“Asuncion Green City of the Americas – Pathways to Sustainability” is one of the GEF investments aiming to support Asuncion’s ambition to become a green and sustainable city. Through an integrated approach, the project seeks to advance integrated land use planning of the Metropolitan Area of Asuncion (AMA), reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation and waste, reduce unintentionally produced persistent organic pollutants, and improve protected area management in the AMA.
Since the AMA population has dramatically increased in the last couple of decades, unstructured growth has created a series of challenges, such as lack of adequate and integrated urban planning, sustainable transportation, solid waste management, and management of green areas. The project has strengthened inter-governmental coordination and a roadmap of integrated sustainable and resilient urban planning. It has also adopted a people-centric approach demonstrated through a participatory design of a 600 km bicycle lane network and community-led restoration of an ecological reserve in the AMA. Furthermore, it developed National Plans for the Integrated Management of Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Management, and validated a proposed plan to recognize and consolidate a green corridor with relevant stakeholders.
This brief introduces key success factors for the project and lessons learned. Adaptive management was necessary to absorb changes and institutional capacity building was critical. In addition, a key to successful implementation was an innovative governance system for relevant stakeholder engagement to improve lack of coordination among different national and local government institutions. The project also promoted joint initiatives between government and the private sector to advance good practices in waste segregation and promote a circular economy together with local vulnerable communities. Development of different kind of knowledge products and training to provide technical guidance was another success factor to ensure and scale up the activities.