GAN and DAC Regional Knowledge Exchange Visit

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As part of a Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) initiative, eThekwini Municipality led a regional knowledge sharing & exchange visit on the 23rd – 25th November, 2016, in Pemba, Mozambique. In a previous DAC exchange with Mozambique, an exploratory visit to the city of Durban was made by the cities of Pemba and Quelimane to investigate potential areas of collaboration, particularly within urban adaptation planning. The trip was successfully completed, but funds to build upon the outcomes of this trip were not available until the current United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funding opportunity emerged through the Global Adaptation Network (GAN). This funding opportunity enabled this exchange visit to be successfully implemented.

The workshops for the exchange visit were hosted by the city of Pemba and attended by 16 participants including mayors and officials from the three participating Mozambican cities, Pemba, Quelimane and Nacala, officials from Durban, and a representative from the GAN and ICLEI Africa. The aim of the three-day workshop was to share knowledge and build capacity around local climate change challenges related to sea level rise and flooding.

On the first day Dr Sean O’Donoghue of the DAC Secretariat led a discussion on the Hub and Compact approach and the importance of development partnerships. The benefits of partnership at all government levels and with research organisations and communities were highlighted and participants were encouraged to form their own compacts with their surrounding municipalities. Visits to areas of catchment flooding and erosion sites were conducted in the afternoon. Solutions that were discussed included the use of natural and hard infrastructure to address these issues.

On the second day, Mr Geoff Tooley, Senior Manager of Catchment Management at eThekwini Municipality presented on flooding and catchment management tools including the use of hydrological modelling systems to predict and plan for flooding and storm water erosion challenges. The three cities also discussed their erosion and flooding issues using Google Maps to site areas of risk. Visits to areas of flooding and sea-level rise threats were then conducted in the afternoon and advice was given on the engineering solutions required.

On the third and final day, Mr Luke Moore, Urban Expert: Spatial Planning & Coastal Zone Management at ICLEI Africa presented on the importance of integrated coastal zone management. Dr Andrew Mather, Project Executive from Coastal Policy, Engineering, eThekwini Municipality then presented on coastal engineering and sea level rise issues and provided a guideline book to participants for future reference. Google Maps was once again used to assess the city’s flooding, sea level rise and erosion challenges. This proved useful as comparisons of landscape from previous years could be made and suggestions of solutions could be made more holistically by looking at the ‘bigger picture’.

Principles for implementation and a way forward was then discussed and participants filled out a survey to access the usefulness of the three-day workshop. All participants felt the workshop was beneficial and stated they would like to be involved in more knowledge sharing visits to help formulate solutions to the climate change challenges they experience. Mr Essey Daniels, Project Manager from the GAN indicated that UNEP is following projects and the key focal point in Mozambique should be contacted to apply for funding required.

This exchange visit aimed to build capacity through training workshops and site visits for the establishment of collaborative regional partnerships between neighbouring municipalities and the development of project proposals to implement identified actions emerging from the exchange.  This was achieved through the expert-led workshops and dialogue between parties on topics mutually agreed by the parties. Overall, the workshop was a success and all participants indicated that such workshops should include more time to work together to follow up an action items.

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