Wernigerode with Hoi An (Winners)
Wernigerode, located in Saxony-Anhalt, and Hoi An in Central Vietnam have been connected …
Gudensberg with Shchyrets (Top 3)
The relatively new partnership between the two small towns of Gudensberg and Shchyrets …
Leipzig with Travnik (Top 3)
The partnership between Leipzig and Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina, initiated by Travnik in 1997 shortly after the end …
Solingen with Thiès (Top 3)
The long-standing and complex relationship between Solingen, also known as the “City of Blades” and the …
The long-standing relationship between the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and the South African City of Durban has its origins in the anti-apartheid movement of the late 1970s, which Bremen supported both financially and in the form of educational projects. To this day, the sister-city partnership is primarily characterized by the issue of education with a particular focus on environmental education. In order to reach the climate protection goals, the two port cities each benefit from the expertise of the other and jointly pursue projects that promote the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity. Projects such as the "Inanda lifespan wilderness park", modelled on the Bremen “Children's wilderness”, are also intended to protect biodiversity on land. In addition to the issue of nature conservation, the main focus lies on sensitizing the local youth to environmental issues.
The partnership between Cologne and Corinto on the west coast of Nicaragua has endured for over 30 years. It originated in the context of the solidarity movement with Nicaragua and is still defined by active civic involvement. In spite of numerous political changes, the long-standing relationship is one of continual dynamic development, which is reflected in the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders and comprehensive activities. A women's health centre, the establishment of an emergency response center, a coastal protection project and intensive youth exchanges are just some of the many measures that the cities have worked to implement. Agenda 2030 and a new focus on climate partnership which began in 2012 have given the partnership new momentum, benefiting both the citizens of Corinto and Cologne, and raising awareness of the sustainability goals in both cities.
The partnership between Würzburg and Mwanza, which has existed since 1966, was expanded in 2011 to include a climate change partnership. Various climate protection and adaptation projects are aimed at the sustainable use of solar energy. In Mwanza, for example, pilot solar arrays have been installed on municipal buildings, which not only cover the energy requirements of the buildings themselves, but also feed excess energy into the public grid. A further flagship project involves renting out solar fishing lamps at Lake Victoria because the kerosene pressure lamps commonly used for night fishing produce around 15,000 tonnes of CO2 annually and are a source of considerable damage to the environment. The solar lamps also provide financial relief to fishermen, who otherwise have to spend up to 50 percent of their income on kerosene and maintenance. Medical projects such as the fight against schistosomiasis and the promotion of sustainable tourism round out the partnership.
Together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) of Engagement Global, we awarded prizes to municipalities in Germany and in the Global South that have demonstrated a particularly exemplary commitment to implementing Agenda 2030 within the framework of partnerships.
We sought successful international partnerships between municipalities of all sizes in Germany and partner municipalities in developing and emerging countries intended to promote the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We showcase them as good practices for successful development cooperation to other stakeholders as well.
The National German Sustainability Award (GSA) has been intensively involved in charting the path to Agenda 2030. As a member of the High-level Group for the preparation of Agenda 2030, former Federal President Horst Köhler was awarded an honorary prize. Ahead of the adoption of the sustainability agenda, awards for the UN Secretaries General Ban Ki-moon and António Guterres then followed.
As part of a collaboration with the UN, SDG-Advocate I.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium gave a remarkable speech on the importance of Agenda 2030 at the 2017 award ceremony. The GSA will use its funds to further contribute to making SDGs more popular among its target group of municipalities.
Until 5 October 2018, German cities and municipalities were able to submit their concrete partnerships intended to promote the implementation of Agenda 2030 with municipalities in the Global South via our online questionnaire. The countries on the BMZ's current DAC list were considered the “Global South” for this competition. The prerequisite for participation was that the partnership is either ongoing or was concluded less than 12 months ago.
Our key criteria for selecting the top candidates were be a clear focus on one or more SDGs, concrete measures to implement the SDGs in Germany or in the developing or emerging country, a high sustainability impact and a medium-term perspective for ongoing cooperation and success. The submissions have been evaluated by the assessment partners Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, the German Development Institute and the German Institute of Urban Affairs.
The applications were evaluated by the assessment partners of the award. A team from the GSA Foundation and the assessment partners scheduled interviews with the leading candidates (by telephone ). Based on the information provided in the questionnaire, the candidates’ activities were examined in greater detail and further questions asked. The finalists were presented to the jury of experts chaired by Prof. Dr. Günther Bachmann, Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development, who selected the winner.
The winners were announced at the German Sustainability Award ceremony in Düsseldorf on 7 December 2018. The representatives of both partners jointly received the award from Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation Dr. Gerd Müller.
Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development (GCSD)
Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Secretary General of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)
Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE)
Lord Mayor of the City of Dortmund
CEO of Ulrich Walter GmbH/Lebensbaum