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 ICLEI in Europe News

   October 2008

Dear Members, Partners and Friends of ICLEI, We are pleased to send you the latest news on ICLEI in Europe and our partners for urban sustainability!
You can also read these news and find more information on the topics at Don't hesitate to send your news and information at (If this newsletter does not display properly, please click here:

In this issue:

  1. ICLEI member news
  2. Defending biodiversity through the Durban Commitment
  3. Final Bicycle Policy Audit Conference
  4. European Mobility Week - Clean air for all
  5. 23 September 2008 was Earth Overshoot Day!
  6. 12th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production
  7. News from EcoProcura Conference 2009
  8. Latest European Circular now online!
  9. Stay informed on biofuels!
  10. Towards the proclamation of the European Green Capitals 2010 and 2011
  11. EU – Asia Waste Management Conference: up-to-date  programme online
  12. Vacancies at ICLEI´s new office in Bonn (Germany)
  13. New events
  14. Event reminders

1. ICLEI member news

Basel  - leading the way on solar power

Solar PanelIn a recent study on the promotion of solar power in Switzerland, the WWF has just revealed that the canton of Basel-Stadt, ICLEI’s 900th member, is right at the top.

While some cantons offer no support for solar installations, Basel offers up to 5,478 CHF for a 7m2 solar array on the roof of a one-family house. For an array of 25m2 on the roof of an apartment building, the canton offers 13,650 CHF, which amounts to around 45% of the costs of a solar water heating system.

The WWF study examined and evaluated 6 indicators in total, among them subsidies, approval processes and tax breaks.

For more information, click here [in German].

2. Defending biodiversity through the Durban Commitment

Local Action for BiodiversityPolitical representatives from 21 cities around the world met in Durban (South Africa) from 8-10 September 2008 on the occasion of the 2nd International Local Action for Biodiversity Workshop to sign the Durban Commitment, a commitment for local governments and the communities they serve to protect and enhance biodiversity at the local level.

The declaration represents a milestone in urban biodiversity, being the first international commitment by local government for biodiversity planning and protection.

ICLEI´s Local Action for Biodiversity Workshop represented also an opportunity for cities to discuss long-term local biodiversity strategies and action plans and the implementation of on the ground initiatives. As a major step towards global biodiversity, new cities joined the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)´s Countdown 2010, thus strengthening even more ICLEI and IUCN co-operation.

For more information, visit the Local Action for Biodiversity website,
or download the Durban Commitment here.

3. Final Bicycle Policy Audit Conference

Tartu (Estonia) hosted the final conference of the Bicycle Policy Audit (BYPAD) project, of which ICLEI is a partner, on 18-19 September 2008.

The conference aimed at illustrating the results and experiences of using the BYPAD-tool during the past 9 years. Representatives from local and regional authorities that have implemented BYPAD, presented their cycling policies and exchanged their experiences.

BYPAD is an instrument for the evaluation of local and regional cycling policy and improvement of its quality. With support from the European Commission, it has become not only a European quality standard for cycling policy but also a vital European network, with more than 100 cities and regions in 20 European countries committed to evaluate and improve their cycling policy.

For more information, visit BYPAD website.

4. European Mobility Week - Clean air for all

European Mobility WeekFrom 16 – 22 September, the celebration of European Mobility Week took place in hundreds of European cities.

Among the topics of particular concern for European citizens, air quality played a primary role. Therefore, the central theme of the 2008 edition "Clean air for ". Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas made it clear that public awareness of alternative transport options needs to be raised to contribute to a more sustainable future for our cities and a better quality of life for those who live in them.

The European Mobility Week, having reached its seventh edition, is the most widespread event on sustainable mobility. It aims at encouraging local authorities to move towards sustainable modes of transport to improve air quality at the local level, and citizens to think about changing their day-to-day mobility behaviour to cut CO2 emissions.

For more information, visit

5. 23 September 2008 was Earth Overshoot Day!

23 September was Earth Overshoot Day, the day humanity had used all the resources nature will generate this year, according to data from Global Footprint Network, a research organisation that measures how much nature we have, how much we use and who uses what.

ICLEI, as an official partner to the Global Footprint Network, works to strengthen the Footprint and enhance its value as a catalyst for sustainability. “We encourage ICLEI Members to use the footprint as an indicator of their sustainability. Measuring sustainability is key to managing a city’s sustainable development”, noted Holger Robrecht, the director of sustainability management at ICLEI European Secretariat.

To solve the problem of overshoot, Global Footprint Network and its partners are working with businesses and government leaders to bring ecological limits to the forefront of decision-making everywhere. Citizens can determine their own Ecological Footprint here and also learn how to reduce it.

For more information, visit

6. 12th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production, 23 - 25 September 2008, Berlin (Germany)

Branderburg gateICLEI member city Berlin (Germany) hosted the 12th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (erscp2008), a three-day international conference  addressing actors from politics, science, and industry and services.

The overall goals of the meeting were to facilitate innovation and to promote sustainable consumption and production by challenging participants' projects, ideas and approaches and by stimulating debate.

The conference was part of the 5th Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) - Forum for Sustainability 2008. In about 40 sessions and workshops, more than 400 international participants discussed about the state of the art in research, the collaboration between politics, science and research communities as well as future research priorities.

For more information, visit

7. News from EcoProcura Conference 2009

The EcoProcura 2009 conference “Climate Neutral through Procurement”, which will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 25-27 March 2008, is now welcoming contribution proposals in different sessions of its comprehensive programme.

Innovative elements such as the market lounge, provide a structured space for participants to link with product developers, legal experts, and sustainable procurement experts - offering advice, tools, products and services that contribute to achieve climate neutrality through procurement. Opportunities will be offered to take forward contacts and conversations in one-to-one meetings with those decision-makers who wish to discuss specific issues around a solution/approach with a partner. Next to informative plenaries and practical workshops, these private meetings will be especially appreciated for encounters between business and procurers.

Vice-Mayor of Barcelona Imma Mayol, also member of the ICLEI Executive Committee and Vice Chair of the Procura+ campaign, who hosted the last EcoProcura 2006 in Barcelona, has confirmed her participation in the 7th event of the series which will look at how sustainable procurement can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change.

If you are a local government or business representative working towards climate neutral products and services and wish to contribute to any of the sessions highlighted in the programme, please submit your proposal by 30 October 2008.

For more information, visit

8. Latest European Circular now online!

European CircularThe new European Circular, Summer 2008 is available to download from the ICLEI website here.

This edition focuses on the issue of Urban Biodiversity and on ICLEI´s pilot project Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB), which provides cities and local governments with help to improve, protect and conserve biodiversity within city boundaries.

Also in this issue, learn about the latest ICLEI Member news and discover what’s going on with ICLEI’s projects, campaigns and conferences.

To download the new European Circular, please click here [PDF 1.5KB].

9. Stay informed on biofuels!

If you want to be informed on the latest news and events on biofuels, don´t miss the Biofuel Cities Update. The latest edition, October 2008 is now available for download here.

Among the major activities and initiatives promoted by the Biofuel Cities Partnership this last month, we announce the publication of a Technical Guidance on biofuels and their applications. The guide is specifically thought for organisations and people interested in starting to use biofuels, but who lack the relevant knowledge on which to base their decision.

Moreover, in the Biofuel Cities website, registered participants can also access the second version of the Biofuel Cities report "who-is-who-and-where" in the biofuels field. The report, to be implemented in 2009, lists persons and organisations active in the field of biofuels for transport within Europe and, as a result, represents a useful reference for contacts and colleagues.

For more information, visit
To register to the Biofuel Cities Partnership, click here.

10. Towards the proclamation of the European Green Capitals 2010 and 2011

European Green CapitalOn 1 October 2008, the application process for the European Green Capital Award will be complete. Cities that have submitted their applications will be considered by an evaluation panel, which will evaluate ten areas, including efforts to tackle climate change, transport and local mobility, availability of green areas, quality of air, noise pollution, waste and water management, sustainable management of local authorities and sustainable land use.

As a second step a jury, composed also of one representative from ICLEI, will further examine selected cities and then declare the two Green Capitals of 2010 and 2011, to be celebrated during an award ceremony taking place on December. However, "there will be no winners, no losers", Environment Affairs Coordinator in the City of Oslo, Mr Guttorm Grundt, points out. "Even if a city does not win, the competition will provide an excellent opportunity to learn from each other", he says.

For more information, visit European Green Capital website.
You can also download the presentation brochure and the declaration
establishing the award in 20 European languages here

11. EU – Asia Waste Management Conference: up-to-date programme online

ICLEI wishes to remind all actors and stakeholders involved in waste management in Asia and Europe not to miss the EU-Asia Solid Waste Management Conference, that will take place on 28 – 30 October in Perak (Malaysia).

A draft version of the conference programme is now available for download here. The first two sessions of the conference will focus on past experiences on solid waste management in Europe and Asia, as well as on future developments based on innovative technologies. During the last two sessions, EU policy and regulatory framework as well as best practices/case studies and findings of international projects will be presented.

For more information on the Conference, visit, or register here.

12. New vacancies at ICLEI´s office in Bonn (Germany)

ICLEI is currently seeking personnel for its new programme office in Bonn (Germany).

The following positions have become available: Manager Cities GHG Center; Director, Business Relations; Climate Advocacy Officer/ Secretary, World Mayors Council on Climate Change. 

For more information on ICLEI vacancies and on how to apply, visit the Jobs page.

13. New events

OPEN DAYS - European Week of Regions and Cities, 6 - 9 October 2008, Brussels (Belgium)

Open Days
The 2008 edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities OPEN DAYS, the most important annual gathering of EU, regional and local policy-makers and experts, is taking place from 6 - 9 October in Brussels (Belgium). This years programme is titled "Regions and cities in a challenging world" and is composed of 142 sessions in Brussels, in the shape of workshops, debates and seminars, as well as around 230 events at the local level.

The event focuses mainly on promoting research, technological development and innovation at a regional level; analysing regional responses to climate change; exchanging best practices in regional development; defining a European cohesion policy for the future.

The OPEN DAYS are aimed at EU and regional policy-makers, experts and representatives of banking, business and civil society groups. Participation is free of charge.

For more information, visit

International Conference on "Organic Waste in Urban Environments - New European Challenges", 20 - 21 November 2008, Brussels (Belgium)

The Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource management (ACR+) and Bruxelles Environnement will hold an International Conference on "Organic Waste in Urban Environments" on 20 - 21 November 2008 in Brussels (Belgium). The event is organised in collaboration with ICLEI, the Committee of the Regions and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions.

The initiative follows the agreement on the new Waste Framework- Directive, voted by the European Parliament on 17 June 2008, which sets out a number of new waste rules for Member States, and encourages them to organise the separate collection of organic waste.

The conference aims at promoting information exchange on how to implement the new European rules and to foster the debate at European level. Special attention will be given to the definition of concrete actions for waste prevention and recycling. 

For more information, visit

14. Event reminders

International Black Sea Energy Policy Conference
8 - 9 October 2008, Athens (Greece)

Geneva Climate Roadmap Strategy Symposium
A major element in the Local Government Climate Roadmap - "From Bali to Poznan to Copenhagen"
12-14 October 2008, Geneva (Switzerland)

EU-Asia Solid Waste Management Conference
29-30 October 2008, Perak (Malaysia)

1st Mediterranean Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production
5-7 November 2008, Barcelona (Spain)

Feedback? Questions? Please let us know! If you have any further questions, would like to give feedback on ICLEI's work in Europe or would like to be taken off this mailing list, please contact us at:

The ICLEI in Europe newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Copies are available on request. Editors: Stefan Kuhn (responsible), Ciara Leonard, Gloria Spezzano.

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Gloria Spezzano at, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany,Tel: +49-761/36 89 2-0,

ICLEI is a membership organisation of local governments and their associations. To date more than 800 municipalities and municipal associations of all sizes from around the world have made a unique commitment to sustainable development by joining ICLEI. They support the work of ICLEI through their membership fees as well as through their experience and creativity in the development and implementation of projects and campaigns to address the globe's biggest problems. Within the organisation they are part of a network of peers that can profit from each other's knowledge. For membership information please have a look at our website or contact:

Copyright 2008 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.