EThekwini Municipality launches the Durban Climate Change Strategy

Submitted by: Tholakele Nene, Wednesday, March 20, 2013

<p>EThekwini Municipality has launched a participatory process to develop a climate change strategy for Durban that will take into account the views of Durban’s citizens (Image Source: EThekwini Municipality).</p>

EThekwini Municipality has launched a participatory process to develop a climate change strategy for Durban that will take into account the views of Durban’s citizens (Image Source: EThekwini Municipality).

Environmental Planning and Climate ProtectionDepartment, and Energy Office of eThekwini Municipality today launched a participatory process to develop a climate change strategy for Durban. The Durban Climate Change Strategy (DCCS) will provide the Municipality and Durban’s stakeholders with guidance on how to address climate change challenges in the City. Urban Earth, in association with FutureWorks!, has been commissioned to develop the strategy for the city.

Speaking about the launch of the strategy, Durban Mayor James Nxumalo said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of an inclusive process to develop a climate change strategy for eThekwini Municipality. Climate Change will affect us all, from the business owner to the subsistence farmer. Increasing our resilience to the predicted change in climate and investing in the green economy will help us live up to our goal of being Africa’s most caring and liveable City.”

The development of the strategy follows on from the success of the COP17-CMP7 event hosted by the Municipality in 2011 and previous projectsand initiatives that have focused on climate change.

Senior Manager of the Energy Office Derek Morgan says “A greenhouse gas inventory for the 2010 year revealed that the highest contributors to the City’s carbon footprint were from the transport and industrial sectors.  It is important that these areas are prioritised to reduce emissions in the city. Furthermore it is important that all sectors realise that they can assist in reducing the amount of carbon emissions that are emitted. The Durban Climate Change Strategy will include a practical list of activities that each sector can engage in.”

Deputy Head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department at eThekwini Municipality, Dr.Debra Roberts, adds, “Globally, we know that it is already too late to prevent climate change. Human induced climate change is already happening and will continue to do so - even if we stopped producing all green house gases - for hundreds and possibly thousands of years. We must therefore begin to adapt to the inevitable changes that will result. We know that in Durban, the poorest of our people will be the most at risk from these changes, and we need to assist them with adapting to climate change.”

Encouraging public participation:

To ensure an inclusive and participatory public participation process the Municipality has developed a number of ways for residents to be part of the DCCS process. These include:  stakeholder and community meetings,a bilingual website with content offered in both IsiZulu and English to cater for the diverse Durban community and an sms line for those interested and affected parties without internet access.

“The Durban Climate Change Strategy will bring together ideas from different sectors, and engage with vulnerable communities to establish where their concerns lie, and prioritise adaptation measures that ensure that the municipal vision can still be met under climate change conditions”, adds Roberts.

Interested and affected parties can visit the website on www.dccs.org.za to take a short survey and register on the stakeholder database. Those without internet access can sms the keyword DCCS followed by their name and cell phone number to 31022 to register as a stakeholder.

The DCCS website features useful information on the DCCS project as well as an online survey aimed at collecting the views and concerns of residents which will inform the strategy.

Furthermore, adverts will also appear in the local media channels inviting residents to register on the bilingual DCCS website.

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Tholakele Nene