TAF-KDI School Study Tour on Urban Climate Change Resilience
Asia Development Fellowship in Korea
Seoul, Jeju
November 1-8, 2015

TAF/Korea and ENV jointly organized a 7-day study tour in Korea on urban climate change resilience for participants from four Asian countries. The study tour, funded by the Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management (KDI School) through TAF/KO, drew upon the country’s emerging expertise in this area, leading participants through national, provincial, and municipal policy, planning and administrative infrastructures Korea has developed in response to the emerging threat of climate change. Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, were well represented in the program, with participation from government, academia and NGO in these four countries.

Korea is emerging as a regional leader in climate change planning and response within Asia, actively integrating environmental and climate change related priorities into development planning and implementation at all levels of government. These advances were especially visible in Seoul city government and Jeju Island’s provincial government, where green growth, environmental protection, and climate change resilience were well integrated into respective policies, planning, and agency administrative structures and systems. The group also met with research institutions, private sector, and NGOs, all of whom play a vibrant role in the country’s climate change resilience strategy.

Participant feedback indicated a heightened appreciation for the necessity of strong political leadership to effect real change at each level of government, as well as the political/multi-stakeholder dynamics necessary to build political will to elect such leadership and support that leadership through long-term change. Government-sponsored “think tanks”—capable of providing unbiased analyses on climate vulnerabilities and associated policy options—were likewise seen to be an important element in promoting effective action in Korea.