Local, regional and national leaders representing 20+ countries came together at the High-Level Talanoa Dialogue dinner convened by the Mayor of Bonn.

The Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues come to Resilient Cities 2018

The Resilient Cities Congress 2018 hosted an official Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue on 27 April 2018. The Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues are a series of in-country climate consultations that kick off a collaborative process involving all levels of government. They convene national, regional and local governments to take stock of, shape and strengthen climate action at all levels, from global to local.

The High Level Talanoa Dialogue and Dinner on the evening of Friday, 27 April convened by Mayor of Bonn Ashok Sridharan at Bonn City Hall, hosted a critical conversation just ahead of the Talanoa Dialogue at the midyear climate talks. The conversation featured addresses by UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, State Secretary of the German Ministry of Environment Jochen Flasbarth, COP23 High Level Champion H.E. Inia Seruiriatu and Tomasz Chruszczow, Incoming COP24 Presidency Special Envoy.

Patricia Espinosa addressed the participants, a delegation local and national governments and climate stakeholders from more than 20 countries on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead:

“Climate change takes every challenge we currently face and multiplies it... But we also have a lot of opportunities and that is where we need to concentrate our efforts. If we address climate change we can build a better future for this generation and for generations to come.”

Minister Inia Seruiratu, COP23 Presidency, High Level Climate Champion focused on the power and spirit of Talanoa: “There are strong stories in this room... I urge you to share these stories not only amongst yourselves but with the world. This is what Talanoa aims to do – to allow us to learn from and better understand each other.”

Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary, German Federal Ministry of Environment acknowledged: “We need national decision making but this is not enough to meet our targets. We need the engagement of the people, local governments, their networks and civil society on the ground and that has been perfectly achieved by ICLEI.”

After an evening of face-to-face dialogue, Ingrid Hoven from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) reported some of the key actionable asks of all local and national leaders and actors working on climate that emerged from this Talanoa Dialogue in Bonn: 

  • Get out of silos. More action is needed to bring entities together at all levels to drive action on the ground. Work together and align your actions.
  • Get the governance right. Dare to be courageous and change regulatory and governance frameworks.
  • Get the finance to the local entities so they can finance scalable resilience and climate friendly cities.
  • Try to have a joint vision that connects the national and local level.

She concluded: “We have to do the utmost possible to bring a sense of urgency into the negotiation room. The climate testimonies presented at COP23 by youth, women and farmers on the impacts they feel in their daily lives were powerful. This has to be brought back to the negotiations to ensure action is taken to lead us to the 1.5-degree goal that we must achieve. This is possible if we follow the guidance of the Talanoa Dialogue and make our work transparent, trustful and aimed at building consensus.”

These outcomes will contribute to the upcoming Bonn climate talks this May and the broader Talanoa Dialogue. The Talanoa theme ran throughout the Congress, where hundreds of local and regional leaders, experts and practitioners came together to discuss key urban resilience and climate adaptation challenges, directions and opportunities, gaps and future developments, delivering on the goals set in the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.


The Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogues are organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability on behalf of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) and UN-Habitat as special partners.

Read more about Talanoa at Resilient Cities 2018.

Read more on the Cities and Regions Talanoa Dialogue.

See more pictures of the dinner here.

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