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ICLEI World Congress 2009

Radical and Rapid Action on Sustainability

by Don Knapp Jun 21, 2009

 

ICLEI World Congress 2009

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.

 

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A Global Interest in Local Renewables

by Don Knapp Jun 17, 2009

House With Roof Solar Panels

A key topic at the ICLEI World Congress 2009, writes Alex Aylett on WorldChanging, is how cities can successfully integrate energy supply policies--typically a regional or national planning issue--into their local climate mitigation efforts. Helping community members acquire solar systems and initiate energy efficiency upgrades is very much a local government priority.

Aylett interviews Emani Kumar, executive director of ICLEI's operations in South Asia, to get a sense of the progress and challenges to bring local renewables to Indian cities.

In the United States, ICLEI member local governments have shown remarkable innovation around these efforts. Berkeley, Palm Desert, and Sonoma County California, along with Babylon, NY, and Cambridge, MA, have developed clean energy municipal financing initiatives that other cities are eager to replicate.

In July, ICLEI USA will kick off a three-part webinar series sharing the best practices of these leading municipalities. Join us on July 9 for a primer on Babylon's Long Island Green Homes initiative, followed by the Cambridge Energy Alliance on July 23, and BerkeleyFIRST on July 30.

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Translating Global Imperatives into Local Action

by Don Knapp Jun 16, 2009

ICLEI World Congress South Asian Delegates

ICLEI South Asia delegates at the World Congress 2009 in Edmonton, Canada.

Today at the ICLEI World Congress 2009, representatives are tackling key questions that have been in play ever since the creation of Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992:

  • How will global developments impact our local community?
  • How do we arrive at a localization of global scenarios?
  • Have our planning processes been far-reaching enough?
  • Are our current frameworks for strategic planning and management up to the challenge?

The answers to these questions will help shape ICLEI's long-term strategy to help local governments worldwide address their varying sustainability challenges, from access to clean water and sanitation to adapting to the impacts of climate change.

One of many roundtable sessions, "Adaptation to Climate Change – Are we adjusting to plan for the long-term?" will feature Harvey Ruvin, County Clerk from Miami-Dade County.

In light of yesterday's report detailing the projected impacts of climate change across the United States--which are not kind to South Florida--Ruvin should be able to provide a real sense of the urgency around adaptation planning.

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Day Three at the ICLEI World Congress: Workshops on Wheels

by Don Knapp Jun 15, 2009

World Congress Walking Tour

To explore sustainability in action, mobile workshops at the ICLEI World Congress 2009 will take participants out into the city and region of Edmonton, Canada. The tours, organized by the themes of the previous day, are an integral part of the congress and are sessions on the move, either by foot, bus or bicycle.

Below, a few of the mobile workshop topics:

  • Safe & Secure Drinking Water: EL Smith Water Treatment Plant
  • Waste Not Want Not: Waste Management Centre
  • Eco-Mobility [Local Motion]
  • Sustainable Urban Redevelopment

 

More media coverage of the World Congress:

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ICLEI's Global and Regional Development

by Don Knapp Jun 15, 2009

To get a global sense of what ICLEI is and how its work has impacted regions around the world, view this slideshow from the keynote presentation at the ICLEI World Congress 2009 in Edmonton, Canda, which is underway now.

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From Across the Globe, Local Leaders Gather in Edmonton

by Don Knapp Jun 14, 2009

Edmonton Canada skyline 1

Winter skyline in Edmonton, Canada

This week, the global spotlight shines on local sustainability efforts. With issues to address, best practices to share, and progress to report, 600 local government representatives from 57 countries kicked off the ICLEI World Congress 2009 on Sunday, June 14 in Edmonton, Canada.

The four-day programme agenda speaks to local governments’ need to accelerate their mission to address key sustainability issues. On Sunday, the opening plenary featured talks from global leaders on local sustainability, including the mayors of Entebbe, Uganda; Edmonton, Canada; Bonn, Germany; and Barcelona, Spain.

Monday’s forums and discussions will allow local representatives to share their policies, projects, and progress, and exchange ideas for future action. A few of the topics for discussion today:

  • Climate and energy resources
  • Managing water locally
  • Biodiversity management
  • Climate adaptation and resilience
  • Sustainable procurement
  • Participatory governance
  • Sustainability reporting
  • Safe and healthy cities
  • Local renewables

You can follow progress at the Congress via this blog, as well as www.iclei.org/worldcongress2009, Flicker, Twitter, and YouTube.

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