Bonn and Cape Coast celebrate 10 years of municipal climate partnership with a short film
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Bonn and the Ghanaian city of Cape Coast have maintained a city-to-city partnership since the year 2008. They were among the first municipalities to join the programme “Municipal Climate Partnerships”, which was started by the Service Agency Municipalities in One World in 2011, and have intensified their collaboration with a strong focus on climate.
Throughout 2021, the Service Agency Municipalities in One World is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the programme with numerous activities. One of the first announcements in this context was a call on all participating municipalities to produce small films on their partnership.
The City of Bonn readily followed this invitation and brought together different stakeholders who have been involved in the partnership at various stages of the last decade, asking them for interviews. Of course, many more people were active for the partnership than could be shown in the short clip.
Starting with the development of a joint climate action programme, the two cities engaged very quickly also in concrete actions. With funding from the Service Agency Municipalities in One World, they started their first major cooperation project in 2012, the restoration of the Fosu Lagoon. Sensitisation campaigns, trainings, waste facilities and cleaning measures were some of the key elements of the project. Central was also the establishment of the Biodiversity Centre, an environmental education centre on the shores of the lagoon.
The new education centre has now become the hub of activities in the partnership. The Bonn-Cape Coast partnership association is using the space for the organisation of related school activities, the Bonn-based Fringe ensemble together with actors from Cape Coast have performed theatre plays there and two student volunteers from the Rhine region supported the educational activities of the centre at the beginning. Later on Engagement Global, with its North Rhine-Westphalian office, also rendered support for some of the educational activities there.
Bonn and its project partner City of Bukhara receive funds under muncipal Corona solidarity package
Engagement Global and its Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) have launched a Municipal Corona Solidarity Package on behalf of and with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The aim of the program is to consolidate solidarity in municipal partnerships and mitigate pandemic-related emergencies.
Together with its project partner city of Bukhara, the City of Bonn applied for funds from this support program and received funding approval.
The focus of the joint project is to strengthen the administrative structures and processes of the city administration in Bukhara to cope with the Corona pandemic, in particular to improve the work of the crisis team established in Bukhara. If necessary, there will be professional exchanges with the relevant departments of the City of Bonn, especially on issues related to the handling of the pandemic with regard to the work in schools and kindergartens. In addition, information and public relations work is to be improved.
Partners on the Uzbek side are the city administration of Bukhara as well as the Association of Town Twinning of Bukhara. On the German side, the City of Bonn receives valuable support from the German-Uzbek Society (Deutsch-Usbekische Gesellschaft e.V.).
The project was successfully launched in October. In a first step, protective masks and disinfectants were purchased and 21,000 information brochures were printed in Russian and Uzbek on how to deal with and behave properly during the pandemic. The protective equipment was deliberately purchased in Bukhara and Tashkent in order to strengthen the local economy during the pandemic. The printing of the brochures was also carried out locally in Tashkent.
Disinfectants and masks as well as 2,000 information brochures were distributed to participants in initial information sessions with staff from schools, kindergartens, district administrations and the Hokimiat (city administration) of Bukhara. The participants are now acting as multipliers to further disseminate this information in their institutions. The other brochures will be distributed by volunteers in the local mailboxes to inform as many citizens of Bukhara as possible.
The end of the project period in April does not mean that the collaboration and support will end at that point. The successful and fruitful cooperation that has been maintained for years will definitely continue.
Mayors' conference of the sister cities in Chengdu
Since 2016, Chengdu has hosted the Mayors' Conference of Sister Cities and Friendly Cooperative Cities of Chengdu. This year, the Mayor of Chengdu, Wang Fengchao, has again invited to the conference under the motto "Stand United to Create a Better Life". On April 15, 2021, 29 mayors or their deputies from all over the world met online to exchange experiences. On behalf of the City of Bonn, Deputy Mayor Dr. Ursula Sautter participated in the event.
The main topic of the conference was the exchange of experiences made during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially regarding the aspects of digitalization of urban services, creation of a stable and just business environment, environmentally friendly as well as smart, resilient and safe city. Dr. Sautter addressed the topic of digitalization of urban services and reported on the projects already implemented within the city administration.
This exchange is to be continued, in line with the motto of the conference.