ICLEI World CongressICLEI Local Governments for SustainabilityCity of São Paulo
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Global south perspectives: Centering human rights in equitable and just climate adaptation

Stage 1 (Ground floor)
20/06/2024, 12:00 - 13:30

Join us to explore innovative strategies that place people at the forefront of sustainable development, emphasizing human rights and environmental harmony. We’ll travel from the verdant Amazon rainforest to the sprawling savannas of the Serengeti, where evidence of climate change’s devastating impact on both nature and people are stark and undeniable. Yet, amidst this adversity, a resounding call to action emerges—a call for holistic approaches that champion resilience and justice.

Drawing upon local knowledge, ancestral practices, and ecosystem-based solutions, we’ll discuss how we can chart a path towards sustainable development and collective empowerment, at the same time confronting deep-seated injustices – colonial, racial, sexist, discriminatory – and upholding the fundamental rights of all individuals—to access a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, clean water, ensure food security, and establish a safe place to call home.

Join us in this crucial discussion as we probe the intricate dynamics of equitable and just climate adaptation and resilience. By examining how human rights intersect with the protection of the natural environment in urban spaces, the session aims to deepen our understanding of the vital connection between nature, people and human rights. This perspective aligns with the conceptual framework of incorporating human rights into the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

The ICLEI network has had much success in this area, and this session aims to show how we can scale this approach to other global south communities, while offering insights that are equally relevant for developed countries.


  • Anil Kumar, Mayor, Kochi, India
  • Carlos Andrés Correa Mesa, Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development, City of La Estrella, Colombia
  • Ernest Arthur, Mayor,  City of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Ingrid Coetzee, Director: Biodiversity, Nature and Health, ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center
  • Isabella de Roldão, Vice-Mayor, City of Recife, Brazil
  • Tiago Gorski Lacerda, Mayor, City of Santiago, Brazil


Paul Currie, Director: Urban Systems, ICLEI Africa