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Momentous DAC signing ceremony by 120 African leaders

On the 31 November, 2013, a momentous signing ceremony for the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) for Local Governments took place at the Local Climate Solutions for Africa Congress (LOCS 2013) held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Over 120 leaders signed the Charter, the large majority of which were representing Tanzanian local government authorities. The commitment made by these leaders now increases the global number of signatories to over 1220. The vast majority of all signatories are from Africa, signalling to the global community the harsh realities that African local leaders already face from a changing climate, and that despite this, they are ready and willing to take action with the appropriate assistance.

By signing the Charter, African local authorities have taken a strong stand to commit to integrate climate adaptation into urban and local planning and to enhance capacity to cope with and plan for the impacts of climate change – overall to become more resilient in the face of an uncertain climate. The DAC also offers local authorities a channel of opportunity to leverage funding sources and partnerships, an ever growing need in emerging economies.

During the same ceremony over 50 local leaders also committed to the Global Cities Covenant on Climate - Mexico City Pact, the sister pact to the DAC, which commits leaders to seek opportunities to promote a low carbon local economy. This commitment signals to the world, that African local leaders are also ready and willing to join hands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even though many of them have contributed little to global emissions.

In addition, during the course of the LOCS 2013 event, the Urban Leadership for African Sustainability (ULAS) high level session for leaders realised the development of a communique from African Leaders under the auspices of the Local Government Climate Roadmap to support a global movement of local authorities to take action on climate change immediately and to push for a global climate deal no later than by the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris.

The Local Climate Solutions for Africa Congress series, run by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Africa, was proudly hosted in its second iteration, by the City of Dar es Salaam, and the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT).

Over 25 African countries were represented at the Local Climate Solutions for Africa Congress by 170 local authority leaders (Mayors, Governor’s and Chairpersons) along with an additional 130 local government officials, and 140 representatives from NGOs, development partners, private sector, financing institutions and academia. Marking this second LOCS Congress as a great success and unique opportunity for dialogue, lesson sharing and connectivity for local authorities in Africa to make progress in preparing for and reducing the impacts of climate change.

For more information about the Congress please visit: www.locs4africa.org or contact ICLEI Africa: iclei-africa@iclei.org 

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