Why aren't cities moving more radically and more rapidly towards sustainability? Why aren't more cities resilient? Why do things take so long time to improve? Many 'sustainability activitists' are wondering, sometimes suffering from this phenomenon, sometimes hoping for the better. Not the only one, but still one response to this is: we have not yet reached sufficient momentum. One way to multiply impacts is cooperation.
Alan AtKisson, in his presentation at Climate Champions 2012 in Turku, reinforced the importance of both, individuals that act as change agents for sustainable development as well as alliances and networks that help to energize their activities and multiply their effects. 'You'll never walk alone' is important for both: the person or organisation that feels a movement of like-minded around providing feed-back, confirmation, and inspiration, and the movement that could not 'move' or be 'moving' without the individuals that carry the idea by personal 'investment' of time, creativity, power.
When starting CHAMP - Local Response to Climate Change, we were conscious about the need to not just add another project to the list, not just another guide to the shelf, not just another training package to the portfolio. Too often we had experienced a good idea or programme vanishing with the end of a funded project. Encouraged by cities that took part in Managing Urban Europe-25, we dared to think of a European platform for integrated management. This platform was not supposed to be an organisation or network competing with the existing - with 4 of them actually included in the project team. The idea was rather to establish a platform or partnership that would continue after the project's lifetime with all involved contributing to its maintenance. Moreover, this partnership should allow for reaching out in all 27 Member States of the European Union, offering training capacities in-country, networking opportunities and - following the principle of continuous improvement - establish a feed-back and learning process to improve training material.
Implementing this idea, the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management was launched at the occasion of the Bonn Resilient Cities 2011 conference. The Partnership establishes a structure of national training hubs. These hubs connect trainers and advisors of local governments that want to implement IMS. They offer training opportunities and advocate integrated management in their countries. At the same time, the training hubs commit themselves to be part of a European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management. By now, seven training hubs have been established. Others announced their interest.
The European partnership supports the training hubs by providing training material, opportunities to exchange and furthering standards for integrated sustainability management. As said, you'll never walk alone! Join the partnership, join the movement!
1 year ago