Civil Society Organisations (CSO's) and Local Governments both have a vital role to play in local climate action that is equitable and inclusive because they operate at the local and hyperlocal level. CSO’s are well placed to advocate for the rights of citizens and the access to city resources for marginalised and disadvantaged groups, while local governments have the mandate to drive policy and institutional processes that enable livable, safe and healthy cities. Both actors bring valuable insights and a comparison of lived experiences and expert knowledge which are important for sustainable, inclusive and contextually appropriate local climate action. However, effective inclusion of urban communities and social movement groups in local planning and decision making is not the norm.
This is often due to the government not having the mechanisms and/ or resources to engage effectively with diverse communities and civil society groups. Sadly, there are multiple examples in African cities of “closing or shrinking civic space”, which restricts the possibility of civil society’s ability to influence decision making and to voice opinions and insights. Improved and enabling processes and conditions for civil and social society movement engagement in urban decision making is therefore desperately needed.
This session will explore the multi-level governance processes required to build systems for meaningful collaboration between local governments and civil society organisations for collective change. The session forms part of the Scaling up and Empowering Movements for Climate Change Advocacy (SEMCCA) project, hosted by ICLEI Africa and funded by Urban Movements Innovation Fund (UMIF)
Hosted by: ICLEI Africa, South Africa