Constant learning on local initiatives

ICLEI organizes an annual global forum on urban resilience and adaptation, which takes place in Bonn, Germany every year. This important venue is a great opportunity to learn about valuable initiatives that are developed all around the world. And, fortunately, I was part of it in 2013.

My role in the conference was as a social media volunteer. I was responsible for writing blog summaries and tweet about the sessions. This allowed me to attend a variety of talks from diverse panelists that described experiences from their home countries; to share some information with those that could not attend the conference; and also to interact closely with other people who are active users of twitter and engaged with constant feedback.

Resilience, disasters management, Hazards, Risk, Climate Change, and Sustainable Living are just a few topics of the broad scope is addressed in the conference every year. Such interdisciplinary and innovative approach promotes the integration of sciences in order to face present environmental issues and the most pressing challenges of the growing urbanization that is taking place all over.

A particularly memorable session I attended emphasized the need for an integrated framework regarding local adaptation and action. Various projects from developing countries such as India, Indonesia, México, Argentina and Colombia were presented. These had the common characteristic of being in advanced stages. The latter, stressed the stringent need to obtain local support and to engage the political sphere for building capacity in the local level.

It was amazing to hear the researches and initiatives being presented at the conference. While some presenters were long time leaders in their field, there were also policy makers, and community leaders who made the venue even more interesting.

by Sara Becerra, student of the International Master of Environmental Sciences at University of Cologne. From Bogotá, Colombia