Mayor of Kingston participates in Concordia Americas Summit on Nature Positive Cities

Mayor of Kingston,  Councillor Andrew Swaby participated in the 2024 Concordia Americas Summit held in Miami, Florida on April 22-23 . His participation was part of  the World Economic Forum Nature Positive Cities and the transition to Clean Energy  which also formed the opening dialogue for Climate Week Miami 2024.

On the opening day, Mayor Swaby held bi-lateral talks with Secretary General of  CC35 Capital Cities, Sebastian Navarro on opportunities to strengthen interregional collaboration for local authorities. On Day Two of the event, the Mayor contributed to the session: The Transformative Role of Nature-Positive Cities, which explored urban challenges faced by local governments as well as pathways to using nature positive approaches to increase climate resilience.
In his intervention, the Mayor spoke to the vulnerability of Jamaica, making connections between the cultural and economic significance  of Kingston and climate impacts. “The whole issue of climate change is well documented and our vulnerabilities are well documented. We understand  the importance of climate change and we have to make sure that our natural environment is protected. Kingston is known to house our national archives, our monuments and all the various headquarters for all the important sectors.”

The Mayor used the opportunity to highlight local examples of nature-positive efforts such as the waste management initiative led by The Kingston Harbour Cleanup Project, mangrove restoration projects along the Palisadoes-Port Royal Protected Area as well as urban forestry initiatives executed by the Forestry Department in collaboration with development partners.

He also welcomed the opportunity the forum provided to focus on the role of local government citing the need for greater resources  to “channel whatever is available to the local authorities who are closer to the people and are on the pulse of local concerns.”

Mayor Swaby also joined Former Mayor of Belmopan, Belize Sharon Palacio and Mayor of Castries, St. Lucia, Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel, to discuss sustainability transition in the Caribbean in a roundtable talk. The session was led by Senior Associate Climate Change Coordinator, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, Una May Gordon. The roundtable also brought together business, innovators, and academia to distil challenges and opportunities to centre climate and biodiversity priorities in the lead-up to COP16 and COP30.

In speaking to opportunities for regional collaboration, the Mayor cited the need to engage other local authorities outside of urban areas through the  Association of Local Government Authorities in Jamaica and the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities respectively.

The session concluded with Mayor Swaby and Mayor Gabriel endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, joining over 105 cities in calling for governments to negotiate a Fossil Fuel Treaty, to advance sustainable pathways towards a just energy transition.

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