ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability’s first Asian-Pacific Resilient Cities Congress (2015) drew to a close today. The closing plenary was preceded by a special signing ceremony of the Durban Adaptation Charter, which remains a key tool for global efforts to implement climate change adaptation action.
ICLEI is a founding partner of the DAC, and continue to include it as a key pillar in their annual Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn, Germany. At this first Asia-Pacific congress, Durban Mayor,Councillor James Nxumalo, was represented on a political leadership panel by Dr Sean O’Donoghue, Manager of the City’s Climate Protection Branch. Here the importance of political leadership to enhance city climate change action was emphasized, and the DAC was introduced to the plenary.
In his closing remarks, Mr Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI encouraged all mayors present at the Congress to sign the Charter and commit to implementing its ten principles of adaptation.
This signing ceremony was successfully held just before the closing ceremony where 16 mayors committed to the Charter’s ten principles. The ceremony included the first DAC signatories from the Pacific Island region. The political leadership demonstrated by these mayors was supported by the energy levels prevailing throughout the Congress sessions over the three days. The strong support that was received from the political leadership present once again underscores the importance of the DAC to developing economy cities. A key theme of the Congress was in the need to align development and adaptation by putting communities at the centre of any response. TheCongress also included the launches of a number of key initiatives, like the Asian Cities ClimateChange Resilience Network. In a side meeting during the Congress, the DAC and ACCCRN agreed to cooperate on implementation of the respective initiatives.