2018 A year of renewal for nrg4SD

María Cecilia Alvarado,

Deputy Prefet of Azuay, Ecuador

We celebrate 15 years and by reaffirming our commitment, we challenge ourselves so that our NETWORK is not only maintained and consolidated over time as an international voice and reference of regional governments in sustainable development issues, but also so that it can be able to take joyfully the task of renewing itself, both in the work dynamics, increasingly closer taking advantage of the technology; as above all in the greater proximity and alignment of its activities to the realities and expectations of our members, immense and wonderfully diverse. In this scenario, I assumed the co-presidency for the South last October, and I did it in the General Assembly held in Reunion Island, an overseas French territory, whose name depicts its essence - and I dare to say, the essence of nrg4SD-: the meeting of cultures, races, religions, languages, coexisting harmoniously, sharing innovative solutions and developing joint techniques to face climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the challenge of achieving sustainable and balanced territories, integrating the urban and the rural. In 2018, in addition to the strong presence in international forums such as the High Level Political Forum, the COP 14 on Biodiversity or COP 24 on Climate Change, we will continue to motivate our members to integrate and meet global objectives within the framework of our projects, such as the #RegionsAdapt initiative and the #Regions4Biodiversity Learning Platform, and to get actively involved in the #BreatheLife campaign of which we are part. These specific exercises allow us to fulfill the dual purpose that the subnational governments have: to influence the global goals and discussions and to land in the territory concrete actions that sensitize the population and motivate us to ACT NOW. Example of the concrete action of nrg4SD, are the two invitations that I would like to extend to the members of ORU-FOGAR, and especially to those Latin American brothers with whom we share challenges and environmental heritage beyond borders:

First, to participate in the launch of the results report of RegionsAdapt after the completion of its first phase of two years, in which 69 regional governments from 5 continents have shared and learned experiences and good practices in climate adaptation, and have worked together to achieve three commitments in their territories: create or revise a climate action plan, implement at least one action in the RegionsAdapt areas, and report their progress annually. It is a pleasure to verify in this report the leadership that regional governments have in climate adaptation thanks to their courageous and innovative actions, which serve as inspiration not only to peers but also to other levels of government.

Secondly, to join us in the International Conference on Biodiversity that we will develop together with the annual meeting of our General Assembly in Cuenca-Azuay next June. This Conference directly aligned with the achievement at the subnational level of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Agenda 2020, including the Aichi Targets, will bring together all stakeholders and levels of government to discuss and share solutions on the preservation of territorial biodiversity in the context of sustainable territories. In 2018, and as President for the South of nrg4SD, I will continue to carry, as we have always done over the last 15 years, a powerful message, which continues to appeal on international platforms to the concerns of the regions: urban problems are not resolved within its limits, it is essential to look at territories in a comprehensive and interdependent manner, look at rurality and recognize that there may be the answers for effective and lasting solutions to the problems that overwhelm the cities. Undoubtedly, for a good quality of life in the urban area and for a good rural policy, regional governments are key - true architects of territorial equilibrium. This is the message and the concept that we share with ORU-FOGAR, and for which we are an active part, demanding greater autonomy and budget for regional governments in the world. From this year 2017, I keep the hope of those who participated in the COP 23 Fiji-Bonn, when listening to the Governor of the State of California Jerry Brown, and the ex-governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other US governors, demonstrating that the States will be those who continue to work and lead actions against climate change, despite President Trump's disastrous decision.


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