Pioneering cities and experts meet to further implementation of Durban Adaptation Charter

Local government thought leaders from around the world, including representatives from Bulawayo, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Gorakphur, Hanoi, Lagos, London, Mandurah, Quintana Roo and Thimphu met in Durban (eThekwini), South Africa, during 20-23 March to further the implementation of a set of political commitments towards addressing the impacts of climate change, known as the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) – the outcome of the Durban Local Government Convention that complements the ‘Global Cities Covenant on Climate – the Mexico City Pact’ adopted in 2010.

The workshop identified numerous needs from local governments, echoing many of the currently available approaches to climate change adaptation, including data, information, access to funding, global advocacy, capacity, leadership, national support, integration with local agendas and plans, and city-to-city sharing via exchange visits.

“Ethekwini Municipality and a growing list of partners are advancing on the Durban Adaptation Charter. Through this workshop, we will further identify potential governance mechanisms, the need for support for the implementation of the DAC and appropriate mechanisms for documenting progress,” said James Nxumalo, Mayor of Durban, ICLEI’s Vice President and head of ICLEI’s global resilience portfolio.

ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin highlights the potential of the workshop in fostering supports from all sides. “Our hope would be that this workshop would trigger the potential for further funding on an enlarged basis, fostering a multi-regional approach that will multiply these experiences to other DAC cities.”

Comparing the meeting as a “coalition of the willing”, Debra Roberts, Head of Environmental Planning, eThekwini noted emphasized the need for implementation. “A piece of paper doesn’t change anything, we soon realized after the UNFCCC COP 17 that we now needed to determine how we make this Charter work for us, to have ‘legs’.

Funded by USAID through the International City/County Management Association and their CityLinks program, the Workshop is organized by ICLEI Africa.

As to March 2013, the DAC has been signed by more than 950 local governments worldwide to show their political commitment in advancing urban resilience against climate change and its impacts.

Download the press release here, or read about the Durban Adaptation Charter

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