"So far, we only have one candidate, and many are hoping that she becomes the president of the UCLG-Aspac to bring about change," UCLG-Aspac President Won Hee Ryong remarked during a press conference before the opening of the UCLG-Aspac Congress here on Thursday .
Ryong said several tasks lie ahead for Risma to make Surabaya City clean and comfortable, with several parks and urban forests.
"The main agenda of this congress is to select the president of UCLG-Aspac. I hope that Risma would be an extraordinary president of the UCLG-ASPAC," Ryong noted.
The man, who also serves as governor of Je Ju Province, South Korea, remarked that the UCLG-Aspac had formed several committees in the past four years.
"We hope for greater cooperation and membership," he emphasized.
In the meantime, Risma expressed keenness to strengthen the wisdom of local culture to build cities, especially the resilience of cities or regions against the threat of disasters.
"I have seen in Phuket, Thailand, where the residents had planted pine cones, so they managed to survive the tsunami," Risma pointed out.
Furthermore, she noted that several cities were currently in a critical condition due to the impact of global warming.
"With the local cultural wisdom, the cities can strengthen development to reduce costs," she stated.
UCLG Secretary General Aspac Bernadia Irawati stated that the members along with the increasing number of congress participants had highly lauded the congress held in Surabaya.
"We target the number of participants to reach 800 people, but now, it has reached 1,200 people, who had registered," she noted.
Bernadia added that the theme of the congress was to create innovation, a child-friendly city, and sustainable development.
"The issue of being a `smart city` in sustainable urban development, with local cultural wisdom, will be an interesting material during the discussion of the congress later," she added. *** 4 ***
Reporting by Abdul Hakim
Editing by Otniel Tamindael