Kolkata builds capacities to achieve climate resilience
Kolkata, the City of Joy, went through a series of training workshops on climate change and its impacts on the city. The objective of 16 sessions held in August and September was to sensitise councillors and other government officials of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
The workshops were organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia (ICLEI South Asia), in collaboration with the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) as a local partner. The trainings were conducted at the borough level where the ward councillors of each borough could participate along with the borough executive officers to discuss the projected impacts of climate change on urban systems and possible measures that can be undertaken to meet this challenge.
The objective of the workshops was to raise awareness about developing Kolkata as a low carbon and climate resilient city and also to enhance overall understanding of climate change – the science of climate change, its impacts on urban systems, and means of tackling it.
The emphasis was also on getting more information on engaging communities for climate action and on mainstreaming climate action in planning and development of the city.
The results of the workshops strongly support the conclusion that the institutional mechanism of building capacity of councillors and executive staff on climate change can help to make the city more resilient through cumulative local actions. Therefore, it is needed that a cell be constituted at KMC to work exclusively towards incorporating climate action in city planning and development.
Also, a strong campaign can help to increase awareness on climate change related issues amid communities and local organizations, along with municipal officials and representatives, thus bringing them together to achieve greater resilience.
Launching IEC materials for building climate resilience in Kolkata
Under the UK-KMC (United Kingdom-Kolkata Municipal Corporation) MoU on Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Kolkata signed in November 2013 during the UK Prime Minister’s visit to Kolkata, ICLEI South Asia is assisting British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata to implement the ‘Sensitisation Programme for Kolkata Municipal Corporation Councilors and Members of Mayor-in-Council on Climate Change’.
Under this programme, ICLEI South Asia in collaboration with the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCC&I) organized a series of Training Programmes for all the boroughs of Kolkata Municipal Corporation between 19 August, 2015 and 7 September, 2015. The workshops targeted councilors and local government officials. Each session was a two hour session, with a mix of presentations, short film shows, exercises, guest speeches, street plays and one to one interaction with the participants.
As part of this series, on 25 August, 2015, a special event was organized in Borough III on the eve of UK Government’s Minister of State at the Department for International Development (DFID) along with the Mayor and Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation to launch the IEC materials developed by ICLEI South Asia for local councilors on climate resilience building. These included the Bengali and Hindi versions of a graphic booklet specially designed for councilors and a poster on climate resilient action at the ward level to be displayed in ward offices. The launch was in the presence of State Government Minister of Environment, Mr. S. Ghosh Dastidar and 2 Members – Mayor in Council, Mr. D. Kumar and Mr. S. Samaddar. The Mayor announced that the poster will be displayed on all the bus stops and the upcoming puja pandals.
During the event, Mr. S P Gon Choudhury, Mr. Tapas Ghatak and Mrs. S. Mukherjee were special speakers who presented on solar power and its uses, community based disaster management and solid waste management respectively. A brief presentation on the background of climate change and role of councilors in climate resilient development was also made by ICLEI South Asia during the event.
Find the booklets and the poster below:
A Climate of Change – Poster
A Climate of Change – Towards a Greener Kolkata (English)