Last week, Prince Hussain attended the Governors' Global Climate Summit 3 in the United States on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network, at Mawlana Hazar Imam's request. Co-hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Governors of Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin and Michigan, the conference counted the AKDN among its major sponsors for the third consecutive year.
Dr Mahmoud Eboo, President of the Ismaili Council for the USA, and David Boyer of the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment also attended the summit, which was held at the University of California at Davis. They were joined by some 1 500 delegates including subnational government leaders from various states and provinces.
“His Highness the Aga Khan has a vision for holistic multi-input area development,” said David Boyer, addressing the assembled delegates. “This approach brings together the economic, environmental, social and cultural agencies of the Network, not only to create jobs and improve opportunities for people in impoverished regions, but to strengthen the communities' resilience to climate change.”
“Projects range from mini-hydro electric power projects managed by villagers in Northern Pakistan's remote valleys to the large scale Bujagali Dam project in Uganda that will supply 50 per cent of the country's energy needs,” he added. Boyer's comments followed a 10-minute film on AKDN's climate resilience activities in Pakistan, India, Mali and Tajikistan.
During the climate summit, Prince Hussain signed the Charter for Regions of Climate Action (R20 Charter) on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network. The R20 is a new global organisation, whose mission is to develop and implement low-carbon and climate-resilient projects through cooperation among subnational governments, corporations, non-governmental organisations and educational institutions from around the world.
AKDN also sponsored an information booth to educate delegates on the impact of climate change on poor and marginalised communities and its work in creating climate-resilient solutions. The booth was staffed by Jamati communications volunteers, representatives of the Aga Khan Foundation USA and FOCUS North America.
Also participating in the conference was former US Secretary of State George P. Schultz; Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007; author and physician Deepak Chopra; British Prime Minister David Cameron, who joined via satellite; and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who addressed the conference through a video message.