KwaDukuza Municipality selected as national WWF One Planet City Challenge winner | WWF South Africa

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KwaDukuza Municipality selected as national WWF One Planet City Challenge winner

The small city of KwaDukuza in Northern KwaZulu-Natal is the national winner of WWF’s One Planet City Challenge.

Over 250 cities from 53 countries joined WWF's One Planet City Challenge by diligently reporting comprehensive climate data through the Global Compact of Mayor's Unified Reporting System hosted by CDP and ICLEI.
 
In South Africa, KwaDukuza (formerly known as Stanger) was selected as the winner over eight entries which included four metros. The international jury recognised KwaDukuza as a high performer across all categories, and was particularly impressed given the town’s historically disadvantaged urban context.
 
KwaDukuza has an ambitious 2030 vision to become a low-carbon, job-rich, green manufacturing and logistics hub, and a model for integrated resource management and climate change adaptation. One of their flagship strategies involves working closely with the local sugar industry to develop biomass energy production capacity, making use of an abundant renewable energy resource and boosting local green jobs.

The city recognises that the resilience and adaptability of cities to climate change is directly linked to their spatial structure, and as such have undertaken detailed analysis of patterns of social, economic and ecological vulnerability to climate change that will be used to inform risk-responsive spatial planning that protects people, infrastructure and investment from identified risks.
 
Louise Scholtz, WWF South Africa's Programme Manager: Urban Futures, commented: “The town’s action plan was holistic, showed great political support, action planning and dissemination. Congratulations to the small team of dedicated officials that is an inspiration to other less resourced towns and cities which are serious about addressing climate change."
 
One area of particular strength was the city's very comprehensive inclusion of stakeholders in the making of climate plans. Actions span across the different sectors of the economy, and the policy landscape is aligned with climate commitments. Communication and outreach plans are accessible for the people and well thought out.
 
“It is an honour to be bestowed with such an accolade,” said Dolly Govender, Acting Mayor- KwaDukuza Local Municipality. “This goes to show that we have clearly understood that regardless of the extent of our municipal area, KwaDukuza has a role to play to ensure low emissions, education of the communities, and the sustainability of the environment in general as enshrined in the United Nations: Sustainable Development Goals on Cities and Sustainable Urbanisation.”
 
"We at ICLEI Africa send hearty congratulations to KwaDukuza District Municipality on being named as a national winner of the One Planet City Challenge. With partners such as WWF, ICLEI Africa has been working with Kwadukuza for many years on their climate change plans and actions. KwaDukuza is a climate change leader, not only in South Africa, but globally, and this award is thoroughly deserved,"  said Dr Meggan Spires, Senior Manager: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience, ICLEI Africa. 
 
The One Planet City Challenge, previously known as the Earth Hour City Challenge, is an international WWF initiative which invites cities in participating countries to report ambitious and innovative climate actions and to demonstrate how they are delivering on the 2015 Paris Agreement.  
 
WWF created the challenge to highlight solutions to address rising carbon emissions, and to recognise and reward cities that are busy putting them to use. These are cities that aim to provide sustainable housing, transportation, and energy for their residents.
 
Every two years, an invitation is extended to cities to sign up for the challenge and demonstrate their leadership for a renewable and sustainable future. These commitments and actions are reviewed by an international jury of experts tasked with identifying the most outstanding cities. The most ambitious cities are selected winners at a national and global level and are then recognised at a global award ceremony.

Kwadukuza is the 2020 national winner of the One Planet City Challenge in South Africa.

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