Who We Are

ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability is a global non-profit association of over 1000 cities, towns and metropolises with the mission to promote global sustainability through local action. ICLEI has around 280 urban development professionals working in 17 regional secretariats and offices, supporting cities to become sustainable, low-carbon, resilient, ecomobile, biodiverse, resource-efficient and productive, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart urban infrastructure.

ICLEI was founded in 1990 as the 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives'. The Council was established when more than 200 local governments from 43 countries convened at our inaugural conference, the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the United Nations in New York. In 2003, ICLEI's Members voted to revise the organization's mission, charter and name to better reflect the current challenges local governments are facing. The 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives' became 'ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability' with a broader mandate to address sustainability issues.

Over 20 percent of the world’s urban population benefits from the work we do, which is global in scope and impact yet local in implementation. ICLEI is rooted in the philosophy that initiatives designed and implemented at the local level can provide an effective and cost-efficient way to achieve local, national, and global sustainability goals.

“The road to sustainability runs through the world’s towns and cities.”
- Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General

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