Nairobi, 1 August 2016 – The City Prosperity Initiative – Metropolitan Cities (CPI-MC) and the Greener Cities Partnership (GCP) recently launched an International Pilot Programme in the City of Qazvin to monitor Sustainable Development Goals with an urban environment connection. The objective is to enable the municipality to create baseline data on the prosperity of the city related to urban SDGs indicators – and with the support of the GCP, monitor specific urban environmental indicators. The city of Qazvin is the first city in the world to use the CPI as a platform for urban environmental SDGs monitoring, involving two UN agencies (UN-Habitat and UNEP). The pilot was initiated by UN-Habitat in partnership with International City Leaders (ICL), a Canadian NGO.

The Deputy President, Massoumeh Ebtekar, who is also the Head of the Department of Environment (DoE), as well as the Deputy Head of the DoE, Seyed Mohammad Mojabi, endorsed the collaboration with UN-Habitat and UNEP. Choosing Qazvin is of strategic significance: not only is Qazvin one of the oldest cities in Iran, rich in culture and history, and geographically diverse, Qazvin also has an impressive history of innovative development programmes, and has received several environmental certificates and other awards. The city continues to grow, and needs to establish a solid monitoring system specifically linked to environmental challenges, which help to collect long-term data and analyze these for more sustainable policies and results.

There are over 20 SDG indicators that have direct relevance to the urban environment. The GCP proposed the City of Qazvin to work together on establishing a set of indicators most relevant to the local challenges that the city faces. These challenges include issues such as air pollution, dust storms, the decay of green historic and public sites, transport, but also those of water scarcity, climate change, and waste management among others. The GCP and CPI will monitor the indicators for a mutually agreed period of time. By the end of 2016, a policy action plan derived from the data and information obtained through the CPI framework will be presented by the Mayor to be discussed with local stakeholders.

It is expected that the action plan will improve the prosperity of the city in a multi-dimensional way, touching on areas of urban ecology, urban governance, urban planning and basic services, and municipal finance, among others. Addressing the GCP and UN-Habitat, Ms. Ebtekar indicated that “the CPI is instrumental, and the linkage between the environment and cities is crucial. The country will face an increasing number of complex environmental issues for urban areas. This requires an inter-sectorial cooperation. Therefore, we welcome the very important initiative of the Greener Cities Partnership, and assure our support to the City of Qazvin.”