On the 3rd December, during the Mayoral Panel Discussion on Urban Climate Action: global benefits and local revenues, Mayor James Nxumalo presented Durban’s Community Ecosystem Based Adaptation work programme, with an emphasis on the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project. The panel was hosted by Rotterdam Mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, with the following panellists: Mayors Kaminis (Athens), Louie (Vancouver), Shorris (Deputy Mayor, New York) and Langenberg (vice-Mayor Rotterdam).
The panel aimed to highlight the work of these cities in dealing with climate change. Even though agreements between nations are necessary, cities in particular are crucial actors in fighting global warming and dealing with the consequences of climate change. In this side event, the Mayors presented successful climate actions that have made their cities healthier, greener, more liveable and economically stronger. The Mayors revealed the key factors for success and provided insight in the next step: how do the five cities plan to move ahead and what are the challenges in achieving the ambitions? Mayor Nxumalo emphasised the importance of putting vulnerable communities, especially women, at the centre of efforts to adapt to climate change, using ecosystems for protection. Mayor Shorris declared New York’s intention to implement a tax on plastic bags. Finally, Mayor Louie declared Vancouver’s aim to be the greenest city in the world.P