From left: Durban Mayor James Nxumalo and ICLEI President David Cadman with a signed Durban Climate Change Adaptation Charter
DURBAN, 5 December 2011
– The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, today welcomed the Durban Climate Change Adaptation Charter for Local Government agreed yesterday by Mayors from around the world as "the best possible start to a critical week in the life of this planet when we so urgently need real leadership on mitigation and adaptation.
“It would be a tragedy if the climate adaptation agenda was held hostage to broader agreements on mitigation and financing so it is encouraging to see city mayors and local governments forging ahead and agreeing to mainstream adaptation in local government development planning regardless of the COP17 outcome.
“Disaster risk reduction and reinforcing resilience are integral to climate change adaptation in a world where vulnerability and exposure to extreme weather is increasing year by year with the de-stabilisation of the world’s weather systems and poor urban planning and land use.
“As UNISDR knows from its ‘Making Cities Resilient’ Campaign, local government is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to responding to the human impacts of climate change. We fully support funding for cities, towns and municipalities for their registered adaptation actions.”
The Charter’s signatories, members of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, called upon local, sub-national and regional governments to accelerate their adaptation efforts by committing to a series of measures including mainstreaming adaptation in local government planning; impact and vulnerability assessments; alignment with mitigation strategies; to seek direct access to funding including “a local adaptation thematic window in the Green Climate Fund’; and create partnerships.
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability designated James Nxumalo, the Mayor of eThekwini Municipality which includes Durban, to present the Charter to the high level segment of the COP17/CMP7 meeting getting underway this week.