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European Resilience Partnership launches to prepare European communities for climate shocks

Date

28 Jun 2024

Sections

Climate & Environment

28 June 2024, Valencia, Spain

The 2024 edition of the European Urban Resilience Forum (EURESFO) took place during the Valencia Cities Climate Week, bringing together high-level representatives of cities and regions from across Europe to discuss challenges and opportunities to strengthen resilience in the context of sustainable urban development. Co-organised by ICLEI Europe, the European Environment Agency, and ICLEI member and European Green Capital city of Valencia, the event focused on multilevel governance, water resilience and the Blue Economy, and the transformation towards climate-neutral cities and regions. Additionally, it addressed building resilience in fragile settings and bridging the gap between humanitarian response and post-conflict recovery.

During the past three days, more than 800 participants and 100 speakers from 33 countries navigated the crucial aspects of resilience, sustainable development and recovery and witnessed the launch of the European Resilience Partnership. This initiative aims to break silos between societal, environmental, and economic resilience actions by building capacity through enabling collaboration across different sectors, governance scales, financing tools, initiatives. By doing so, it will also support local and regional governments in their journey to become more resilient.

Elina Bardram, Mission Manager, Director for Adaptation & Resilience, Communication, and Civil Society Relations, DG CLIMA, European Commission, highlighted: "In the face of climate change, collaboration is not merely an option but a necessity. Inclusive and participatory processes are also key for pursuing the priorities of the European Union. As we convene at the 11th EURESFO in Valencia, let us recognise the urgency of working together across all levels of governance and sectors. Our mission, as outlined by the EU Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change, extends beyond dialogue; it demands concerted action. EURESFO is a great opportunity to leverage collective wisdom and drive impactful change towards resilient, sustainable futures for all."

As climate and water-related stresses increase both in terms of frequency and impact, many European cities and regions are looking into solutions that can address the intertwined ongoing challenges and protect vulnerable populations. Water resilience and the promotion of existing blue economy models is a central pillar for economic growth and for building resilience within and beyond the Mediterranean while improving the ocean ecosystems.

EURESFO also aimed to discuss the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal and Adaptation Strategy that need to be implemented at the local and regional level and require enormous amounts of investments to build societal, environmental and economic resilience. Investment needs are pushing cities to rethink how governance and financial structures need to be adequate to allow their social, economic, and infrastructural systems in order to achieve resilience as well as climate neutrality. Harriët Tiemens, Director of the Green Metropolitan Region of Arnhem-Nijmegen (Netherlands), and member of ICLEI Europe Regional Executive committee added: “We feel obligated to build a good future for next generations. All European cities face a huge a urbanisation task, and it's important to consider touchstones such as resilience for climate change, good living, beauty, in order to be able to provide the best living conditions for the future. Let's learn how to urbanise in harmony and beauty of the environment.

As intensifying geopolitical crises are at the doorsteps of Europe, discussions at EURESFO focused on building resilience in fragile settings and bridging the gap between humanitarian responses to post-conflict resilience and the recovery process. The ICLEI Ukraine Roadmap, based on consultations with 19 Ukrainian cities, supports the shift from siloed investments in emergency response to integrated strategic financing for long-term recovery in alignment with the cities’ Local Green DealsAndriy Ocheretny, Deputy Mayor of Vinnytsia (Ukraine) highlighted: “Every city is facing different challenges, depending on their location. Expenses have increased in the cities after the war. We work towards developing strategies with a view of EU integration as a part of making our cities more resilient.

Note to the Editors:
To learn more about the event, click here.
 Pictures from the 11th European Urban Resilience Forum available here.

About EURESFO: Since 2013, EURESFO has been a unique exchange platform for city representatives, experts and stakeholders from local and regional institutions to discuss strategies, initiatives and actions for adapting to climate change, managing disasters, and building urban resilience. The European Urban Resilience Forum is a European initiative driven by ICLEI Europe and the European Environment Agency, and co-organised with the City of Valencia for the 2024 edition. Previous partners such as Resilient Cities NetworkUNDRREuropean Investment BankEuropean Committee of the RegionsCovenant of Mayors - Europe, Nordic Urban Resilience Institute, and Google.org are back to support the programme development.

About ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125 countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. ICLEI Europe provides members in Europe, the Middle East and West Asia with a voice on European and international stages, a platform to connect with peers, and tools to drive positive environmental, economic and social change. ICLEI Europe works closely with an extended network of local and regional governments and partners on a broad range of topics.

 

 

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