Angelika Tamasova, Climate Change Adaptation Expert, European Environment Agency
Olena Tarasova-Krasiieva, Project Manager on Nature-based Solution for Sustainable Cities, UNDP Ukraine
Funding and unity between cities highlighted at EURESFO 2021
More funding opportunities and collaborative work are essential for cities’ resilient recovery. After two days of intense discussions in the European Urban Resilience Forum (EURESFO) 2021, cities representatives, industries, and stakeholders highlighted the imperative need for innovative financing solutions and a holistic approach for integrated mitigation and adaptation strategies. The event took place in a hybrid format with sessions and attendees online and in Malmö, Sweden, on 19 and 20 October.
Among the conference’s main outcomes is the agreement that cities need more financial support from the European Union and national funds to scale up action and to work in collaboration with stakeholders, private sectors and research institutions. Funding opportunities were addressed by representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, including the announcement by Cinzia Losenno (EIB) of the first-ever EIB Adaptation plan to be launched at COP 26.
“This issue was massively discussed during the plenaries and we saw that cities are aware of the need for more financial incentives to implement climate action and to accelerate the work. This combination of work in different thematic and sectors with much focus on local level has become more urgent,” said Vasileios Latinos, Resilience Coordinator at ICLEI Europe and EURESFO coordinator.
Further outcomes refer to the need of integrated work on different fronts, such as nature-inspired solutions for the whole city rather than just in specific patches (parking lots, protected areas etc); better data collection and use for integrated climate strategies; actions to ensure future-proofing beyond the individual building level; consider smaller municipalities particular challenges and adapt to them; among others.
For the first time, the EURESFO 2021 took place in a hybrid format with sessions held both online and in Malmö. Around 100 people met in the venue, where studios were prepared to live stream the sessions, while over 500 participants joined the discussions online through the platform Hopin. Mami Mizutori, Head of United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction; Elena Visnar-Malinovska, Head of Adaptation Unit - DG Clima, European Commission; Margareta Wahlström, Expert, Disaster Risk Reduction were present at the event either in person or online.
“We should look at resilience as a competence, not as an end state. Basically, my message [to mayors] is that we need to take disasters seriously, they will happen again, and take the measures to protect citizens the next time, know your risks,” said Wahlström.
In summary, the EURESFO 2021 demonstrated the importance of resuming physical events after almost two year of exclusively online meetings due to the Covid pandemic. For the first time, the EURESFO took place over two days, which made possible to explore more topics, such as resilient buildings, DRR, cultural heritage, and other in which people are currently interested. “Besides the exchanges, networking, and discussions held during the Marketplace, site visits and social gatherings, we also had a couple of workshops, which we couldn’t really explore if we did it online,” said Priscilla Castro, the conference’s Communications Lead.
In Malmö, the participants had the opportunity to choose between three site visits in the first day of the Conference: The Sofielund neighbourhood, to learn about sustainable city development towards a resilient city district; the Parking Malmö, to see a multi-functional multi-storey car parking and how to maximize the societal benefits when building car parks for the future; and the Scandinavian Green Roof Institute (SGRI), to learn about recent projects and visit an experimental roof.
You can watch Mami Mizutori, Head of UNDRR, statement here.
Follow us on Twitter for future updates on the event’s report and recordings of the sessions.
Click here to see pictures of the event.
Making Cities Resilient 2030
MCR2030 is built upon the success of the previous decade of advocacy work under the Making Cities Resilient (MCR) Campaign, launched in 2010 and concluded at the end of 2020. The MCR Campaign, led by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and delivered with partners, promoted the use of a 10-point checklist (the Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient) to guide city governments in resilience planning and decision making. Over 4,360 cities signed up to the MCR Campaign during the past decade and adopted the Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient. Cities that joined the MCR Campaign have made greater progress in reducing disaster risk than cities that have not gone through a similar process of disaster risk awareness.
WHY JOIN MCR2030?
MCR2030 is a place where cities can find guidance and support to enhance understanding on risk reduction and resilience, to improve strategic planning to reduce risk and build resilience, and to take actions and progress along the resilience roadmap. All cities and local governments are highly encouraged to sign up as MCR2030 member cities. Any national government, national association of municipality, development agency, NGO/CSO, academia and research institution, private sector, UN entity or organization, network or interested entity with specific knowledge and expertise that can support cities to progress along the resilience roadmap are encouraged to join and support local governments in making cities resilient.
LIFE programme to invest €580 million in urban sustainability projects
The European Commission’s LIFE programme will make €580 million available to fund projects through their 2021 calls for proposals. The upcoming LIFE funding opportunities seek to financially support cities’ efforts in response to the climate crisis within four sub-programmes: nature and biodiversity; circular economy and quality of life; climate change mitigation and adaptation; and the clean energy transition.
Running from 2021 to 2027, the new LIFE programme accepts applications from public or private legal entities registered in the EU or linked overseas countries and territories; third countries associated with the LIFE programme; and legal entities created under Union law, or any international organisation. The deadline to submit proposals through the funding and tender opportunities portal varies from 22 September 2021 to 7 April 2022, depending on the sub-programme and type of project.
The LIFE team has prepared useful material to guide interested candidates through the application process, including recorded info sessions, a video tutorial, and guides on evaluation criteria, project types and successful application submission. In addition, LIFE will host a virtual Q&A sessions on 8 and 9 September 2021 to answer questions about the LIFE programme and the calls for proposals.
The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for environment and climate action created in 1992, and supports the EU’s Green Deal objectives through policy driven action, KPIs and freedom to create tailor made projects. The European LIFE programme has implemented more than 5,500 projects across the EU and in third countries and has since launched several European policies to reach its ambitious climate goals for the future.
For more information about the new LIFE programme and the 2021 calls, check out CINEA’s LIFE website.