Background
The Durban Adaptation Charter was the key output of the Durban Local Government Convention: adapting to a changing climate – towards COP17/CMP7 and beyond (2-4 December 2011) which ran concurrently with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP17/CMP17 held in Durban, South Africa (28 November - 9 December 2011).
 
The COP17/CMP7 Durban Local Government Convention was organised by a Local Government partnership, made up of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the South African Cities Network (SACN), eThekwini Municipality, South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) together with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Since then, the organising partnership has grown considerably to include adaptation experts from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the International Cities/ Counties Management Association (ICMA), the cities of Miami Beach and Broward County (Florida, USA) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
 
At the Convention held in Durban’s City Hall, 107 mayors and elected officials representing over 950 local governments signed the Durban Adaptation Charter on 4 December 2011.In doing so, representatives of 27 countries pledged to strengthen local level adaptive capacity to climate change, and committed local governments around the world to urgent and decisive climate adaptation action in the drive to address a climatically extreme and unpredictable future. The number has increased to 341 mayors and elected officials representing 1069 organisations.
 
The Durban Adaptation Charter complements existing local government climate change initiatives, such as the Mexico City Pact (signed prior to COP16/CMP6) and the associated carbonn Climate Registry. Together they provide a holistic vision for transforming the world’s cities and local governments and making them more ‘climate smart’. The streamline reporting effort, DAC signatory cities report on their adaptation actions using the carbonn Climate Registry.
 
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His Worship the Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo signing the Durban Adaptation Charter at COP17 held in Durban in December 2011held in Durban in December 2011
 
To view the different translation of the Charter click here
 
To view the DAC logo click here
 
DAC Implementation Guidance Workshop Report 
 
 
Durban Adaptation Charter 2016
 
Durban Adaptation Charter 2017 
 
Durban Adaptation Charter 2019                  

Durban Adaptation Charter 2020

The year 2020 has provided many challenges for most of us on this planet, the Durban Secretariat overseeing implementation of the Durban Adaptation Charter have not been spared either. The year started well with Durban’s hosting of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) Africa training event where 20 local governments were represented. Training in establishing new EPIC research partnerships (between government, universities and communities) was successful and a new core group was added to the EPIC Africa network. This new group has continued to meet monthly and reporting progress, and has been ably supported by the EPIC-N secretariat for which the EPIC Africa Secretariat is very grateful. Progress has been reported by the three core leading cities/ universities in Durban, Lusaka and Nairobi. The new network participants were similarly hamstrung in their efforts to establish their partnerships, due to Covid-19, but have remained committed and are now making progress.
 
Planning for the return trip to Durban, by a delegation of senior County Government of Mombasa officials for a learning exchange under the Miji Bora project, was completed. Everything was in place to welcome these guests to Durban in mid-March when it became apparent that Covid-19 would change our lives. In one of the great escapes of our DAC year, the trip was postponed (luckily all monies were recovered), and during the following week (when the tour would have taken place), South Africa went into lockdown. To date it has not been possible to host this learning exchange in person, but a series of webinars have been convened around topics of the exchange in the second half of this year. To their credit, Mombasa has established: a) its own EPIC programme, its first product being a sanitiser for their ferry passengers and b) it own Transformative River Management programme. This ability to translate learning into action is highly commendable.
 
Activities associated with implementation of the Hub and Compact approach can be found in the 2020 annual report, which is planned to be released in early 2021. This will be the first year that the annual report is only produced in a digital version (not phygitally i.e. a combination of hard copy and electronic), due to cost containment measures following the economic impact of Covid-19.
 
 
 
Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact: 2020
CKZNCCC conducts a Survey to Move Compact Meetings Online.
The CKZNCCC convenes its meeting on a quarterly basis. The meetings are hosted on voluntary principle by different municipalities.  The Corona Virus (Covid-19) reached the South African shores and was spreading fast within communities. In a response to slow the rate of infection, the South African Government introduced a lockdown. The regulations under Declaration of a National Disaster prohibited large gatherings. Level 4 and 5 of the regulations prohibited travel between district municipalities. This had a direct impact on the ability of municipalities to convene or attend compact meetings.
One of the aspects of preventing or reducing the spread of the virus is to encourage citizens to work from their home. The DAC secretariat had to acknowledge that the pandemic will be around for a long time; necessitating for the institutional arrangement reconfiguration.
During Level 4 of the lockdown a CKZNCCC WhatsApp group was established to reach out to the compact members, especially since most of the stakeholders were working from home and that their access to emails may have been limited. The intention was to find an alternative platform to communicate CKZNCCC related matters. The platform has been successfully been used for communication alerts as well as for information sharing.
A survey was conducted to establish the status quo of the CKZNCCC members and their capacity to convene compact meetings online. This included establishing which online platform were popular; communication tools; access to data; etc.
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Figure:1 A preview of a survey template and the outcome results
Most members indicated that they have adjusted well with working from home and have the necessary tools to move the meetings to a virtual platform. The first 2 days online meeting took place on the 14 & 17 July 2020, using Microsoft Teams.  The online move has presented the members with an opportunity to convene a joint compact meeting with the Mpumalanga Province. This will re-enforce the climate change working relationship between the two provinces.
 
July 2020
The first 2 days online meeting took place from the 14th -17th July 2020, using Microsoft Teams. The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC- N) progress was presented at the meeting, showing how students can undertake some of the research work that is required in municipalities gaining experience in real life issues while the municipality gains good research sources. The Mpumalanga representatives at this joint Compact meeting were interested in learning more about partnering with educational institutions highlighting how the Compact promotes partnerships, city-to-city cooperation and knowledge exchange. The Youth Environmental Coordinator Program (YCOP) run by the Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries (DEFF) was also introduced at this Compact meeting by a DEFF representative who presented how the programme embeds YCOP individuals into the municipalities to assist the municipality while promoting the YCOP’s ability to be absorbed into the formal job market through this on-site training. The Compact members confirmed that the YCOP individuals have been a great help to them thus far and commended the programme. The municipalities then shared their updates with the Compact members and the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) also shared an update on the Climate Response Plans they are initiating in the province.
 
September 2020
The CKZNCCC continued with the online joint Compact meetings with Mpumalanga in this quarterly meeting from the 17th-18th September. Mpumalanga provided a presentation on how climate change work is integrated into the IDP of Mpumalanga and the challenges they experience. Discussion revolved around how the IDPs need to be more innovative in terms of planning as the world changes. Collaboration between different levels of government is vital. A funding opportunity was presented by the former City Manager of Durban, Dr Michael Sutcliff where the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) is interested in providing funding that will enable municipalities to respond more effectively to climate change. The mitigation efforts in the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces were presented and SALGA provided a discussion on coastal management by-law support and Arbour Week. A proposal for EDTEA to host a Compact of Mayors meeting in December 2020 was put forward. The Compact of Mayors was established for the purposes of providing the Mayors with an opportunity or platform to report on what is happening in their municipalities. A set of Terms of Reference has been produced to revive the KZN Climate Change Council.
 
A Green Economy Development Plan was presented by Mpumalanga addressing the current challenges they face as government and meet the targets which include job creation and investments in the province.  Currently, the province has managed to secure an amount of R 10 Million from the Germany government through GIZ. This will facilitate the implementation of the green economy plan as well as to establish the Green Economic Cluster. The municipalities then provided updates for the climate change work being done in their departments.
 
November 2020
The last Compact meeting for the year was held online from the 12th - 13th of November 2020. EDTEA announced that the KZN Climate Change Committee has been initiated and the provincial department is providing the secretariat support for the council and is looking for a balanced representative membership. Highlights were then provided from the various municipalities present. SALGA provided a presentation on the climate compatibility of infrastructure investment plans covering the scope of the infrastructure for both rural and urban (sustainable development and green infrastructure) including hardware, software and virtual infrastructure. Discussion on the Compact of Mayors meeting dates took place but a way forward is still needed to ensure this meeting convenes. DEFF presented a climate change funding model that discussed the climate support response programs that are in place. Compact members benefit greatly from access to information such as this to grow in capacity by teaching officials how to package the products they produce and present bankable business plans to apply for funding. Updates were provided for the municipalities and input into the DAC 2020 Annual Report was requested from Compact members. The meetings dates for 2021 were presented and members hoped to have one in person meeting at the end of the year next year for the benefits of networking and building better relationships and partnerships.
 
Transformative Riverine Management (TRM) Knowledge Exchange with CKZNCCC municipalities.
EThekwini Municipality has been working with the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF), in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), to develop a business case to support a Transformative River Management Programme in the municipality. The draft business case was completed in November 2020. During 2020, C40 worked with CKZNCCC members to develop concept notes for their own TRM programmes through a series of workshops and supporting activities.
 
A series of two and three-day online workshops were hosted in the following municipalities during 2020: uMhlathuze Local Municipality on 19, 20 & 22 May; KwaDukuza LM on 17, 18, & 19 June, eNdumeni LM on 8 & 9 July and finally uGu on 25 & 26 August. The inter-municipal knowledge exchange workshops provided a platform for eThekwini Municipality officials to share their best practise based on different river management pilot projects. The shared knowledge will assist other municipalities to conceptualise their TRM models as means of a climate change adaptation response. Emphasis on the importance of building governance foundation by involving all relevant stakeholders was highlighted. The scientific based approach on the development of the TRM business case will equip the municipalities with the credible bankable program that will not only improve the state of the rivers, but will bear them diversified socio-economic benefits.
 
By the end of 2020, these four municipalities had developed their concept notes and these were presented in the final Compact meeting of the year. The Compact secretariat will now work with the municipalities and C40 to seek funding for implementation.