South African Urban-LEDS National Project Advisory Group meets for the first time

The first National Project Advisory Group (PAG) meeting in South Africa took place recently, providing an opportunity for expert stakeholders from across South Africa to hear about project progress and provide advice for effective further implementation.

The South African PAG is:

“An expert body made up of active partners working in this field, designed to provide practical and strategic advice for the effective implementation of the Urban-LEDS project and to use the opportunity of the project to work together to ensure effective collaboration with existing initiatives in South Africa and to identify additional opportunities to promote through partnership the transition to a low-emission growth paradigm.”

Taking place alongside a sustainable energy network meeting of ICLEI Africa partners the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), the inaugural meeting was held on September 4th, 2013, and included representation from funders the European Commission and formal project partners UN-Habitat, as well as SALGA, SEA, National Treasury, GIZ, the Development Bank of South Africa and project municipality’s. Other important stakeholders such as the Department for Environmental Affairs and National Business Institute have also agreed to take part in the group.

ICLEI Africa presented on achievements so far, including the development of seven municipal profiles, two greenhouse gas inventories, the distribution of staff awareness questionnaires in two municipalities, a tailored two day training course delivered in one municipality, and the attendance of all seven municipalities at a one week energy and sustainable urban development training course at the University of Cape Town.

Key discussion points raised included:

  • The need to take a dual approach which balances the building of long-term institutional capacity while also prioritizing and aiming to implement “quick-wins” to demonstrate effectiveness and impact
  • In 2014, as the focus moves to beginning to implement measures identified in the model municipalities, support to municipalities to identify appropriate funding, and to develop the skills and approaches required to secure funding and demonstrate project effectiveness, will be vital.

The group will meet up to 4 times during the course of the project.

A full list of stakeholders confirmed to sit on the Project Advisory Group as of September 2013 can be found below:

  • Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA)
  • Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA)
  • South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
  • South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI)
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP)
  • UN-Habitat
  • European Commission
  • National Treasury; Cities Support Programme
  • Department of Environmental Affairs
  • GIZ
  • National Business Institute (NBI)
  • South African Cities Network (SACN)

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