Regions4 General Assembly was convened on 18 June 2020 under the theme “Today’s actions for tomorrow’s future”. The event had the participation of subnational political leaders and practitioners representing over 40 regions, to discuss the current context of unresolved global crises. Regions4 constituency called for shared governance and coherent policymaking to effectively address the global sustainability of our planet while protecting our peoples, our ecosystems, our livelihoods, and our territories.
In order to contribute to this ambitious goal, Region4 Secretariat announced the new Board of Chairs for the 2020-2022 period. The representatives of the regions of Basque Country, La Réunion, Flanders, Jalisco, and Rabat Salé Kenitra will be the political leaders raising the ambition of Regions4 constituency, promoting international cooperation, solidarity among regional governments, multilevel governance and territorial action to achieve the global goals in biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development.
Ms Elena Moreno, Deputy Minister for the Environment of the Basque Country, was elected Regions4 President. During the 2020 General Assembly, she highlighted that “we are living decisive times of enormous changes and challenges that extend beyond borders, and our response must be a reaffirmed commitment to sustainability and international cooperation. The Basque Country is committed to working, in collaboration with all Regions4 members and partners, so that the voice of regions is heard loud and clear in this new context.”
Mr Didier Robert, President of the Regional Council of La Réunion, was elected Regions4 Vice-President for Asia and the Pacific. He declared that “our trajectory as leading actors in the response to the climate emergency has placed subnational governments in an excellent position to halt biodiversity loss, support a green revolution and ensure a sustainable recovery from this pandemic. La Réunion has proven itself on this level, and we wish to continue forging and consolidating solid ties with Regions4 constituency.”
Ms Zuhal Demir, Minister of Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy, and Tourism of Flanders, was elected Regions4 Vice-President for Europe. During her intervention, she declared that “Regions4 plays a crucial role to support regions in the deployment and implementation of internationally agreed environmental, climate and sustainability agendas and to face the challenges that this implies. Flanders is committed to working with Regions4 leadership to make the most of the recovery from the pandemic as a chance to substantially contribute to the much-needed climate and energy transitions in our territories and for our citizens.”
Mr Sergio Humberto Graf, Secretary for Environment and Territorial Development of Jalisco, was elected Regions4 Vice-President for America. “Jalisco strongly believes that fighting climate change and achieving sustainable development means ensuring biodiversity conservation. We are ready to work with Regions4 to enhance subnational capacities in this area to fulfil the vision of leaving no one behind. Together, we can reach more places with greater strength and make the voice of the subnational governments be heard in international platforms and in our own countries” he said.
Ms Aatimad Zahidi, Member of the Committee on Territorial Management and Development and Environment of Rabat Salé Kenitra, was elected Regions4 Vice-President for Africa. During her intervention, she highlighted that “This unprecedented Network of regional governments is the first of its kind and there are great opportunities to be seized, particularly in response to the crisis caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. Rabat Salé Kenitra is prepared to work with Regions4 for the recovery and to achieve the global goals. The world needs specific sustainable development because fossil fuel development has had its day. Nowadays, development involving renewable energies, technology and innovation should be front and centre.”
Regions4 constituency of regional governments has been at the forefront of the response to the pandemic, to ensure a resilient recovery and lead the deployment of the international agreements and global objectives.
We represent leading regions that over the years have set ambitious sustainability objectives, and developed territorial plans and actions, achieving far better results than the national level in many countries, in areas such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, or biodiversity conservation among many others.
At the Regions4 General Assembly, regional governments agreed to share the main messages regarding the COVID-19 situation and our planet’s future, through a joint position included in the Declaration: “Subnational governments actions to combat global emergencies and build a sustainable post-pandemic world”.
The Declaration is available at the Regions4 COVID-19 Resources.