THE United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) yesterday said it is uniting five Asian cities, including Cebu City, as a core group of cities in the world that will share the same vision, mission, goals, structure and governance.

In a press conference at the Quest Hotel in Cebu City, Unido Eco-City Expert Jan Dictus said that the Japanese Government has approached Unido on its plan to unite five cities in Asia, which can share with each other their best practices.

Dictus said Japan has allocated an initial $500,000 to conduct a one-year research and data-gathering about the plan. The research started in October 2013.

He said Cebu City has been chosen among the five pilot cities because it has already done a lot of programs that promote and protect the environment.

The other four cities are in Thailand, China, Vietnam and Malaysia.

“Through Unido, the Japanese Government wants to unite the cities together and collaborate into a network of cities and learn from each other,” said Dictus.

According to the Unido expert, they already conducted three meetings in the other pilot cities and the fourth meeting was held in Cebu City, with the support of Cebu Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgar Labella and Councilor Nida Cabrera.

Cabrera, who was in the presscon yesterday, said that the Kaabag sa Sugbo Network of

NGOs (non-government organizations), which has 28-member organizations, is also participating in the city governance representing the civil society.

Dictus said that in the Unido Peer Review 2014, the data gathered included Integrated Water Resource Management, Watershed Ecosystem-Based Approach, Upstream-Downstream Linkages, bio-diversity, rainforestation technology, stewardship-intergenerational responsibility, among others.

Dictus said that all the five cities can share with each other their best practices.

“The cities in Vietnam, Thailand, China and Malaysia may adopt the best practices of Cebu City or Cebu City may adopt their respective best practices,” said Dictus.