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Local Action Champion: Mayor James Nxumalo

November 14, 2012

(Editor’s Note: Local action Champion is a series that profiles leaders and visionaries who have made a mark in achieving sustainability through local action).

Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project is one of the flagship adaptation projects initiated and implemented by eThekwini Municipality. It was listed as one of the 10 Lighthouse projects of the Momentum for Change Campaign of UN Climate Change Secretariat. Ethekwini Municipality, in partnership with the Wildlands Conservation Trust has also implemented the innovative Durban CEBA (Community Ecosystem Based Adaptation) Initiative which pioneered the use of adaptation credits to create employment opportunities in vulnerable communities whilst offsetting greenhouse emissions as a result of hosting the UN Durban Climate Change Conference (COP17/CMP7) in December 2011.

Since joining the World Mayors Council on Climate Change (WMCCC) in 2011, Mayor Nxumalo has also taken an active role in driving local governments globally to accelerate action on climate adaptation.  He convened the Durban Local Government Convention on 2-4 December 2011, parallel to COP17/CMP7, where the Durban Adaptation Charter, a key outcome of the Convention, was signed by more than 100 local government leaders representing over 950 cities, towns and municipalities worldwide. The Durban Adaptation Charter commits local governments to local climate action in their jurisdiction that will assist their communities to respond to and cope with climate change risks thereby reducing vulnerability. Mayor Nxumalo is also the Chair of the South African Local Government Association Climate Change Champions Committee which aims to build capacity and champions within local government organisations within South Africa.

“Climate change can only be addressed through development that promotes human welfare, ensures ecosystem integrity and promotes a new greener economy, especially at the local level, since one out of two people in the world now live in cities,” said Mayor Nxumalo at his intervention at the High – Level Segment of COP17/CMP7 on 9 December 2011 

Full text and updates on Durban Adaptation Charter is available at www.durbanadaptationcharter.org

A more comprehensive compilation of numerous mitigation and adaptation activities, commitments and performance of Durban is also available at carbonn Cities Climate Registry.

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