-South Asia. The plan is meant to function as a tool that the local government can use to take action related to the conservation of biodiversity and climate resilience. It identifies nine focus areas including islands, lakes, agriculture, green and open spaces, inland waterbodies, marshes and mangroves, and seashore and sandbars. The 29 goals under these focus areas include mapping of agricultural land, identification of new cultivable land, conservation of paddy fields, transitioning to a low emission city and protecting green spaces.
Actions to be taken include setting up decentralised sewage treatment plants, developing a geo-referenced map of inland waterbodies, establishing a special purpose vehicle for management of the Vembanad Lake and sea-wall construction using eco-friendly methods like setting up mangrove nurseries.
Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC), with the support and cooperation of GIZ India, under the “Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities” (SUD-SC) project, has launched the ‘EnteKochi-Competition’ – a novel approach to a national-level ‘Urban Design Competition’ (UDC), that aims to jointly ‘design the future city’ of Kochi. Multi-disciplinary teams of professionals from diverse backgrounds (Social Sciences, Humanities, Ecology & Environmental Sciences, Spatial Planning, Architecture, Urban design and allied fields) participated in the competition. EnteKochi Competition jury met virtually in September 2020 and selected the Winning Entries of the EnteKochi Urban Design Competition. Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) coordinated the event on behalf of Kochi Municipal corporation.
The 3 winning teams of the EnteKochi Urban Design Competition will now have the opportunity to jointly develop the detailed plans in a participatory manner for implementation in EnteKochi (My Kochi) in close cooperation with the organizers – the Kochi Municipal Corporation and GIZ India.
The release of the book “Institutional Innovation to Strengthen Urban Local Governments in India, The case of Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED), Kochi Municipal Corporation, Kerala” prepared under SMART-SUD project by GIZ was done by the Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi on September 22, 2020. The report release conducted virtually was attended by counter parts from GIZ, NIUA, GOPA and other partnering institutions.
Here is a short video giving a glimpse of the report.
Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) signed an Memorandum of Understanding with National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), one of the apex research institutes in the country. The Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi who is also the chairman of c-hed and the director of NIUA inked pact for a sustainable and livable Kochi that was held virtually on September 22, 2020. The online agreement signing was attended by counter parts from GIZ, NIUA, GOPA and other partnering institutions. This association will link c-hed to other think tanks, research institution and the knowledge network thereby enabling the institution to grow. This mutual agreement will also provide training and capacity programmes, exchange of information and data sharing and exchange of personals for participation in joint activities.
Here is a short video celebrating that moment.
As part of the India-EU Urban Partnership (IEUP) programme a Kochi Metropolitan Web Lab was organised by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development. Inaugurated by the Hon’ble Mayor, the web lab focused on ‘Resilient Urban Planning’ (given its significance post COVID and resulting issues such as reverse migration). The two week long brainstorming session provided new insights and defined a pipeline of projects for structured metropolitan development in Kochi and its surroundings. The Lab emphasized structural planning around the specific themes of Environment, Transport, Housing, Productive Activities (economic aspects) and Social facilities (social infrastructure).
The Metropolitan Lab was facilitated by Dr. Pedro Ortiz, an internationally renowned Planning Professional. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management.
The Web Lab was structured as a participatory workshop with assigned group tasks for participants of the Web Lab and provided a platform for the local expertise to engage with the global views on building a metropolitan region with some light thrown on implementable projects for the Kochi Metropolitan Region.
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.