History was made today as 114 mayors and other elected local leaders representing over 950 local governments from around the world, came together in the signing of the Durban Adaptation Charter, a political commitment to strengthen local resilience to climate change. The Charter noted the Final Declaration of the 2010 Peoples Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba.
The event, entitled the Durban Local Government Convention: Adapting to a Changing Climate towards COP17/ CMP7 and Beyond, ran parallel to the UNFCCC COP17/CMP7 and drew over 700 delegates. The Durban Local Government Convention was organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, South African Local Government Association (SALGA), South African Cities Network (SACN) and eThekwini Municipality.
After intense deliberations in Durban‟s Council Chambers, governors from around the world moved to unanimously adopt the Durban Adaptation Charter. Mayors, Governors and Chairs of local government associations from around the world from Bangkok, Thailand, to Vancouver, Canada, from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Quito, Ecuador, joined with those from 24 other countries in making this ground-breaking local government commitment towards urgent, decisive measurable, reportable and verifiable (MRV) climate commitments. Through national associations, large numbers of local governments from Tanzania, Norway, Namibia, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa are also joined in supporting this Charter.
By signing the Charter, local governments have committed to unprecedented levels of local climate action to:
- mainstream adaptation as a key informant of all local government development planning
- ensure that adaptation strategies are aligned with mitigation strategies
- promote the use of adaptation that recognizes the needs of vulnerable communities and ensure sustainable local economic development
- prioritize the role of functioning ecosystems as core municipal green infrastructure
- seek innovative funding mechanisms, etc.
For more information view the following documents from ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability: