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EVENT: Join CDKN at Resilient Cities 2014

Panel discussion

Interactive discussion with CDKN partners and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Side event of Resilient Cities 2014: Making Climate Compatible Development Pay For Local Communities

Thursday, 29, May 2014 16:45-18:15  (Session B1)

Rooms: S01-S02, Gustav Stresemann Institute, Bonn, Germany            

The battle for climate compatible development will be won or lost at the subnational level: in provinces, districts and cities. National governments depend on subnational actors to implement climate policies, and innovative solutions in climate compatible development can emerge at local level to provide the catalyst for broader changes elsewhere.

Making the case for climate compatible development – which departs from business as usual – is not straightforward. For a start, assessing and then communicating the future impacts of climate change on a local economy can be challenging. This is why adaptation and mitigation policies and programs need to be closely connected to the development agenda of subnational decision-makers and strategically focus on co-benefits for communities and other local stakeholders.

CDKN-funded initiatives across the developing world are building climate resilience and integrating low-carbon measures in subnational processes including city planning. The involvement of local governments, communities, businesses, and researchers has had a tangible effect on program designs and has unlocked local resources for delivery. Knowledge partnerships as well as the economic rationale for climate compatible development have turned out to play a crucial role. Further investigations will be necessary on how successful initiatives at the subnational level can be replicated more effectively in order to foster a wider impact.

This interactive panel session will draw upon the first-hand experience of CDKN, ICLEI, and city partners in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and several medium and large cities in Latin America.  It will also rely on participants’ sharing their own views and experiences. The discussions will explore how participatory methods have shaped program design, tapped into local resources, improved the viability of pilot projects, and identified ways that climate mitigation and adaptation actions can yield significant development co-benefits. Furthermore, session participants will assess how participatory planning can influence investment decisions, leverage external funding, and foster the institutionalization and scaling up of policies and practices for more climate compatible development.

What you can expect

By the end of the panel discussion, the organizers of this session expect that participants will:

  • Be better able to match adaptation and mitigation aspirations with local development priorities;
  • Gain a better understanding of how participatory processes contribute to more effective policies and program for climate compatible development at subnational level;
  • Have a better grasp of design principles for successful policies and program for climate compatible development; and
  • Feel encouraged to form new professional relationships and working links to strengthen their activities in the field of climate compatible development in the future.

At the same time, CDKN, ICLEI, and partners anticipate that the discussions will help them ground-truth their analysis of climate compatible development planning, thus informing their analysis and contributing to future programing in the field.

Discussion questions:

The discussion will address, among others, the following questions:

  1. How have community representatives, civil society groups, businesses, and other stakeholder groups participated in climate compatible development planning in your city or subnational area?  How has their participation influenced the design of the program? Has it contributed to ‘success’?
  2. In the planning process, have stakeholders identified how taking action on climate adaptation or mitigation can provide wider development benefits (eg, income, quality of life, health benefits)? Did this co-benefit framing help to gain the support of decision-makers and wider groups? How important is the economic case for action – and how can it best be communicated?
  3. What is the role of champions – be they individuals or institutions – in making the case for action on climate compatible development?
  4. What difference does a participatory approach make to the way funds are invested or resources are mobilized locally? Is it ‘nice to have’ or ‘essential for implementation’?
  5. What does it take to replicate successful approaches to climate compatible development, at scale?




Mairi Dupar, Global Public Affairs Coordinator, CDKN, Overseas Development Institute, London, UK          

Barbara Anton, ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, Germany


Panelist           Tejas Shah, Health Officer, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, India

CDKN-sponsored project Addressing heat-health vulnerability in rapidly urbanising regions of Western India


Panelist           Marielle Dubbeling, Director, RUAF Foundation,The Netherlands

CDKN-sponsored project Monitoring impacts of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry on climate change adaptation and mitigation


Panelist           Miguel Rodríguez Tejerina, Monitoring and Evaluation Cities Footprint Project, Servicios Ambientales, La Paz, Bolivia

CDKN-sponsored project Carbon and water footprinting in three Andean cities


Panelist           Daniel Ryan, Director, Global Change, Fundacion Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN), Buenos Aires, Argentina

CDKN-sponsored project Generating policy analysis and inputs to strengthen climate change agenda and policies in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Mexico City


Panelist           Trinnawat Suwanprik, Sanitary Researcher, Chiang Mai Municipality, Thailand

CDKN-sponsored project ‘Sustainable urban tourism through low carbon initiatives’


Further recommended reading

CDKN Working Paper: Close to home – subnational strategies for climate compatible development (2014)

Click here.

Our inside stories here.


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