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ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022, the triennial gathering of local and regional governments advancing sustainable urban development worldwide, was launched virtually this week with more than 1500 participants from over 115 countries. The year-long program will be focused on sustainable development.

Hosted by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the City of Malmö, Sweden, the ICLEI World Congress is the moment for local and regional governments to come together to celebrate and recognise the critical contributions of cities, towns and regions towards a sustainable future. The 2021-2022 edition is a multi-part event.

The virtual launch of the ICLEI World Congress included the announcement of the ICLEI Malmö Strategy 2021-2027 and ICLEI Malmö Action Plan 2021-2024 in the opening session, featuring a number of high-level events with a focus on ICLEI’s five sustainable development pathways, the contribution of local and regional governments to the UN Decade of Action on Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and showcasing the host City of Malmö, Sweden.

Following the Virtual Launch, the event builds towards The Malmö Summit, on 11-13 May 2022, an in-person event – global health crisis allowing–  on the best practices in local sustainable development, where attendees will learn firsthand from Malmö’s wealth of sustainability initiatives. The Malmö Declaration, which will invite local and regional governments to advance equitable sustainable development, will also be launched. Between the virtual launch and The Malmö Summit is The Road to Malmö, a series of high-level virtual events throughout 2021.

“We are so thrilled to welcome our newly elected President, Frank Cownie, City of Des Moines Mayor, and new Vice-Presidents, including Minna Arve, Mayor, City of Turku, Finland, to the leadership of ICLEI. This slate of leaders – together with the rest of ICLEI’s governance representatives – speak for over 65 million city residents around the world. Our new leaders bring a depth of knowledge and global diversity that will enrich and guide our work to strengthen urban sustainability around the world for their three-year term,” said ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin.

New ICLEI President, Frank Cownie said: “With the new administration in the United States’ support of the Paris Climate agreement, this is a critical time for ICLEI’s work. It is more important now than ever to be pushing our world leaders towards sustainability and giving local governments a platform to contribute to that work. As president of ICLEI, I will continue to use my voice and connections to stress the importance of local government involvement in discovering and implementing solutions to the global climate crisis.”

The how of advancing sustainable urban development is set out in the ICLEI Malmö Commitment, which charts the steps that need to be taken over the next six years, locally and globally.

Minna Arve added: “Circular economy is critical in decarbonising our economy and is important on the pathway to the Paris Agreement and a 1.5 degree life. It calls for new innovations from cities and businesses, and that’s what we can do together. I will put all of my energy and inspiration to work for Turku and all of ICLEI to make the circular economy strong globally.”

The post Masterplan for urban sustainability first appeared on Innovators magazine.