The ARISE Project is being proposed as an affiliated programme of the Eye on Earth – Community Sustainability & Resiliency (CSR) Special Initiative. The ARISE Initiative is developing innovative public – private partnerships to mobilize the massive capital investment required for resilient and sustainable infrastructure financing in the developing and developed world. Blending grant, loan and equity funding, ARISE seeks ‘green’ infrastructure development solutions for urgent global challenges: stabilizing climate change; building social, economic and ecosystems resilience; eradicating energy poverty; and enhancing energy, water and food security in all nations.
ARISE owes its intellectual origins to the UNFCCC Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planted the main stake in the ground by stating that the world community needed to raise over $100 billion per year by the year 2020 to address climate change mitigation and adaptation. The amount of investment needed for resilient and sustainable infrastructure will be significantly larger. The World Economic Forum estimates that global infrastructure investments are projected to reach $41 trillion over the period 2005-2030, with approximately $6 trillion in potential infrastructure investments currently in the project development pipeline during 2013 – 2015.
The question that motivated ARISE is: where will this investment come from? Given the scale of the challenge, the pace of the required response, and the constricted state of national budgets, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) could play a pivotal role. A fundamental premise of ARISE is that timely and transformative solutions will require novel public-private partnerships, including the Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF’s), multilateral development banks (MDBs), bilateral international aid donor agencies, foundations and the private sector. Each of these funding institutions has its unique purpose, policy, legal framework and fiduciary responsibility to members and stakeholders. However, powerful and compelling strategic objectives unite them: the quest for solutions to daunting global challenges that ensure inclusive economic development and a secure future for all peoples. A supporting premise is that such solutions will require a new paradigm: the deployment of smart physical, technological and information infrastructure that yields significant financial, social and environmental benefits.
The concept for the ARISE Initiative was developed in 2010 by Dr. David Jhirad at the JHU – ERE Program, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, which provided an exploratory grant to test the feasibility of the main hypothesis. The concept was refined further at the Eye-on-Earth Summit in December 2011, in association with Warren Evans at the World Bank, GPC President, Mark Sorensen, Dr. Marcelo de Andrade, a Director of Earth Capital Partners, Dr. Steeve Ebener, CEO of Gaia Geosystems and Dr. Kate Lance, Senior Consultant, Info:Infrastructure, LLC. The ARISE Initiative will support development of ‘green’ and resilient infrastructure investment partnerships and investable portfolios. It will catalyze policy incentives and capacity building to develop a community of practice and collaboration among bilateral donor agencies, MDBs, SWFs, the private sector, project beneficiaries and information infrastructure professionals.
The ARISE Special Initiative includes urban and rural infrastructure projects urgently needed in developing nations and emerging economies to provide social, economic, financial and environmental returns on infrastructure investment, supported by the geospatial and statistical information infrastructure that is needed to ensure that these investments are well informed, coordinated with significant and measurable outcomes. To accomplish this, the ARISE Special Initiative fully integrates dynamic Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Information Communications Technologies (ICT), Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) – through the ARISE – Strengthening Information Infrastructure for Development (SIID) that will support open sharing and dissemination of commonly needed information among participating donor agencies and investors, infrastructure project developers and beneficiary organizations.
The ARISE Initiative was presented to public audiences by Dr. Jhirad at the inaugural Eye on Earth Summit during December 2011 in Abu Dhabi with a moderated panel that included Warren Evans from the World Bank, Dr. Karim Allaoui with the Islamic Development Bank and Dr. Marcelo de Andrade representing ProNatura Brazil and Earth Capital Partners. Following the Summit, the Rockefeller Foundation grant to Dr. David Jhirad enabled further development of the ARISE Initiative which included convening a high-level working group at the Rockefeller Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy, in April 2012 titled “Partnerships for Investment, Innovation, Resilience and Sustainability”.
The ARISE Bellagio meeting brought together senior leadership from government, development banks, think tanks, industry associations, foundations and the private sector to create synergies and actionable outcomes. A key outcome of the Bellagio Conference was the creation of a public-private network of multilateral banks, governments and private entities tasked with facilitating preparation of investment grade portfolios comprised of ‘green’ and sustainable infrastructure projects.
UNEP and AGEDI invited Dr. Jhirad to present ARISE as a proposed new Eye on Earth Special Initiative at the UN Rio+20 Conference in June 2012, where the Initiative gained further endorsements from the World Bank and the bilateral President Obama and Brazil President Rousseff – Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability (JIUS) program and most recently by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). JHU – ERE and its ARISE Initiative are also now founding members of the Global Initiative on Urban Resilience (GIUR), which was formally launched at the UN Rio+20 Conference in June 2012. GIUR alliance members include: the World Bank, U.S. and World Green Building Councils, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, JHU – ERE ARISE, Eye on Earth and UNEP. The GIUR is another way that the ARISE Initiative is already collaborating directly with Eye on Earth and UNEP.
ARISE is fully aligned with the overarching goals of the EoE Community Sustainability & Resiliency (CSR) Special initiative as stated: “to establish an international forum and affiliated projects to link current global urban sustainability and resilience initiatives to facilitate the sharing of information, concepts, challenges and solutions, including urban information infrastructure along both the North-South axis and also between cities of the South. With more that 50% of the world’s 7 billion population residing in urban areas, the CSR Special Initiative is an important and timely issue.
It is recognized that there are numerous challenges in making these cities attractive to both residents and investors, including the need for public transportation, accessibility to potable water and the availability of green space. Urban sustainability increasingly requires resilience again both an-made and natural disasters, as well as the associated effects of climate change. The challenge of the CSR Special Initiative is to utilize information and technology available to improve the planning, management and quality of life in these urban communities.”
ARISE also contributes to EAD – AGEDI and UAE priorities by supporting development of ‘green’ and resilient infrastructure projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. ARISE is now being formally presented to EAD – AGEDI and the EoE Secretariat as an ‘affiliated’ project of the Eye on Community Sustainability and Resiliency (CSR) Special Initiative (http://www.eyeonearthsummit.org/special-initiative-community-sustainability).
ARISE Initiative activities and key deliverables during 2013 and 2014 that will be ready for presentation at the next Eye on Earth Summit – currently planned for March 2014, include the initial phases of the ARISE Partnership and Investable Portfolio Initiative and the ARISE – Strengthening Information Infrastructure Development (SIID) Initiative. These key ARISE activities are fully integrated and respond directly to the goals of the Eye on Earth Summit and the CSR Special Initiative – while also providing opportunities to demonstrate significant results at the next Summit in Abu Dhabi – with emphasis on the MENA region – and that will also have cross-cutting relevance and application for other EoE Special Initiatives. The initial development phase of ARISE will include:
- Convene a series of ARISE partner and potential donor program development workshops in: Abu Dhabi (January 15–16, 2013); Washington DC (March 2013) and New York City (June 2013). A key deliverable of these workshops is to establish investable portfolios and a Global Portfolio Preparation Facility(GPPF) with the founding partners and donors, with special emphasis on the MENA region.
- Produce ARISE multimedia (web, video, print) program content for presentations at conferences and to partners and donors as well as public education and media outreach.
- Continue development and submission of ARISE funding proposals for 2013 – 2015 program development with multilateral development banks, the GEF, bilateral international aid donors, foundations and private corporations.
The initial development phase of the ARISE – SIID will be fully integrated with the activities described above. Well established information infrastructures – through the integration of accessible and reliable information with advanced GIS, SDI and ICT systems – will provide the necessary tools, networks and platforms to:
- Inventory and catalog relevant data sources (socio-economic, bio-physical) to support ARISE urban and rural infrastructure investment, design, development and evaluation;
- Upgrade observation and data collection systems required for resilience infrastructure planning, design, construction and maintenance;
- Improve early warning and forecasting to improve infrastructure adaptation to climate change;
- Establish data access policies and long-term archival procedures for the ARISE Initiative;
- Develop ARISE Initiative services and applications to enable access and use of GIS-, SDI- and ICT-enabled environmental, societal and economic data;
- Incorporate SDI principles into ARISE donor and investor pilot project infrastructure loans, contracts, and grants as a condition of project execution (e.g., open data policies; ensuring that geospatial or related data created through funded projects is developed according to international best practices and repatriated to the project owners in usable digital form);
- Apply the International Alliance of Technology Integrators (IATI) standard for tracking resilient infrastructure projects; work with ARISE participants to refine project coding to better capture information infrastructure and ‘green’ and resilient urban and rural infrastructure portfolios developed as part of the ARISE GPPF and ongoing Initiative.
The integration of these ARISE and SIID activities will support open sharing and dissemination of commonly needed information among participating ‘green’ and resilient infrastructure donor agencies and investors, project developers and public – private beneficiaries.