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First World Summit of Regions Showcases Role of Regions in Tackling Climate Change

First climate change summit of the world's regional governments 30 October 2008: Over 600 participants representing governments, regions and other local authorities gathered in Saint Malo, France, from 29-30 October 2008, for the “First World Summit of Regions, Climate Change: Regions in Action.”

The Summit was organized based on the recognition of the central role of regional governments in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and aimed to provide a platform for an exchange of experiences and good practices. During the event, five sessions convened, all jointly coordinated by two regions representing the North and South, to consider: biodiversity, agriculture and forest management; water and integrated coastal management; new technologies and renewable energies; capacity building, networking and cooperation; and post-Kyoto policies. At the close of the meeting, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Europe signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the local and regional authorities of Brittany on the location of Climsat, in Brest, France. Climsat is a facility that will be located in the Brest technology hub in 2009, and that will seek to help regions better understand and anticipate the effects of climate change on their territories through the use of satellite images. UNDP also presented a pilot initiative to help 50 Southern regions to implement their own regional climate plans with funding from Northern regions.

Finally, 20 regional authorities and six associations of Regional Governments participating in the Summit adopted the Saint Malo Declaration in which they, inter alia: encourage UNFCCC signatory parties to enter into fruitful negotiations; commit to participate actively in the future international climate change regime; commit to undertake a series of adaptation and mitigation actions; and call upon States and the UN to recognize and support the role of regional governments in the promotion of sustainable development and the efficient response to climate change. [Summit Website]