Leading experts within the field of urban sustainability around the globe have proclaimed Pasig City as the Philippine National Capital of the 2017-2018 edition of World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), a biennial global challenge that recognizes cities for developing infrastructure, housing, transport, and mobility solutions to power the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. This edition saw 133 countries representing 23 countries accepting the Challenge.

Pasig’s concrete and comprehensive actions to reduce its carbon emissions, particularly its plan to reduce traffic emissions and congestions as well as its targeted actions around renewable energy and energy efficiency, truly reflected the “sustainable transport and mobility” theme of this run of the OPCC and have made the city eligible for the Global OPCC Prize, which will be awarded in September.  The jury also particularly appreciated the city’s strong community engagement and its adaptation actions, such as the cleaning of the Pasig River and its firm alignment of actions to emissions reduction and execution of said actions.

Seven other Philippine cities, namely Batangas, Catbalogan, Makati, Parañaque, San Carlos, Tagum, and Zamboanga have successfully qualified to join the 2017-2018 OPCC based on the criteria announced early in 2017. The cities of Makati, Pasig, and San Carlos went on to become national finalists and participated in the “We Love Cities” global campaign from May 7 until the end of June 2018.

The City of Jakarta bagged the top plum in the campaign, which is a social media contest that is aimed at inspiring and engaging the respective citizens of the national finalists across the globe for support, votes, and ideas for improvement while Pasig came in second.

Launched in 2011 as the Earth Hour City Challenge, the OPCC highlights the crucial role that cities play in the transition toward a low-carbon and sustainable future. Since then, over 400 countries from 5 continents have heeded the call to sustainably address fast and large transformations in population, consumption patterns, resource use, and waste management. The Philippines joined the Challenge in its 2015-2016 run.

An awarding ceremony for the OPCC national winner, finalists, and qualifiers of the Philippines will cap off a two-day workshop to be held at Marco Polo Ortigas from August 9 to 10, 2018.

Visit www.panda.org/opcc and http://www.welovecities.org/ for further details.

ComCo Southeast Asia is the communications partner of WWF-Philippines.