Already now among the top ten cities with the highest exposure to flooding (according to an OECD paper of 2008) , Kolkata’s vulnerability to climate change is expected to increase even further. Conscious of such risks, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has included a “resource efficient” and “eco-friendly” growth goal in their Vision 2020 Strategy, aiming to “provide social amenities, community facilities and securities to all”.
In their efforts to develop a low carbon and climate resilient Kolkata, the Corporation has identified capacity building at the local level as one of the most pressing needs, to support elected and executive officials in an influential position in mainstreaming low carbon and climate resilient thinking and interventions into policy and practice. Funded by the British High Commission , the ‘Sensitisation Programme for Kolkata Municipal Corporation Councilors and Members of Mayor-in-Council on Climate Change’ project aims to fill this capacity gap, and enhance KMC’s local officials’ overall understanding of climate change, with a focus on challenges and opportunities, response to climate change and success factors for mainstreaming climate change initiatives.
The partners involved– ICLEI South Asia and the Centre for Energy and Climate Excellence (CECE), set up by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Jadavpur University – will use a combination of training workshops and interactive tools to highlight the specific roles elected representatives have in building Kolkata’s resilience. The project, which just started, will run until December 2014.