Radical and Rapid Action on Sustainabilityby Don Knapp
The ICLEI World Congress 2009 wrapped up on June 18, and 600 delegates from 57 countries went home with new enthusiasm and a stronger imperative to advance local sustainability. Some highlights from the five-day event in Edmonton, Canada:
- ICLEI President David Cadman challenged the organization to double its local government membership by 2012, just as it has done in the past three years.
- Members recognized the need for faster and more radical action to advance local sustainability. There was wide consensus in ICLEI council sessions to adopt proposals ranging from supporting young municipal leaders to advancing ICLEI’s work in urban biodiversity.
- ICLEI’s members have again expressed in Edmonton a strong will to include the role of local governments in the next global climate agreement. They will meet again in large numbers in December 2009 to contribute to the UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- ICLEI members witnessed a wide range of global scenarios presented by experts such as Mathis Wackernagel, Executive Director of the Global Footprint Network and creator of the Ecological Footprint. They had a chance to discuss how to respond to the urgency of change in smaller focus groups. Gathering inputs from these focus groups and other meetings, ICLEI will draft a strategic plan for the next six years in the coming months and submit it for review to ICLEI members for due process.
- Read more highlights here, including speaker presentations, photo galleries, and video updates.