Cities call for vertical integration in resilience financing


The 6th edition of the Resilient Cities congress on urban resilience and adaptation closed today with a call for vertical integration in resilience financing. Since 2011, the congress has been focusing on themes related to accelerating access of local governments to national adaptation funds. While new funding streams have opened up, many cities  lament the need for enhancing the integration among the different levels of government.

"The money is there, but the challenge is the access to it," noted ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin. Van Begin stressed that to enhance funding access, local governments need capacity building support for overcoming regulatory obstacles. Additionally, national and local governments need to find a common ground between competing priorities and aim to develop self-sufficient and locally determined financial mechanisms.  The examples from the cities of New York, USA, Copenhagen, Denmark and Naculo Porto, Mozambique demonstrated the need for effective communications and increased cooperation among cities, national governments and financial institutions in order to ensure the successful implementation of adaptation projects.

Aside from financing, the three-day congress which welcomed over 400 city representatives, experts and researchers from around the world, also covered the cross-cutting themes of communicating resilience, enhancing resilience of public health systems, building resilience urban infrastructures, the future of urban heat islands, the reality of loss and damage and making food systems resilient. (Read the related thematic blogs and video interviews here: http://talkofthecities.iclei.org/blog/category/resilient-cities-2015/)

At the end of the congress, host city Mayor Juergen Nimptsch reminded everyone that "“Cities and climate change, cities and resilience… It’s about saving lives!”

Nimptsch also laid the vision for the upcoming months leading to the next United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in December this year. (Watch his video message here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f90nnW0TU7Y )

Lastly, Yunus Arikan, Head of ICLEI Advocacy and Policy remarked: “The climate negotations will leave much room open for us, cities, to take the lead. We will go to Paris and be very clear about how climate action for us is a race to the top, not the bottom. Cities in general and ICLEI in particular have always been one step ahead of the climate talks, always coming in when countries do not deliver.”

Now armed with this vision, as well as with new knowledge of the tools, financing mechanisms and best practice examples, participants and organizers left Resilient Cities 2015 even more determined to ensure that local actions for sustainability speak louder than words.

Watch the final video highlights here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6whIGSiKcG0



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