CONFERENCES: Cape Town And Durban Head To Head
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The race to host the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is in its final stretch – with the frontrunners, Cape Town and Durban, pulling out all the stops to secure this important conference. The conference is expected to attract 35 000 delegates to the winning destination and contribute R525 million (conservative estimation) to the local economy.
Representatives from the UN were expected to arrive in Cape Town last week for a site inspection, but the visit has been postponed. “Of course we are disappointed that the visit to our stunning destination was postponed, however the City is still geared and ready to ‘wow’ the UN representatives when they touch down at Cape Town International Airport,” says Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism.
“The central city of Cape Town fits the bill for a conference of this nature because it operates a 24/7, safe, eco-friendly, ‘walkable’ and sustainable destination,” adds Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, the destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape.
The City of Cape Town has implemented Africa’s first Integrated Metropolitan Environmental Policy, and with its implementation strategies for biodiversity, energy and climate change. The City has also launched the continent’s first gold standard Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project through the installation of solar water-heaters in Khayelitsha.
All the conference spaces are along the so-called Eco-Walk, which also links them to a range of accommodation offerings of different grades. The Eco-Walk follows the same route as the highly successful 2010 World Cup Fan Walk. Delegates also have a choice of public transport options – from an efficient bus shuttle, which is part of the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) System, between the airport and city centre to trains, taxis and coaches.
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