How does a Bremen-style Kinderwildnis nature playground come into being in Durban, South Africa? What is an algae filter and how can it help improve water quality? How did Bremen’s wastewater treatment plants become CO2-neutral and what can Durban learn from that? What can Bremen learn from Durban’s experience developing a climate adaptation strategy? These and other questions are at the center of exchanges between experts from Bremen and Durban, leading to the joint development and implementation of the pilot projects featured in these pages.
Bremen and Durban have been sister cities for more than a decade. With the signing of a framework agreement in September 2011, city mayors Jens Böhrnsen and James Nxumalo elevated the friendship to an official partnership.
Since 2010 the two cities have been collaborating in a municipal development partnership for climate and resource protection. Ongoing exchanges at the administrative level enable the realisation of projects such as the Kinderwildnis in Durban and support related initiatives in environmental education and climate change adaptation.
At the same time, Bremen would like to contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 13 on combating climate change and its impacts, and SDG 17 on strengthening global partnerships for sustainable development. We see our municipal sustainability partnership as an effective avenue of progress towards both goals.
In addition to municipal-level cooperation, a large number of actors and institutions on both sides are involved in a variety of civil society projects in the fields of youth empowerment, development through sport, art, and culture, and engagement with churches. An overview of these activities is available on the partnership association’s website Partnerschaft Bremen-Durban e.V.