With the aim to ratify the commitment of the Ecuadorian municipal union in the fight against climate change, the Association of Municipalities of Ecuador (AME), together with the Ministry of Environment and Water; the municipality of Quito and WWF Ecuador presented the event «Promotion of the GCoM initiative to municipalities in Ecuador and socializing the Annual Strategy of the National Coordinators of the Network of Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean».
The global alliance brings together more than 10,000 cities from 135 countries on 6 continents and is lined with the objectives and goals set out in the Paris Agreement (2015), an international instrument that allows to guide the national and local actions necessary to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 ° C, compared to the pre-industrial era. Ecuador ratified its commitment to the Paris Agreement in March 2019, presenting its first Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
AME’s executive director, Luis Mario Barsallo, in charge of starting the day of dialogue on the Global Pact of Mayors for Climate and Energy, said that environmental management is essential for the municipal union, as it allows the generation of long-term management models in benefit of citizens. “Ecuador’s municipalities come together to accelerate climate and energy initiatives that lead to an inclusive, low-emission and climate-resilient future; because AME is the body that gathers the 221 municipalities in the country and acts as the National Pact Coordinator in the country «, he said.
The Annual Strategy of National Coordinators – Networks of Cities 2019-2020, refers to the consensual and considered actions of the National Coordinator (AME) and the National Consultative Committee of Ecuador (CCN), composed of the Ministry of Environment and Water, Secretariat of Environment Quito and WWF Ecuador, which aims to support cities and local authorities to commit to climate action.
«Today it is more important than ever to work with local governments, because we know that the impact of these aspects is evident, in the first instance, at the territorial level.»
Pedro Ponce, European Union representative, highlighted the participation of the authorities and representatives of the country’s municipalities, because it is important to consolidate the efforts being made at the local level. «Today it is more important than ever to work with local governments, because we know that the impact of these aspects is evident, in the first instance, at the territorial level,» he said. He explained that the European Union in Ecuador is making efforts to reach the local level, with contributions related to climate change. To this end, provincial strategies on climate change are being financed with AME and other organizations that bring together local governments.
During the event, the municipalities of: Ambato, Ibarra, Lago Agrio, Manta and Santa Cruz signed the letter of intent, through which they expressed their willingness to be part of this Global Mayors Pact, thus constituting the first step in this process. The experiences of the municipalities of Quito, Cuenca and Portoviejo, cities that are already part of this initiative, were presented in this space. Diego Enriquez, Coordinator of Climate Change and Secretary of the Environment of Quito, said that this initiative has helped a lot to consolidate the policies and decisions that must be taken at the level of the authorities in relation to climate change and sustainable development. It requires political will. The municipalities are the ones that adjust the development lines over time and depend a lot on their capacities.
Marja Edelman, of the GCoM regional secretariat for Latin America and the Caribbean, commented that work is being done to obtain financing for local actions against climate change. Supporting the search for international funds so that municipalities can take their initiatives into action. In addition, she invited participating municipalities to learn more about the benefits of being part of the Global Compact.
At the end of the event, Humberto Re, undersecretary for Climate Change, mentioned that the territorialization of actions will allow for a transformation in the fight against climate change. He expressed support for the fact that, in their development plans and territorial planning, they may include climate change actions to make cities more resilient and reduce their vulnerability, to better adapt to different scenarios of the future climate by 2050 or 2100.