COP 17 – a selection of public events

This is a press release from the eThekwini Municipality (City of Durban) that gives a good overview of many public events hosted by civil society, the arts sector, and others.


To make all the people of Durban feel part of the action during the two week period of the COP17-CMP7 conference, a bold and innovative programme jam-packed with exciting events, loads of entertainment and a host of activities, is taking place during the two weeks of the event…the largest Durban has ever hosted.

The action takes in every nook and crannie of the City, but will be concentrated along the Beachfront, at the uMngeni Green Hub and at the Durban Botanical Gardens. These events all provide the perfect opportunity for locals and visitors alike, to enjoy the magnificent Durban outdoors.

Most events start on the 28 November and run until 10 December, but watch the press for details.  All the following events are open to the public over the COP17 period from 28 November – 10 December.

Climate Change Response (CCR) Expo

DATE:              27 November – 10 December

VENUE:             Centrum Site

TIME:             Mon-Thurs from 10:00 -18:00

                        Fri-Sat from 10:00 – 20:00

The Climate Change Response Expo (CCR Expo), is managed by Department of Environment Affairs (DEA) and provides an impressive platform for local, national and international companies and organizations to profile and showcase their initiatives and products. The Expo is also a platform for climate change education, both motivating and inspiring the public by presenting lifestyle greening initiatives and solutions. In addition, it will be displaying local art and craft and offering some excellent South African entertainment.  The Expo is located within walking distance of the ICC.


DATE:              28 November – 10 December

VENUE:              Block AK

Referred to as the “People’s Space”, creates an opportunity for international and national civil society to participate in COP17.  Encompasses a registration area, meeting spaces, seminars, conference and discussion areas, Slow Food Facility, Craft Market, Climate Refugee Camp, Global Day of Action March and Concert.

Global Day of Action March (3 December ) – A mass march by the international and nationa lcommunity, labour, youth, academic, religious and environmental organizations, in order to draw attention to the need for global leaders to take meaningful action on climate change. The march will start at Curries Fountain.

Global Day of Action Concert (3 December) – 30 000 people are expected to attend this free concert to be held at the Tech Fields (& George Campbell School). The concerts mark the end of the Global Day of Action March and serve as a platform for creating awareness of the importance of sustaining our environment and make South Africa a better place to live.

Gates open 13:00 and close at 23:00.  Entry is free.


DATE:                          29 November – 14 December


TIME:             10:00–22:00 daily

Oware is considered the oldest board game in the world, dating back 7000 years. This version of Oware serves as an interactive forum for the community to explore the issue of female empowerment. The goal of the game has been adapted so that each person or team collects knowledge, resources and capabilities on their journey to empowerment in the game play. Oware stands alone as a strong sculptural and aesthetic public artwork, at approximately 24 x 8 feet in size. The game can be played by members of the public or groupings who will be able to make appointments to play.


DATE:                          27 November

VENUE:             Kings Park Rugby Stadium

TIME:             14:00 – Gates open at Noon

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has urged South Africans to join world faith leaders, political leaders and music stars at an “extraordinary” mass rally and afternoon concert on November 27 at the King’s Park Stadium in Durban. The Archbishop is to host the “We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice” rally and concert, at which he will lead a call to world leaders attending the COP17 climate change talks in Durban that they should reach a fair and legally binding agreement to curb climate change. Musicians including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Arno Carstens, rap star HHP and Kenyan Gospel rapper Juliani have confirmed they will perform at the rally, which will be free. Faith leaders including Pope Benedict XVI, Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, have also been invited. Those who cannot attend have been asked to send video clips of support. Environmental campaigners and motivational speakers Lewis Pugh, the “human polar bear” and Braam Malherbe, a 50/50 presenter, will be among the many who will address the crowd.

Enquiries: The campaign Faith Secretariat on (031) 310 3500 / 3512.


DATE:                         4 December

VENUE:             DUT Sports Hall (GateNo5, Steve Biko Campus, 79 Mansfield Road, Durban)

TIME:             15:00–17:00

A gathering for a day of prayer for the success of the COP17 negotiations


DATE:                          28 November – 10 December

VENUE:             Bay Lawns

TIME:             Movie screening times from12:00 each day.

The Solar Cinema facility will be powered by Solar and Wind and will showcase environmental movies and documentaries throughout the COP17/CMP7conference.

APE Concerts –Artists Protect Earth (APE)

DATE:                          2 December

VENUE:             New Beach

TIME:             09:00–19:00

Live performances by a wide range of artists. An entrance fee of R200 per person will be charged and the profits will be donated to APE’s East Africa Appeal.  South African artists performing include Jika Nelanga, Zamo Mbutho, LuDkamini, Greg Georgiades and Madala Kunene.


DATE:                          27 November-10 December

VENUE:             Amphitheatre Beach Site

TIME:             Daily

Sponsored by Siemens and Osram, the massive Baobab Tree will be donated to the eThekwini Municipality as a legacy project post COP17. The tree is 5m x13m in width and15m high with 8 large branches each measuring 7 metres in length. The tree is made out of recycled wooden pallets set against a metal frame with LED lights fixed to the branches which will be lit by night & day. Public will be asked to pedal on cycles located adjacent to the tree, in order to “light” the tree.


DATE:                          27 November-11 December

VENUE:             Durban Station

TIME:             Daily from  [time unknown]; Entrance is free

The Climate Train will provide an exciting programme of cultural events, as well as roundtable discussions with key thought leaders from government, business, civil society and communities on the range of climate change adaptation and mitigation issues, the green economy, green energy and biodiversity. In the lead up to COP17, the Climate Train will travel throughout the country engaging the public and will arrive at Durban Station on 27 Nov. Throughout the period of COP17, it will also offer an exciting cultural programme of music, spoken word, participatory visual art and industrial theatre to grow the awareness about climate change and initiating programmes for climate action.   Come to the Climate Train for stimulating conversations, panel discussions or to experience the cultural diversity of SA and see the art and green exhibitions. To get a schedule of events go to For booking a roundtable discussion or for more information:

Enquiries: Indalo Yethu: +27 12 490 0270;


DATE:                          3-9 December 2011

VENUE:             uShaka Marine World

Launched by Seoul Tourism Organization, this exhibition is a strategic collaboration and knowledge-sharing forum of leading cities each with a significant convention centre. Six major cities participate –Seoul, London, Sydney, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi, Toronto and Durban.


DATE:                          25 November -10 December

•VENUE:             Fountain Court, Durban Beachfront

TIME:             Daily, Open-air exhibition

This outdoor art exhibition was created by UNESCO in close partnership with its space partners. The main goal is to raise awareness of how climate change is affecting World Heritage sites and how Earth Observation can be used to monitor and assess these changes. The exhibition has been critically acclaimed by Media worldwide. A series of 30 panels (240cm x 120cm) featuring satellite images of different World Heritage sites will illustrate the relevant challenges that these areas are facing such as shrinking glaciers, coral bleaching, disappearing permafrost, desertification and floods amongst others. The exhibition explains the contribution of space technologies to understanding the causes and effects of climate change on these sites. Guided visits for school-goers will also take place for the duration of the exhibition.



 DATE:               26 November-10 December

VENUE:             Durban Beachfront from uShaka to the Green Hub


The Durban Green Festival takes place along Durban’s entire beachfront and includes an exciting programme of activities: From live music, to beach and ocean sports and games, a KidZone and fun educational activities; film shows, an art and craft market, food, arts and craft.  These will provide an enjoyable Durban lifestyle experience and aims to raise awareness about climate change.  Roving entertainers and troubadors will be in action from Snake Park to New Beach.

–       COP17 Music Festival & Beach Party – 9 December

The entertainment area at New Beach / Bay Lawns also forms part of the Durban Green Festival, and provides an impressive line-up of top South African musical entertainment each evening from 17:00-midnight, including live acts and DJ’s. The area boasts a fully functional stage, seating areas and all necessary facilities. A beer and wine bar will be available at the Bay Lawn area.

–       The Durban Green Hub

DATE:               28 November-10 December

VENUE:             The Green Hub at Blue Lagoon

TIME:             11:00-21:00 Daily

The Green Hub will feature a family orientated programme with an environmental and climate change focus, targeted at Durban residents. ‘My Green Home’ is an exhibition designed in the format of a house and garden containing a wide range of ways to go green and reduce energy consumption.  Advisors will be on hand to help visitors to plan how we can implement simple and affordable changes at home, at work and in our daily lives. There is also a market and entertainment area on the lawns overlooking the uMngeni River, offering wholesome food, crafts, green technologies, live music, a kids play areas, movies and more. Sport activities include a River Raft team challenge and a daily programme of mountain biking, trail running, hiking and birding walks.

Enquiries: 031 303 8476 or

–       Durban Botanic Gardens

The Durban Botanic Gardens will be all ‘abuzz’ with their new addition… the horticulturally innovative Living ‘Bee-hive’. This permanent living-art installation, in the form of a grassed and planted dome is 16m in diameter by 6.5m high, with a surface area of approximately 200m2. The framework of the structure comprises a steel skeleton clad in living plant material, transparent panels and open spaces. A raised walkway traverses the interior of the Bee-hive and the design includes underground tanks for the catchment and recycling of water.

Also visit the newly expanded Permaculture Gardens, an organic food garden, demonstrating just what is possible in an urban environment…if you want to grow your own veggies.

The Freshly Ground Celebrates COP17 Concert hosted by the Wildlands Trust takes place on Thursday 8 December at 19:00.  Tickets are R100 per person & are available from Webtickets  R100 per person

Enquiries: 031 309 1170



Two of Durban’s favourite personalities Ellis Pearson and Gcina Hlophe, will be bringing the climate change message to various venues around Durban in a creative and magical way…Ellis with physical theatre & Gcina though her story-telling.  The two artists will be performing at The Durban Botanical Gardens, the Green Hub & various school & library venues in and around Durban from Monday 28 November.  Contact venues for dates and times.

Ellis Pearson strikes again with ‘Man Up A Tree’.  There’s a man up a tree. Three days now. What’s he doing? How will they get him down before the bull-dozers come to clear the area for development.  This powerfully visual and comically persuasive theatre uses the delights of circus performance to create a totally entertaining story that deals head-on with the urgent theme of global climate change. Ellis Pearson and Loyiso Macdonald in this educational  piece of theatre, commissioned by Wildlands KZN  and eTHekwini Municipality.   Mainly physical theatre with English and isiZulu.

Gcina Mhlophe has been writing and performing on stage and screen for the past 24 years.  She is loved by the young and the ‘young at heart’ wherever she goes.  Gcina will bring the climate change message through her incredible voice and story-telling.


DATE:               5-9 December

•VENUE:              Hoy Park

Youth Development through Football, together with its partners are arranging core activities focusing on youth, sport and the environment. This includes an Environmental Exhibition of photographs, drawings, art pieces by youth; YDF Toolkit training on environmental awareness; a Youth Discussion Forum.


DATE:               1 December

VENUE:              Durban Beachfront

A one-hour, original musical production featuring 25 pupils selected from a local school have created a production featuring words, music and songs which highlight various aspects of climate change.  The production will be filmed and televised worldwide on the BBC’s Climate Change TV.


DATE:   27 November

VENUE:              Durban Beachfront

A social mobilisation project involving a physical walk along The Blue Line , a blue line painted on the ground which has been created by world-renowned artist Strijdom van der Merwe, symbolising the rising sea level’s potential impact on our coastline. The walk led by The Premier of KwaZulu Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize along with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, and eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo, begins at Ushaka Marine World and ends at an artist’s rendition of an educational Ark at the park on the corner of KE Masinga Street and Marine Parade.  The walk is free and members of the public are invited to participate in this historic event.


Communities and Education

The COP17/CMP7 conference has motivated various educational initiatives that have extended to communities and schools in and around Durban. Climate change, its effects and how to deal with it have been creatively expressed through storytelling, street theatre, art competitions and freely distributed e-newsletters.

–       Inner City Rooftop Garden

The Priority Zone rooftop garden, situated in an eco-building only 100 metres from the ICC, will be open for informative tours during COP17. The garden is over 1300m2 and utilises various recycled material in its design, including tyres, pallets, and drums to make the beds. An indigenous water-friendly succulent garden is accompanied by food-landscaped beds and vegetable tunnels. Solar geysers and panels are utilised to harvest the sun’s energy, while rainwater is collected to irrigate the gardens. A fully functional worm-farm adds nutrients to the organic vegetables and herbs, which have created employment for two local people.

Date:                                     28 November-10 December

Time:                                    09:00 -21:00

Venue:                         77b Monty Naicker Street

Enquiries:                         031 368 2599



–       ‘Durban – City For All Seasons’

The Elizabeth Gordon Gallery is hosting an exhibition to celebrate COP17-CMP7 being held in Durban. 16 artists have taken up the challenge to paint something that captures the essence of Durban, while incorporating the themes of climate change and green awareness. 

Date:                                     Opens on 30 November at 18:00

Opening times:             Weekdays: 08:00 – 16:30

Saturdays: 9am – 12.30pm

Address:                         120 Florida Road

Enquiries:                         Joy Reynolds – 082 2100641

–       Public Art Response

An all-weather, semi-permanent exhibition along the Durban beachfront featuring artwork by members of the public of all ages in response to a request to creatively express their view of climate change and how best to react to it.

Date:             28 November

Time:             Daily

Venue: Open-air Exhibition

Don’t Panic

Date:             23 November-19 February 2012

Opening times: Daily

Address: Durban Art Gallery

The Durban Art Gallery will host the exhibition DON’T/PANIC, displaying artistic views on a changing climate, during COP17. “DON’T/PANIC” – is this the answer to the questions raised by natural disasters and catastrophes caused by the changing climate? Or is it the urgent request, directed at world leaders as well as world citizens to act (differently)?

This exhibition, curated by Gabi Ngcobo, seeks to raise questions, offer new perspectives, rather than present pre-fabricated answers. It will contribute to the public debate and be a platform in a city which is the focus of the world’s attention for two weeks in November/December 2011.

The exhibition presents powerful artistic voices from across the African continent, including works by Mlu Zondi, Clive van den Berg, Otobong Nkanga, David Koloane, Batoul S’Himi and Moshekwa Langa. Many of these voices are critical, sometimes in an overt, sometimes in a subtle way, sometimes humorous, sometimes standing as an indictment. Some of the works may raise awareness and some may simply be poetic statements.

The Goethe-Institut and the Heinrich-Böll Foundation have partnered to commission “DON’T/PANIC” as a contribution to the summit by adding a unique African artistic perspective to the discussion.
Open Forum and Walkabout

Date: 3 December

Venue: Durban Art Gallery, Circular Gallery,

Time: 11:00 to 13:00

The walkabout will begin at the Durban Art Gallery and will include discussions with the curator and contributors to the project. Participants include curator Gabi Ngcobo with artists Dineo Bopape, Otobong Nkanga, Zamani Makhanya, Kim Anno and Doung Anwar Jahangeer among others.


5 responses to “COP 17 – a selection of public events

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Durban | COP17 – climate change talks in Durban 2011

  2. cara

    Hey hey, thanks for keeping the public update. Is the party on friday night open to the public? The Friday that just pasted, we tried to take party in the cop17 party at the Lower Marine Parade, but we were not allowed into the party?
    Kind Regards
    Tree hugger

  3. Tryffan

    The item on Oware you have listed on here does not have a venue, where is that. People at info booths are unable to help. Tx

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