Our Work

ICLEI Oceania has for nearly 20 years provided strong leadership and support to local governments across Australia and New Zealand, providing campaigns, programs and networks focused on local sustainability and responsiveness and resilience to the impacts of climate change.

We have been active in supporting city governments in Indonesia and other parts of Asia to be resilient to the impacts of climate change, in partnership with the ICLEI Southeast Asia and South Asia offices. 

ICLEI Oceania is now turning attention to Pacific Island local authorities and has developed an Islands Resilience Toolkit to underpin this work. At present ICLEI is working with Port Vila and Honiara cities.  At the ICLEI Global Resilient Cities Congress in July 2016 a new strategy to support towns and provinces of small island states was launched, to be coordinated by ICLEI Oceania.


Some highlights of our role in recent years includes:

• Establishing partnerships with peak local government bodies including the Australian Local Government Association, Local Government Professionals Australia and Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG);
• Launching the Compact of Mayors - an international alliance of city leaders committed to tackling the impact of climate change and to reducing global warming, endorsed by the United Nations. This has now been merged with the European Covenant of Mayors to create the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.
• Launching a Pacific Islands disaster risk reduction program in partnership with the UN disaster agency UNISDR in 2015
• Launching a global ICLEI Strategy and Community for Towns and Provinces of Small Island States
• Providing thought leadership and technical support to ICLEI World Secretariat to synthesize a range of climate change adaptation approaches developed in ICLEI regions into a generic Climate Resilience methodology.
• Publication of the “ICLEI ACCCRN Process” for guiding cities to build urban climate resilience
• Providing access to the latest international and regional news and views through our Global and Oceania eNews and global and regional websites plus facebook; and
• Delivering energy efficiency actions and related sustainability responses in partnership with Ironbark Sustainability.



Current Initiatives:

Global Covenant of Mayors - Oceania

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is a global coalition of councils pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and to track and report their progress transparently. Participating councils commit to completing comprehensive climate planning within three years. The Compact comprises a set of compliance milestones and is supported by protocols and standards for completeness, accuracy and benchmarking. ICLEI Oceania can provide assistance to councils to join the Compact and support their progress with technical assistance, information exchange, reporting and recognition. This is a “next generation” version of the highly successful Cities for Climate Protection program which benefitted most Australian and New Zealand cities over the last decade.


Local Climate Action

To support state and national governments to achieve their Paris Agreement Climate Action Targets, and supporting the Compact of Mayors, ICLEI Oceania provides a range of local climate action advice and tools. Working with Ironbark Sustainability and other specialist partners, ICLEI can assist councils to reduce energy and water usage through sustainable asset and data management and on-the-ground implementation. This may include renewable energy and energy efficiency, street lighting, buildings, fleet, waste, data management, funding assistance, climate change strategies and action plans. ICLEI also offers membership of several related international networks and groups, including:
• 100% Renewable Energy Network
• Global Lead Cities for Sustainable Public Procurement
• Ecomobility Alliance
• International Water Association


Disaster Risk Reduction

ICLEI has worked with the United Nations Disaster Agency UNISDR over several years to help refine and test a self-assessment tool for cities to assess their disaster preparedness and plan disaster risk reduction strategies. This is more than traditional Emergency Management and the self-assessment process is most effective when all stakeholders and actors are involved. The DRR self-assessment tool is available to any interested councils. Discussions are underway with the Australian Government and other potential partners to make it possible to roll out this methodology across the country.



Pacific Towns and Cities

As ICLEI Oceania region covers nearly all the Pacific Island nations, it is taking a lead role in coordinating the “ICLEI Global Community for Towns and Cities of Small Island States”. This community of interest supports small island states to build resilience to their greatest vulnerabilities, whether due to climate change, disasters, declining resources, population pressure or environmental degradation. ICLEI Oceania has developed a Pacific Islands Resilience Toolkit and is currently working with Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Honiara, Solomon Islands.  



This is a refreshed version of the previous Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) program. LAB is coordinated internationally by ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Centre, located in Cape Town, South Africa. The program began in 2006 with a select group of 21 pioneering local and regional authorities from around the world representing 54 million citizens and has since been expanded to many more cities. The program focuses on implementation and comprises a three-year, five-step peer learning process, a local biodiversity and ecosystem services assessment report, workshops, forums, a knowledge bank, networks and various strategic projects that address specific local and national needs. 

LAB has now been updated into a Campaign-style program “Nature4Cities” with greater emphasis on enrolling the support of elected leaders and communities to drive urban greening and biodiversity, and to combat the Urban Heat Island effect. ICLEI Oceania is at an advanced stage in designing an Australian rollout of this program, in partnership with the federal government funded Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) Hub, the CSIRO and several cities which are leaders in urban greening. The Nature4Cities program will also be offered in New Zealand and the islands.



Other Initiatives:

While not currently active, these programs may be available upon request.


The ICLEI-RUAF CITYFOOD network aims to accelerate local and regional government action on sustainable and resilient city-region food systems by combining networking with training, policy guidance and technical expertise to its participants. CITYFOOD is open to local and regional governments, whether they are engaging with the issue for the first time or working to implement the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and at the frontier of innovative food systems work. 

Water Campaign™

The Water Campaign is an international freshwater management program that builds the capacity of local government to reduce water consumption and improve local water quality. Increasingly water is seen as an 'enabler' within the context of sustainability principles and practices. Cities for Climate Protection – Integrated Action (CCP-IA) provided the 'next generation' capacity-building framework for local government action on climate change by linking mitigation action to adaptation preparedness.

Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference Series

The Thriving Neighbourhoods Series had a focus on emerging global approaches to the planning, design and management of communities and cities that are set to radically improve the sustainability, livability, health, and productivity of communities. Thriving communities have the resilience needed to adapt creatively to unexpected challenges such as climate change, population change, rapid technological change, social upheaval and economic crises. The Thriving Neighborhoods Framework was used to support the ‘Greening the West Strategy’ in the City West Water region of the western suburbs of Melbourne, working with local councils and their communities.


EcoMobility is travel through integrated, socially inclusive, and environmentally-friendly transport options, including and integrating walking, cycling, wheeling, and passenging. By enabling citizens and organizations to access goods, services, and information in a sustainable manner, EcoMobility supports citizens’ quality of life, increases travel choices, and promotes social cohesion.


Safe and Healthy Communities

Cities for Safe and Healthy Communities was a capacity-building program focused on identifying local government’s role in building safe and healthy communities, and ensuring it has the tools, technical expertise and political will to play that role effectively.


Sustainability Services

Integrated Sustainability Services (ISS) delivered sustainability management solutions, helping councils integrate sustainability at the local level. ISS built on ICLEI’s worldwide reputation in developing and training councils in LA21 and TBL processes. Our work included building the capacity of councils to undertake sustainability reviews, develop and implement triple bottom line planning, reporting, and decision-making tools and processes.