About The Charter

Climate change is already affecting millions of people around the globe through extreme and unseasonal weather events. These impacts are likely to have a disproportionately greater impact upon nations from the global south, who have limited resources and infrastructure to adequately protect themselves from these impacts, and insufficient means to recover. Local Governments, in particular are most at risk because climate impacts are felt at a local level. It is at the local level where livelihoods are lost, water security and food security are impacted and where infrastructure is destroyed. Whilst local governments will suffer the full impacts of climate change they are also most equipped to take rapid action now and prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The Durban Adaptation Charter commits Local Governments to local climate action in their jurisdiction that will assist their communities to respond to and cope with climate change risks thereby reducing vulnerability. By signing the Durban Adaptation Charter they commit to inter alia:

  1. Key information of all local government development planning;
  2. Ensuring that adaptation strategies are aligned with mitigation strategies;
  3. Promoting the use of adaptation that recognizes the needs of vulnerable communities and ensuring sustainable local economic development;
  4. Prioritizing the role of functioning ecosystems as core municipal green infrastructure;
  5. Seeking innovative funding mechanisms.

The Durban Adaptation Charter was launched at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 17 held in the City of Durban (eThekwini Municipality), South Africa in December 2011. 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 in hosting the Durban Local Government Convention: adapting to a changing climate – towards COP17/CMP7 and beyond.

The momentous signing of the Durban Adaptation Charter by 114 signatories, representing 950 local governments organisations from 27 countries builds on the recognition of local governments as government stakeholders in the Cancun Agreement.

ICLEI hosts an annual Resilient Cities Forum which provides a leading global platform for cities and their partners to convene to: interact, learn, gain knowledge and start new partnerships in order to ensure rapid action on climate change adaptation. For more information: www.iclei.org/resilient-cities

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