We, Mayors of the World, coming from 35 cities in 30 countries and representing all continents gathered in Bonn, Germany, convened by World Mayors Council on Climate Change together with our partners at the Resilient Cities 2011: 2nd World Congress on Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change, are dedicated to confirm our commitment to globally coordinated local climate action.
Thereby, We, Mayors of the World,
That recent disasters which hit in particular Pakistan, Australia, United States, Canada, Brazil, and Japan, since our last meeting in Bonn in June 2010 remind us that resilience to disasters is of critical importance. Moreover, climate change is likely to exacerbate the intensity and frequency of many disasters, with a disproportionate amount of the associated impacts affecting the urban poor and vulnerable in developed and developing countries. As such, appropriate measures need to be urgently implemented at the local, subnational, national, regional and international levels to build local adaptive capacity for all types of disasters, including those likely to be exacerbated by climate change
The Global Cities Covenant on Climate Change -the ‘Mexico City Pact’ and its reporting mechanism –the carbon Cities Climate Registry, key outcomes of the World Mayors Summit on Climate in Mexico City on 21 November 2010, as successful implementation of the proposals contained in the 2010 Bonn Declaration of Mayors and acknowledging the African Mayors Climate Change Declaration adopted in Cape Town, South Africa in March 2011 as providing important regional support to this global process.
The 2011 UN-HABITAT Report on Cities and Climate Change, the outcomes of the Mayor´s Task Force on Urban Poverty and Climate Change, the First Assessment Report on Cities and Climate Change (ARC3) and the IPCC Expert Meeting on Human Settlements in Kolkata, India, on 22-24March 2011, with a view that the outcomes of all these efforts should be appropriately fed into IPCC 5thAssessment Report and other relevant scientific and global studies in order to reflect the needs and opportunities for immediate climate action at the local level.
The achievements of ‘Making Cities Resilient’ Campaign launched in Bonn in May 2010, under the leadership of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
Decision X/22at of the 10thConference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its annex -The Plan of Action on Sub-National Governments, Cities and Local Authorities on Biodiversity, which further strengthens Decision IX/28,with a view that UN Climate negotiations should be inspired by such ambitious and innovative decisions.
Opportunities presented by the Cancun Agreements, in particular para.7 of Decision1/CP16 that designates local governments as ‘governmental stakeholders’, introducing city wide approaches on CDM, the launch of the Green Climate Fund for long-term finance and the Cancun Adaptation Framework.
We, Mayors of the World, declare the following Action Points:
Regarding adaptation and urban resilience:
1. Considering the fact that over the next 40 years, particularly in the cities of the Global South, we will have to urgently build the same level of urban capacity that we built over the last 4000 years, efforts on urban resilience and adaptation should shift from a singular, special purpose focus on specific climate-affected infrastructure and locations towards a more integrated focus on overall risks, development conditions, and local area performance.
2. Future urban development should be assessed in terms of its contribution to improved urban resilience.
3. We recognize that the impacts of climate change will most severely affect vulnerable groupswithin our cities, and commit to pursuing strategies for social, economic,cultural and environmental development that will reduce the vulnerability of all citizens.
4. We recognise that ecosystem based adaptation offers a cost-effective and sustainable approach to adaptation that can improve human wellbeing, particularly of vulnerable groups, in the cities of the Global South.
5. We recognise the need for financial institutions to fund locally relevant and appropriate development, rather than conventional global financing mechanisms determining which local projects are eligible for funding. As such, we take note of ICLEI’s Global Report: Financing the Resilient City presented at Resilient Cities 2011 and underline the three essential bottom-up features for building adaptive capacities for resilient communities and cities;
a. Local planning processes for identifying vulnerabilities and risks,
b. Local technical and institutional capacity for designing comprehensive adaptation and resilience upgrading projects;
c. Local procurement of investment through managed, competitive sourcing mechanisms and processes.
6. We further encourage efforts to advocate for the implementation of the below findings of the Report at the local, subnational, national and international level, supported via additional appropriate joint initiatives with business and civil society partners;
a. Mainstreaming new adaptation and resilience standards into conventional urban development projects, similar to recent ‘green building’ standards that have been mainstreamed into urban development and construction over the last decade.
b. Developing specialized financial instruments for comprehensive local adaptation and resilience upgrading projects in urban areas and systems known to be highly vulnerable.
c. Building additional local institutional capacity to prepare, structure and manage large scale redevelopment;
Regarding UN Climate Negotiations:
7. We urge the UNFCCC delegates to commence relevant processes for the full implementation of para.7 of the Decision1/CP16 that designates local governments as ‘governmental stakeholders’ both at the UNFCCC level and within the negotiations related to international environmental governance, with a view to reach an effective and efficient global environmental system.
8. We encourage national delegations to include local government representation where appropriate.
9. We propose that sustainable and resilient urban development that prioritises climate change adaptation, poverty alleviation and improved human well-being should be defined as a thematic window in the design of the Green Climate Fund under the UNFCCC.
Regarding further collaborative actions:
10. We encourage all local governments to further engage in decentralized and city-to-city cooperation in order to advance adaptation actions.
11. We encourage our international networks and in particular ICLEI and UCLG to work closely together maximising the engagement of local governments in the global environmental governance system. We encourage local governments to join the Making Cities Resilient campaign. We further invite interested partners and stakeholders to consider their support in building an alliance that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the Resilient Cities Congress as the global forum for learning, cooperation and networking on all aspects of urban resilience and adaptation to climate change.
12. We call upon national governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society stakeholders to recognize the value of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate -“the Mexico City Pact” and the carbon Cities Climate Registry, which has191signatory cities as of today, representing around 300 million citizens, as the global response by local governments to the call for measurable, reportable, verifiable climate action and access to global climate funds.
13. In preparation for COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011, we commit to support the pre-COP conference to be hosted by Durban and its partners, aimed at raising the international profile of adaptation as an urgent priority for the cities of the world, in particular those of the Global South, where high levels of poverty and underdevelopment put vulnerable populations and infrastructure at immediate and severe risk, thereby hindering progress towards achieving global development objectives. On the eve/during COP17in December 2011, in Durban, we will further communicate outcomes of this pre-COP conference at the Conference of Signatories to the Mexico City Pact, with a view to strengthening adaptation actions alongside those of mitigation.
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