By 2050, it is estimated that 70% of the world’s population will live in cities and towns. For cities to be sustainable, global policies for sustainability must be implemented at local level, says SA Local Government Association (Salga) president Parks Tau. In July the UN created a platform for engagement with local governments. UN deputy secretary-general Amina Mohammed said 60%-70% of the organisation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be achieved with the direct involvement of the various local governments. "Local governments are on the frontline of the world’s most daunting challenges — for example, climate change. They require support from national and international levels, the private sector and civil society," she said. Although cities set their own priorities, the 17 SDGs are interlinked and must all be considered in decision-making at local level, Tau says. Will hunger be addressed by a city’s development project? What about poverty, gender equality, energy, water...

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