The Global Platform for Sustainable Cities (GPSC) is organizing a monthly online series focusing on project implementation throughout the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot program of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
“Asunción Green City of the Americas - Pathways to Sustainability” is a project that is part of the GPSC and is led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with financing from GEF and a national counterpart. The project seeks to improve the quality of life in Asunción and its Metropolitan Area by achieving sustainable and resilient cities through integrating mobility and transport, managing solid waste and green areas, and implementing disaster risk reduction strategies.
The speakers showcased how Asunción’s metropolitan area has grown; though horizontal and expansive, it has been respectful of large green areas. Asunción’s history and cultural appreciation of biodiversity has ensured this remainder of large green areas conserves a diverse presence of fauna and flora. However, modern urban growth has made a significant impact at the expense of available green spaces and affected the very cultural connection that Asunción has come to love.
During the session attendees heard about the interesting species that are still preserved in Asunción’s metropolitan green areas and the main characteristics of the ecosystems. The speakers focused on the project’s actions in biodiversity conservation and preservation of urban green areas as follows: (i) Habitat restoration at the “Banco San Miguel” ecological reserve and at “Parque Guasu Metropolitano” park; (ii) Strengthening urban forest nurseries with modern techniques to improve native species’ availability, increasing the quality and diversity of urban trees; and (iii) Promoting a green corridor in Asunción’s metropolitan area and improving management in green areas that comprise the green corridor.
Introduction and Welcome
Xueman Wang, Senior Urban Specialist, World Bank
Silvia Morimoto, Resident Representative in Paraguay, UNDP
Ariel Oviedo, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Paraguay
Irene Gauto, Technical Assistant, “Asunción Green City of the Americas – Pathways to Sustainability”
Guillermo González, Technical Specialist, Ministry of Public Works and Communications
Aloke Barnwal, Senior Climate Change Specialist and Coordinator-Sustainable Cities, Global Environment Facility
Alejandra Kemper, Project Manager, UNDP
This online session was hosted via Zoom and simultaneously interpreted between Spanish and English.
Irene Gauto. Biologist with several years of experience in conservation biology and environmental projects. Graduated from the Asuncion National University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Geneva University. Irene worked and performed trainings in botanical gardens and led ex situ conservation projects for globally threatened plants. Currently working at UNDP Paraguay as technical assistant for the project Asuncion green city of the Americas - pathways to sustainability. She is responsible of supporting local governments in the improvement of urban green areas´ management.
Guillermo González. Environmental consultant for the Ministry of Public Works and Communications of Paraguay, has served as head of the Department of Environmental Impact Assessment at the same institution, and has participated in the implementation and improvement of the environmental management system. Guillermo studied biology at the University of Guadalajara (Mexico) and prior to joining the MOPC, he studied a master's degree in City and Environment at the Faculty of Architecture of the National University of La Plata (Argentina). He is currently a student of the master's degree of the UniTwin/UNESCO Chair Program of sustainable development of the Latin American Forum of Environmental Sciences.
Alejandra Kemper. Project manager of the project “Asuncion Green City of the Americas – Pathways to Sustainability” funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), led by the Ministry of Environment of Paraguay and implemented by UNDP. She is an Environmental Engineer from the Catholic University of Asuncion, and holds a MSc in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development from Imperial College London, England and a Specialisation in Environmental Management from the Technical University of Dresden, Germany. Alejandra has more than ten years’ experience on natural resources management, climate change and sustainable development. She has worked as an environmental specialist in water and sanitation and infrastructure projects at the national level, as an environmental consultant in the areas of territorial and land-use planning, analysis of environmental and social impacts and climate change in projects from the World Bank, the Interamerican Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and as a university lecturer. She is a member of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) and the International Water Association (IWA).