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Debra Roberts

Head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection, Thekwini Municipality

Dr. Debra Roberts established and heads the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department of Thekwini Municipality (Durban, South Africa). She was a lead author of Chapter 8 (Urban Areas) and a contributing author to Chapter 12 (Africa) of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. She is a member of the South African climate negotiating team and sits on various international advisory bodies focused on climate change issues in cities (e.g. the Rockefeller Foundation’s Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network). Dr. Roberts was vice-chair of UN-Habitat’s HS-NET Advisory Board which oversaw the production of the 2011 “Cities and Climate Change” Global Report and is a founding member of the Alliance for Sustainability and Prosperity for All. She is a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Thematic Group on Sustainable Cities, working towards the establishment of an urban SDG as part of the post-2015 development regime. Dr. Roberts was also appointed as a member of the Future Earth Engagement Committee. Dr. Roberts has written widely in the fields of urban open space planning, environmental management and urban climate protection and has received a number of awards for her work.


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