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Building a Resilient Southeast Asia: WWF, BCG, and Think City Launch SEACAR Alliance at COP28

Dubai, 6 December 2023 – The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Think City, announced the launch of the Report and the Southeast Asia Climate Adaptation and Resilience (SEACAR) Alliance, a regional initiative that aims to emphasise the importance of nature-based solutions (NbS), climate analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in advancing the resilience of cities and communities across six key themes: natural ecosystems, infrastructure, water, agriculture, health, and trade.

The SEACAR Alliance is a response to the urgent need to address the impacts of climate change on the Southeast Asian region, which is home to more than 673.3 million people of the global population, and some of the world's most biodiverse and vulnerable ecosystems. With a focus on collaborative action, the alliance welcomes and encourages other stakeholders, cities, and communities from across the region to join this effort and share ideas, insights, and actions to speed up adaptation and resilience in the region.

Lavanya Rama Iyer, Director of Policy and Climate Change, WWF-Malaysia said, "Nature is the foundation of life. Our disconnect with nature is the root cause of climate change threatening our very existence. In Southeast Asia, where communities and cities are at the forefront of climate change, embracing nature as an ally is not just a choice; it is a necessity for a sustainable and resilient future.”

Dave Sivaprasad, Southeast Asia Lead in Climate & Sustainability, Managing Director & Partner, BCG said, “Southeast Asia is a region that is heavily exposed to the physical impacts of climate change. However, this is also a region rich in nature and natural capital, and we have enormous potential in the region to capitalise on both the oldest and newest solutions to adapt and build resilience. Specifically, this comes in the form of NbS and technology in the form of AI to plan, prioritise, and implement measures to adapt and build resilience for people, communities, and economies in Southeast Asia.” 

Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City said, “Think City is proud to join forces with BCG and WWF in a pivotal collaboration aimed at tackling climate change in Southeast Asia. Our commitment to enhancing livability in cities, as engines of growth, aligns with the recognition that cities play a significant role in climate change, stemming from carbon emissions, pollution, water scarcity, and urban heat island effects. Leveraging our expertise in city making and NbS for climate adaptation, we aim to actively contribute our knowledge and foster partnerships with cities and urban settlements across the region as part of this meaningful alliance.”

The event, which began at 12:30 pm Gulf Standard Time (GST) or 4:30 pm Malaysia Time (MYT), explores the interconnected elements and the transformative potential in addressing the region's climate challenges. Among these speakers were Nigel Topping, COP26 High-Level Champion; Charmian Caines, Global Lead in Adaptation & Resilience, BCG; Aik Hoe Lim, Director of Trade and Environmental Division, WTO; Lavanya Rama Iyer, Director of Policy and Climate Change, WWF-Malaysia; Dave Sivaprasad, Southeast Asia Lead in Climate & Sustainability, Managing Director & Partner, BCG; Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Advisor and Global Lead - Climate Adaptation, WWF Global Climate and Energy Practice; and Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City.

The report is now available for download on WWF-Malaysia’s website here.

~ Ends ~

The Southeast Asia Climate Adaptation and Resilience (SEACAR) Team at COP28 
From left: Tommy Cheo of WWF-Malaysia, Varad Pande of BCG, Anis Mohd Nor of BCG, Dave Sivaprasad of BCG, Hamdan Majeed of Think City, Lavanya Rama of WWF-Malaysia, Ahila Ganesan of Think City, and Jamal Baig of Think City.

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