Accelerating action for climate resilience: the way ahead

20 October 16:30 - 17:30

EURESFO's final plenary session will synthesise key issues emerging from the European Urban Resilience Forum 2021: what have we learned, what challenges have been raised by cities, regions and their stakeholders and what should we be doing in research, policy and practice to deliver on the current adaptation and resilience needs?

The session will be an open discussion where participants from policy, research and practice reflect on what they see as novel activities for accelerating resilience work and what should the adaptation community be taking away with them as challenges and ideas that might lead to faster, and more pervasive action.

The plenary will also investigate how to make resourcing and financing adaptation less complex for cities and how to overcome the ‘adaptation-gap’, especially now that cities and regions are looking further than the current global pandemic crisis and plan for a resilient future.


Margareta Wahlström

Expert, Disaster Risk Reduction (former UNDRR Head and Swedish Red Cross Head)

Margareta WahlstrÖm, Expert, Disaster Risk Reduction (former UNDRR Head and Swedish Red Cross Head)

Margareta Wahlström is formerly the President of the Swedish Red Cross from May, 2017-May 2021. From 2008 including 2015, Ms. Wahlström was the Special Representative of the United Nations’ Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and simultaneously Head of the United Nations’ Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Ms Wahlström served as the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  (OCHA) 2002-2008.
Ms Wahlström spent 2002 -2004 in Afghanistan as the Deputy Special Representative of the UN SG at UNAMA, in charge of  the coordination of humanitarian and rehabilitation planning and cooperation. In 1989 she joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies  in Geneva as Desk Officer for Southern Africa 1989–1991, Deputy Director of Operations 1991–1994 and finally as Under Secretary – General, 1995–2000.

Leszek Drogosz

Deputy Director of Infrastructure Department - City of Warsaw

Leszek Drogosz, Deputy Director of Infrastructure Department, City of Warsaw

Leszek is responsible for energy, water and wastewater management. He has spent his career working for Warsaw, particularly in supervising and managing of city-owned enterprises. He is also member of the supervisory board of the Municipal Water and Sewerage Company. He is involved in the implementation of several large and medium-sized European Union financed investment projects and is the Warsaw representative in cooperation with the C40, ICLEI and EUROCITIES, Deputy Chairman of Warsaw Climate Protection Team and President of Management Board of Association of Municipalities Polish Network „Energie Cités”.

Hear him speak in the Closing Plenary.

Elissavet Bargianni

Sustainability and Resilience Officer, City of Athens

Elissavet Bargianni, Sustainability and Resilience Officer, City of Athens

Elissavet Bargianni is a Landscape Architect, trained both in Greece and in the UK (MLA). She has been working for a London-based landscape practice before moving on to the public sector in Athens in 2003, working for the National Garden. Scientific associate and editor of the Greek Academy awarded book about the National Garden (2016) and the Garden’s Management Plan. Since 2018, she works for the Resilience and Sustainability Department. She is the Coordinator of the Athens Climate Adaptation Working Group  and a representative of the C40 CoolCities Network while actively collaborating with several climate networks and institutions.


Holger Robrecht

Deputy Regional Director - Sustainable Resources, Climate & Resilience, ICLEI European Secretariat

Holger Robrecht, Deputy Regional Director - Sustainable Resources, Climate & Resilience, ICLEI European Secretariat

Holger joined ICLEI in 1997. He holds a Diploma in spatial planning and is member of ICLEI’s Board of Directors, and leads ICLEI´s Sustainable Resources, Climate & Resilience team. Holger holds more than 25 years of experience in local environmental and sustainability management and planning, project development and co-ordination, team supervision as well as guidance and training. Holger has been member of several international and EU Expert Groups, incl. Working Group on Green Infrastructure (since 2014), the EU Adaptation Steering Group (2010-2013), and international and European standardisation bodies (ISO TC 268 ‘Sustainable Development of Communities’ (since 2012), CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Sector Forum Smart & Sustainable Cities and Communities (since 2015). Before joining ICLEI, Holger led the Research department Soil Contamination, Soil Protection and Land-use management at the University of Dortmund, Institute for Environmental Research (1990-97).