ZCO2 and UN CC:Learn partnered to raise awareness and build climate change resilience of leaders of urban communities located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The 5 hour workshop was a productive exchange between leaders representing 5 urban communities and representatives from the local government and third sector organizations.

Versão em Português

The ZCO2 and UN CC:Learn project provided the space for an exchange of ideas aiming to align interests to transform the challenges that climate change presents to urban communities into opportunities. The 5 hour workshop started with the community leaders explaining to the 50 attendees what they had learned over the last two weeks as all leaders had obtained a certificate of completion on Introductory e-Course on Climate Change available on the UN CC:e-Learn platform.

Ms. Cristina Mendonca, from C40 took the floor to explain their work with the Mayor’s office to map local CO2 emissions, local climate risks, and integrate their mapping into the public policy agenda.

Present at the event, Mrs. Olga Martins and Mr. Paull Nemy representatives from the State’s environmental secretary, Mrs. Gabrielle Guimaraes, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Rio for multilateral cooperation, and Mrs. Renata D’Acri manager of climate change education at the Municipal Secretary of Environment carefully listened to the voices of the dialogue, certainly seeking ways to integrate the opinions heard in the existing State and Municipal Climate Change Plans and policies.

Next, Ms. Katerina Elias-Trostmann from the World Resources Institute (WRI) explained the Urban Community Resilience Assessment project that WRI developed together with public organizations in the context of two communities in Rio. It aims to rate each community’s resilience and, more importantly, prepare communities for climate change action and inform each community about the challenges associated to climate change. The community leaders present agreed it would be a great idea to roll out the project to their communities.

The Museu do Amanha director for research, Mr. Alfredo Tolmasquim, invited all workshop participants for a free tour of the museum. The museum hosts a permanent exposition around the theme of the Anthropocene and this will surely be great value added to the leaders involved in this project and their families.

In the mid-afternoon, Mr. Andre Leal, director of ZCO2 and Mr. Marcelo de Andrade, founder of Pro Natura International, showcased examples of climate related solutions that seek to transform challenges into opportunities. ZCO2’s approach to transforming existing stocks of emission reductions into rewards for the average user and Pro Natura’s view of sustainable development within community borders are solutions that consider the bottom up approach to climate change problem solving as an effective tool.

Towards the end of the afternoon Ms. Rayne Ferretti Moraes, UN Habitat’s National Officer for Brazil presented how their work at the urban level understands and deals with national, regional and local stakeholders in driving development towards fulfilment of Agenda 2030 objectives.

Finally, it was time for the Civil Defense Climate Change Leader, Mr. Walter Fonseca to present what is done at the ground level when it comes to climate change action and climate change education in the communities of Rio. The Civil Defense organization is always first to arrive in disaster areas and performs impressive awareness raising campaigns in all communities in the city.

When UN CC:Learn representative Mr Marcio Schittini closed the session and thanked participants for their time it was clear that the room had been filled with hope from the new acquaintances that had been made as well as by the discovery that there are many similar and comprehensive activities been executed in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Most importantly the day served the purpose of building empathy between important representatives of the society that do not always have a chance to sit down to discuss common challenges.