German municipalities involved in global municipal climate partnerships met in Bonn this Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5 and 6, 2021. The network meeting marked the tenth anniversary of the Climate Partnership Program. Ten years ago, the program was initiated by the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) of Engagement Global and the NRW State Working Group 21. Under the program, German municipalities have been working with their respective partner municipalities from Africa, Asia and Latin America to develop concrete action programs for climate action and implement joint projects.
Mayor Katja Dörner congratulates SKEW on the success of the program: "Today, 150 municipalities are already participating in SKEW's climate partnership program - there could hardly be a better gift for the tenth anniversary. As an internationally committed city, we see it as our responsibility to work in our partnerships for the climate worldwide. Together with the Ghanaian partner city of Cape Coast, Bonn was one of the first municipalities to participate in the pilot phase of climate partnerships back in 2011, and our Bolivian partner city of La Paz has been involved since 2012. The Climate Partnerships Program has enabled us to implement joint projects with our project partner cities with financial support rendered by SKEW."
Bonn was one of the first municipalities to participate in the program
In 2011, with financial support from SKEW, Bonn and Cape Coast began working on a climate action program focusing on biodiversity, waste management and environmental education. From the ideas and opportunities explored in the process, the two cities developed a joint project to renaturalize the Fosu Lagoon in Cape Coast.
In 2012, SKEW made it possible to implement this project with the first funding nationwide that was made available under the support program for municipal climate protection and climate adaptation projects in communities. The project included the removal of wild garbage dumps, the establishment of permanent garbage collection sites around the water body, environmental education campaigns and the planting of trees. An environmental education center was also built, which remains one of the linchpins of partnership activities to this day. The climate partnership program laid an important foundation for this.
In La Paz, too, the climate action program laid the foundation for a multi-year project to expand the use of renewable energy and waste recycling in La Paz.
At the network meeting, Prof. Dr. Claudia Warning, Head of Department at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr. Stefan Wilhelmy, Division Director at Engagement Global gGmbH and Dr. Klaus Reuter, Executive Director, Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Agenda 21 NRW e.V. welcomed the participants. Together with about 70 representatives from German municipalities, they discussed the role of municipalities in the sustainability and climate discourse of the last 10 years as well as the framework conditions and ways to shape sustainable and successful climate partnerships. Stefan Wagner, Head of the City of Bonn's Department of International Affairs and Global Sustainability, reflected on Bonn's experience in a panel on Tuesday afternoon.
At an evening event at the City of Bonn's Museum of Art, Deputy Mayor Melanie Grabowy welcomed the participants. On this occasion, a new photo book was also presented, in which SKEW has collected impressions from the past ten years of climate partnerships.
A film about Bonn's climate partnership with Cape Coast is available on the Youtube channel of the Federal City of Bonn: