“International cooperation is the only answer to the degradation of our environment”

11 April 2017

AICCRE & PLATFORMA organised an international seminar in Chieti (Italy) on 5 April, called “strengthening resilience at the local level” on climate change and its impact on the resilience of towns and regions of the world, supported by the European Commission.

The president of the regional council of Abruzzo and AICCRE vice-president, Giuseppe Di Pangrazio, opened the conference, followed by Carla Rey, AICCRE secretary general. “In psychology, resilience is a term that means the capacity to positively face traumatic experiences, and is well adapted to the idea that towns and regions have the strength to overcome serious natural disasters,” she explained. “I am thinking for example of Florence, after the strong floods that hurt the city.”

She added: “We are convinced that only international cooperation in all fields can counter the degradation our environment faces”. Carla Rey said it was a shame that the 17 Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030 were not discussed as a priority in Italy.

Indeed, the fight against climate change is closely linked to other global issues: promoting sustainable agriculture, guaranteeing healthcare and well-being for everyone and for all ages, guaranteeing access to water, sustainable water management and water sanitation, ensuring everyone has access to affordable, secure, sustainable and modern energy, stop all types of poverty in the world, favour sustainable economic growth and decent work for all…

AICCRE, CEMR, PLATFORMA and UCLG have intensified their efforts to make sure the needs and assets of territories are taken into account in the negotiations on the environment and climate change.

This seminar, organised in Abruzzo – a region that was recently strongly hit by earthquakes, which could be due to climate change – has given the opportunity to the players of decentralised cooperation to put forward their actions and their positive impact on fair and sustainable development at local and global level.

The Covenant of Mayors office was also invited to present cities’ engagement to reduce their vulnerability to climate change, and prevent the risks that are linked to it. Eugenia Mansutti – CEMR Project Officer – presented the programme’s twinning initiative, through which “towns with similar vulnerability to climate change have decided to work together to reproduce certain efficient measures on their territories”. “This cooperation method between European cities also has the potential of being applied to decentralised cooperation, beyond European borders”, she added.

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