The third meeting of the Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact – Durban, South Africa

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CKZNCCC DelegatesThe Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact (CKZNCCC) is a Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC) sub-national partnership that has been formed between eThekwini Municipality, the local government for the city of Durban, and its neighbours in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The Compact was established in February 2014 when these neighbours were invited to discuss the formation of a partnership. The aim of the partnership is to provide a forum through which participating local governments can together engage and cooperate for an integrated climate change adaptation response in order to reduce vulnerabilities and increase resilience of their communities. The compact also serves as a platform for capacity development, exchanging of lessons, streamlining of efforts and gaining better access to support and funding from local and international funders.

EThekwini Municipality hosted the 3rd CKZNCCC meeting, prior to a Climate Change Learning Exchange on the 8th of October 2014. The meeting was attended by officials from compact members, other adjacent local governments, provincial and national departments, as well as organisations such as the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – Africa, and tertiary institutions.

The meeting included presentations from eThekwini Municipality, the current DAC Secretariat, on the background to the DAC and CKZNCCC, a DAC progress report, the development of a climate change knowledge network to facilitate decision making, and, an introduction to the adaptation reporting tool that is aligned with ICLEI’s Carbonn Registry.

During the meeting, all local governments present were also given the opportunity to report back on their climate change developments, which served as a reflection process for everyone to identify and share on their successes and challenges experienced.

One of the key challenges expressed by the local governments was a lack of capacity to conduct climate change work. EThekwini Municipality’s presentation on a case study of the Bergrivier Municipality in the Western Cape in South Africa demonstrated that successful climate change projects are however not solely dependent on in-house capacity. The formation of partnerships with organisations such as academics, NGOs and other tiers of government helped the Bergrivier Municipality to develop a climate change adaptation plan with minimal staff and funding. The partnerships with the academic institutions in particular helped the Bergrivier Municipality to gain access to climate change data that could be used as a foundation to develop their response to climate change.  The CKZNCCC aims to assist local governments in the region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with issues of capacity by creating a platform for local governments to share information, to link up with research institutions and to apply for funding collectively.

The meeting ended on a positive note with many of the adjacent local governments expressing their interest in joining the Compact, and signing the DAC. The DAC Secretariat encouraged member municipalities to present the Compact and the DAC to their respective Councils for approval. Institutions such as SALGA and the National Department of Environmental Affairs also expressed their interest and willingness to partner and work with local governments by offering support and tackling issues of capacity. With regards to reporting, the DAC Secretariat will provide support to local governments to report on their climate change adaptation projects on the Carbonregistry.

The next meeting of the Compact will be hosted by KwaDukuza Municipality in early February, 2015.

Image Source: Janice Lee Moodley, eThekwini Municipality’s Municipal Institute of Learning

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