Updates from ICLEI's Global Sustainability Network
September 2016
Dear ICLEI Friends and Colleagues,

Small island states are some of the most climate-vulnerable places in the world. The population and economic opportunities in these nations are often concentrated in single urban areas, which are usually situated in coastal or low-lying areas. These vulnerabilities are exacerbated by a lack of local capacity and resources to adapt.

To support local and subnational governments in small island states in building their resilience, ICLEI launched a community of cities, towns and provinces in small island states during the Resilient Cities Congress this past July. As a councillor of Honiara City in the Solomon Islands, I am proud to be a champion of this community and confident it will help bring us towards a more resilient development pathway.

However, our efforts alone will not be sufficient. If the world does not limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and support sustainable models of urbanization, our small island communities will be the first to become uninhabitable.

It is therefore essential that small island priorities around climate change and sustainable development are strongly referenced in the emerging global framework for sustainable urbanization – the New Urban Agenda - which nations will agree upon at Habitat III in Quito. By connecting these frameworks, Habitat III can successfully place sustainable urbanization at the core of the debate on sustainable development and climate change – a particularly important step for small island nations. Following the last round of negotiations at the United Nations headquarters in September, it now looks very likely that this can be achieved.

The issues facing municipalities in small island nations remain pressing, and are an important reminder that the world must act now, with global partners and nations committed to working alongside and supporting local and regional governments to achieve resilient, sustainable development.
With kind regards,
Cr Edward Ngava
Honiara City Council, Solomon Islands
Member of ICLEI Global Executive Committee and champion of the ICLEI Community for Towns, Cities and Provinces of Small Island States
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Photo credits
"Climate commitments surge...": "Bariloche" by Jeff Warren is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 
"African cities gear up toward...": "Medina-Marrakech Morocco" by Julia Kostecka licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
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