The Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact (CKZNCCC) held its eighth meeting in Durban, South Africa on the 13 May 2016. Since the formal launch of the
compact, the number of attendees have increased at meetings allowing not only progression but increased dialogue between municipalities within the central region of KZN. EThekwini Municipality hosted the meeting which was attended by eight municipalities as well the national Department of Environmental Affairs and South African Local Government Association.
A key focus of the meeting was on undertaking municipal vulnerability assessments. As a result the meeting was initiated with a presentation on the Local Government Climate Change Support Programme that is currently being implemented in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West by the Department of Environmental Affairs and GIZ. The presentation included an introduction to a Vulnerability Assessment Tool that is being developed in the project to assist municipalities in developing their own vulnerability assessments. More information on the project and the tool itself is available at www.climatechangesupport.org.
During the meeting a presentation was also provided on a study that the Durban Adaptation Charter Secretariat conducted on existing Vulnerability Assessments and Climate Change Response plans from CKZNCCC member municipalities. The study aimed to identify common challenges experienced by the member municipalities. The results of the study indicated flooding, water resources and loss of biodiversity as the most common issues. Another challenge that members raised was communication with local political leaders.
CKZNCC meetings always include a session where experiences are shared between municipalities. The session for this meeting was led by ILembe Municipality who reported on seven climate change projects that are being implemented and planned by the municipality. ILembe Municipality has successfully raised funds from several donors and during the meeting offered to share guidelines on attaining funds with the rest of the Compact.
Following the presentation from ILembe Municipality, participants briefly shared progress within their respective municipalities regarding climate change planning and implementation, and offered assistance to other municipalities present. Offering assistance has become a common outcome of these sessions, where municipalities that have made significant progress in a particular area have offered assistance to others. This is one of the strengths of the Compact; there is a willingness to share information and experiences for the benefit of others. In this regard, Compact members requested further capacity building assistance from the DAC Secretariat and suggested the development of a resource centre or website where documents could be shared.
Another highlight of the meeting was the announcement of plans to develop a compact toolkit that would assist other Metropolitan municipalities in South Africa to develop their own compacts.
The meeting concluded with an interactive session facilitated by a representative of the National Department of Environmental Affairs on the National Adaptation Strategy that is currently being drafted for South Africa. During the session, Compact members were able to contribute as KZN local government stakeholders towards the development of Chapter Five of the National Adaptation Strategy, which focuses on Local Government Input.
The next Compact meeting is due to be hosted on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal by Umhlathuze Municipality.