Considering the difficulties faced by municipal governments against the crisis caused by the covid-19 and the urgency to strengthen the climate agenda, the members of the National Coordination of the Covenant in Brazil, represented on the opportunity by the Network of Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI South America), by the Brazilian Association of Municipalities (ABM) and the Alziras Institute, presented during the third session of the Permanent Forum of coordinators of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean (GCoM LAC) the theme “Perspectives of the climate agenda in municipalities after the covid-19 crisis ”. The virtual session was held on July 30th.
The theme was introduced by ICLEI’s Institutional Relations manager, Rodrigo Corradi, who emphasized the support that ICLEI has given to the Covenant and the mayors that compose it, especially in Brazil. Local governments have been supported by tools such as Radar Covid, webinars and activities for the green and sustainable recovery of cities, as highlighted by Corradi.
Contributing to the understanding of the topic from a gender perspective, the director of the Alziras Institute, Marina Barros, brought important data on the governance exercised by women and the vulnerability of municipalities to the covid-19. Only 14% of Brazilian cities are governed by women, being essentially poorer municipalities and vulnerable to the disease. In addition, 85% of health professionals in the municipalities are women, most exposed to the challenges of the pandemic. For this reason, Marina argues that new steps in relation to overcoming the crisis caused by the disease must rely on female leadership, training and the participation of women. As a way of stimulating this scenario, the Institute is training more than two thousand pre-candidates for mayors.
The challenges of small and medium-sized municipalities, which are the majority in Brazil, were also addressed by ABM’s executive director, Eduardo Tadeu. He highlighted the political crisis that has been experienced by Brazil since 2015, now worsened by the pandemic that caused a 30% drop in the municipalities’ budget. Eduardo also pointed out that ABM created a public policy observatory with an emphasis on good municipal practices linked to sustainable development (https://www.odsobservatorio.com.br/). The initiative hopes to involve the actors in a process that goes beyond the electoral moment, in addition to strengthening ABM’s capacity to receive and support the new mayors and managers. For Eduardo, this is an opportunity to emphasize and highlight the role of local governments on the climate agenda, since there is a lack of support from the Brazilian federal government.
In this same sense, the ICLEI South America Biodiversity and Climate Change Manager, Sophia Picarelli, assessed that this is a strategic moment for the Covenant, in which an opportunity to seek new and better paths is envisaged.
The meeting also served as an opportunity to share tools and documents, as well as to stimulate suggestions, participation and cooperation of all in the work that has been developed with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. The Forum had, In total, 26 participants from 14 institutions, located in seven different countries.