25 June 2012

Namibia: Windhoek Honoured At Rio

The City of Windhoek received the thumbs-up for protecting water supplies and halting environmental degradation, in a new report on transformative action at local level in creating a sustainable 21st century.

The report is issued by Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) - founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives - and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The report was released during the just ended Global Sustainable Development Conference in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.

It cited the City of Windhoek, which introduced an environmental management plan to protect the water supply at the Goreangab Dam from contamination by the mushrooming nearby informal settlements.

"To speed up the realisation of sustainable development and the internationally agreed goals, local governments must be supported by global and national leadership on the environment," the report said.

It noted that local governments have played a central role in sustainable development and shaping the transition to a green economy, and makes recommendations that can support their work and help transfer their successful policies to other cities and countries.

The study is a companion report to the Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO-5) for Local Government, a recently released comprehensive assessment of the state of the environment as coordinated by UNEP.

The report cautioned that if humanity does not urgently change its unsustainable patterns of production and consumption of natural resources, then governments will preside over unprecedented levels of damage and degradation.

Cities and local governments, which already experience many environmental strains, will face further challenges as a result, particularly in the face of growing populations and urbanisation.

The report further stated that energy security, access to water and sanitation and biodiversity can also all be adversely affected by growing cities, unless local governments factor them into their planning for cities that continue to sprawl outwards.

Despite the challenges, cities and local governments have been at the centre of efforts to respond to environmental change, even as the global and national responses remain weak.

ICLEI built its report on case studies of worldwide local authorities and highlighted the best policies that call for cities and local governments to continue to take action.


Copyright © 2012 New Era. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.