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18 February 2015

LOCS 2015 launches today!

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eThekwini Municipality and ICLEI Africa co-host a workshop on the implementation of the Durban Adaptation Charter.

eThekwini Municipality, in partnership with ICLEI Africa, are co-hosting the first Southern Africa Regional Technical workshop the on implementation of the Durban Adaptation Charter. Participants from over 55 local governments and from 17 countries attended the workshop. With a clear focus on sharing information for local governments; from planning to taking action towards building climate resilience from the local level, the workshop focuses on practical rather than theoretical.

The three day technical workshop is being convened under the auspices of ICLEI’s biennial Local Climate Solutions for Africa Initiative and will conclude on Friday 16 October.

In his opening remarks, Mayor James Nxumalo highlighted that although climate change is a global issue, impacts of the changing weather patterns will be felt the most at the local level. In order to build resilience, municipalities need to ensure that they put in place strategies to support transformational adaptation. He also highlighted the value of partnerships and dialogue between key actors such as researchers and local and national government stakeholders in identifying and implementing resilience strategies responsive to the local context. The message was also echoed by the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Her Excellency, Madam Barbier as well as Al Gore, Former Vice President of United States of America who shared goodwill messages for the workshop via videos.

Following the opening, Professor Coleen Vogel from the University of Witwatersrand highlighted the need for incremental, transfromational and a more radical transgressive change in order keep in check impacts of climate change. Speaking in the same session, Mario Molina, Director of Climate Reality Project and Vhaliinavho Kavhagali, Director of Climate Change in the Department of Environmental Affairs South Africa stressed the need for clear communication and collaborative efforts in addressing climate change particularly in countries in the global South.

A special Climate Reality in Africa session that focused on Southern Africa Communicating Climate Reality in Africa then followed. Michael O’Brien Onyeka, Director of Green Peace Africa, spoke on the need for Africa to consider and propose climate solutions that are responsive and locally appropriate to the African context. Mario Molina, Johan van den Berg (CEO, SEWA), Jeunesse Park (Branch Manager, African Climate Reality Project) and Deborah Vivienne Robertson-Andersson (Climate Reality Leader) all contributed their expertise on the subject of communicating regional climate opportunities and challenges.

After lunch, delegates attended sessions that focused on unpacking and enabling the implementation of the DAC Commitments. The day concluded with a dinner and the launch of the Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact.

View the LOCS gallery here.

For more on the event content please visit the official LOCS site.

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