Bonn, 5 December 2017. Be it the restoration of a lagoon in Cape Coast (Ghana), the introduction of strategic environmental management in the municipality of La Paz (Bolivia) or the sharing of lessons learned in energy efficiency, urban development and mobility with Chengdu (China) – mitigating climate change is one of the key topics of Bonn's city-to-city and project-based partnerships. To raise public awareness of this even further, together with SWB Bus und Bahn, Engagement Global gGmbH – Service for Development Initiatives, the Stiftung Bonner Klimabotschafter and the comic artist 'Özi', Bonn is now getting the 'climate change awareness tram' on track. Today (Tuesday, 5 December 2017), Mayor Ashok Sridharan and representatives of the various partners unveiled the tram.
'Engagement for a more just world is everybody's responsibility. International project partnerships based at the local level make an important contribution, and reflect our engagement for development', says the mayor. 'With the climate change awareness tram we wanted to raise citizens' awareness and arouse their curiosity in a tongue-in-cheek and entertaining way', he says.
Dr. Jens Kreuter, Managing Director of Engagement Global, emphasised: 'We came to appreciate the City of Bonn as a strongly committed partner well before the Annual Partnership 2017. Bonn has made exemplary use of the opportunities for municipal development cooperation to tackle global challenges such as climate change at the local level.'
On board the tram the lion Bonni and his friend Bo the polar bear – the mascots of the 'driving license for climate change' project run by Bonn's climate change ambassadors' foundation for the last six years – can be seen in Bonn's six partner cities. Typical landscapes or attractions illustrate the partner cities of Chengdu (China), Cape Coast (Ghana), Buchara (Uzbekistan), La Paz (Bolivia), Minsk (Belarus) and Ulan Bator (Mongolia). The comic artist Sebastian 'Özi' Jenal, creator of Bonni and Bo, again created the motifs and included them in the artistic design of the tram.
The picture of the zebra in La Paz, for instance, stands for a very important project. There, street children were trained as traffic helpers. Dressed in zebra costumes, they help citizens deal with road traffic and ensure that road users take a cooperative approach. This led to the emergence of a major sustainable social project.
The red crabs depicted on the tram are the heraldic animal of Cape Coast, chosen because the city is characterised by the sea and the lagoon. Together with the City of Bonn, in 2012 Cape Coast restored Fosu Lagoon and established an environmental education centre there. Both projects were also supported by Engagement Global, this year’s annual partner of the City of Bonn.
The low-floor tram will now operate as the number 61 for a year, and in doing so raise awareness of Bonn's partnerships and activities for climate change mitigation. Swing cards inside the tram will provide further information and invite citizens to get actively involved. The project was financed through the Small-Scale Project Fund, which is managed by Engagement Global's Service Agency Communities in One World. The SWB public bus and rail transport company is supporting the project by providing the tram.