Letter from Ashok-Alexander Sridharan Mayor of Bonn and First Vice President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability


Dear ICLEI friends and colleagues,


Building resilience in our communities plays an important role in the actions we take as local leaders. The global climate is changing quickly, and urban communities are on the frontlines of this shift. At the same time, many cities are rapidly expanding and facing unprecedented social and technological changes, which require administrative action to adapt and plan within a changing context.


The City of Bonn is a strong proponent of keeping the global conversation on resilience alive and active – and the annual Resilient Cities congress in our city has become key platform to do so. As hundreds of local and regional leaders, experts and practitioners will join us for the congress in April, we will look at how we, as local leaders, can build a resilient world, delivering on the goals set in the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.


After all, cities have the highest level of awareness for crosscutting issues and how a rapidly changing global context impacts our communities on the ground. Poverty, inequality, climate impacts, food insecurity, biodiversity loss and invasive species – we all have them. Citizens and stakeholder support, energy solutions and resilience building experience – we have these as well and are ready to share and use our assets. At the congress this year, we will look particularly at how nature-based solutions, data advancements and the circular economy can strengthen local resilience building.


We are also fortunate to have growing global support. 100 days after COP23 in Bonn, I am excited by the wave of support for the Paris Agreement, coming from all continents and all levels of governments. Cities and regions are ready to be more involved in climate policy and resilience building in our countries, and in the new era of stakeholder engagement opening up through Talanoa Dialogues, we will co-create and co-deliver on our climate and sustainability initiatives.


We are also fortunate to have strong leadership from UN-Habitat, led by Maimunah Sharif, a former colleague of ours on the ICLEI Global Executive Committee and co-patron at the upcoming Resilient Cities congress. As former mayor of a climate-vulnerable island city, she is well aware that resilience building is fundamental to our New Urban Agenda.


I look forward to welcoming you to Bonn for the Resilient Cities congress. We will share our ideas and solutions and take on the spirit of Talanoa as we sit down with different stakeholders and levels of government to drive the global sustainability agenda forward.


Looking forward to seeing you in Bonn soon.


Ashok-Alexander Sridharan

Mayor of Bonn and First Vice President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability