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COP 23 Front-line Cities & Islands and Bonn Fiji Commitment

Master of Ceremony:
Cathy Oke
Councilor, Melbourne, Australia,
ICLEI Global Executive Committee MemberLorna  Eden
Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment
Fiji

Mauricio Rodas
Mayor of Quito
Ecuador

Mayors and leaders of islands at the front-line of climate change, from the President of Palau to Mayor of Cozumel, Mexico, came together with mayors and leaders of cities around the world to join forces in taking action to address climate change and build resilience through the launch of Front-line Cities and Islands at COP23.

Islands are often recognized for being at the front-line of climate change impacts. However they are also at the front-line of spearheading integrated solutions to climate change and sustainable development. Palau itself is strengthening the resilience of marine ecosystems, Hawaii was an early mover on climate and sustainability and Cozumel has shown leadership on sustainable, smart development.“The involvement of national governments is needed to support local government efforts,” said Assistant Minister Eden. This is particularly important in island states, where local governments are closely linked to the national level, and are less economically independent than local governments in other, larger nations.

Going forward, the Front-line Cities and Islands will:

• Cultivate city-to-city and island-to-island learning and strategic partnerships.

• Determine priority issues that cities and islands can work on together.

• Identify island leadership and practical solutions that can be shared.

• Identify and develop funding sources and financing mechanisms for the long term.

•Promote dialogue and agreement to implement innovative resilience solutions.

Lorna Eden spoke the undeniable truth: Climate change affects us all. All countries and every level government need to have the tools to meet national and global goals.

Cities experience climate change first hand and local and regional governments are closest to the people. If cities do not move to address the needs of vulnerable people who will? Cities need to lead but they also need the backing of national governments and financing.

Local and regional leaders adopt the Bonn-Fiji Commitment

Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito Metropolitan Government, Ecuador, lead the adoption ceremony, summarizing its intention as follows:

First, local governments are committed to do their part of the work. Second, they are committed to coordinate with national governments and institutions. Third, cities will implement specific programs and actions to effectively fight climate change.

“Local governments and cities throughout the world play a key role in the fight against climate change. We are leaving a historic moment at this Summit by adopting the Declaration that ICLEI has facilitated with the collaboration of different partners and stakeholders,” says the mayor.

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