(from left to right): James Nxumalo, Durban mayor;
Md. Shawkat Hossain, Barisal mayor ; David Cadman, ICLEI President
After making a global commitment to climate adaptation action in November 2011, the old port town of Barisal, Bangladesh was quick to initiate adaptation activities. Barisal joined ICLEI in March 2012, and began implementing action in November 2012.
Barisal makes a historic commitment to climate adaptation action
In an unprecedented move, the Durban Local Government Convention: adapting to a changing climate – towards COP17/ CMP7 and beyond, brought together 114 mayors and other elected local leaders representing over 950 local governments from around the world in the signing of the Durban Adaptation Charter, a political commitment to strengthen local resilience to climate change. The mayor of Barisal (Bangladesh), Md. Shawkat Hossain was among those who attended the Convention and signed the Charter.
The South African Government, through the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), South African Cities Network (SACN), eThekwini Municipality, and the Department of Environmental Affairs partnered with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability to host the Durban Local Government Convention.
By signing the Charter, local governments have committed to first-time levels of local climate action to:
· mainstream adaptation as a key informant of all local government development planning
· ensure that adaptation strategies are aligned with mitigation strategies
· promote the use of adaptation that recognizes the needs of vulnerable communities, and ensure sustainable local economic development
· Prioritize the role of functioning ecosystems as core municipal green infrastructure
· seek innovative funding mechanisms, etc.
Host city Durban’s mayor, James Nxumalo, who led the signing of the Charter, was designated by the signatories to present the Durban Adaptation Charter to the high-level UNFCCC COP17/CMP7 in Durban, which concluded on 9 December 2011.
Barisal, Bangladesh joins ICLEI
The city of Barisal became an ICLEI member in March, 2012. Barisal is an old port town in southern Bangladesh, on the northern shore of the Bay of Bengal. About 140 km from the capital, Dhaka, it covers an area of 20 sq. km. Barisal municipality was established in 1957 and became a city corporation in 2000.
Population (as of the 2011 Census): 3,28,278
Two new adaptation initiatives kick off in Barisal
Upon signing the Durban Adaptation Charter, Barisal was quick to act and began implementing climate action under two initiatives by November 2012.
The Urban Vulnerability Assessment project, supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), involves the development of a comprehensive vulnerability assessment for the city of Barisal. A vulnerability assessment report will also be developed for Panaji, a city in India. It is a short-term project, set to conclude by March 2013.
The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) initiative, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation is being upscaled and replicated across 40 cities in 4 countries. Barisal, being part of the programme, will go through the ICLEI ACCCRN Process (IAP) to identify resilience actions for the city. Through this, a climate resilience strategy will be developed for Barisal.