ICLEI CITIES BIODIVERSITY CENTER

CBD COP 13: ICLEI Side Event

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Nature-based Solutions for Thriving Urban Communities

Urban communities worldwide depend on nature for the provision of essential services and for their well-being. Nature-based solutions (NBS) is a common term used to describe the utilization of nature and the natural functions of healthy ecosystems (natural assets) to provide solutions and services for improved climate resilience, sustainability and human well-being. These solutions can address some of the most pressing and systemic development challenges cities are facing today. Nature-based solutions provide cumulative economic and social benefits to urban communities. Through applying NBS, new urban planning approaches and measures are achieved, enabling communities to access the multiple benefits and services healthy functioning ecosystems provide.


Parties are committed to effectively manage biodiversity and recognize the role urban environments play in conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources. A clear opportunity for local and subnational governments exist to deepen collaboration with, and seek further support from, Parties for the development and advancement  of biodiversity and ecosystem service strategies and action plans as supported for instance by Legal Paper 5 (UNEP/CBD/SBI/1/L.5). Legal Paper 12 (UNEP/CBD/SBI/1/L.12) on strategic actions to enhance implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 including the mainstreaming of biodiversity within and across sectors, opens opportunities for joint projects enabling NBS at sub-national level.  Nature-based solutions for Thriving Urban Communities will explore emerging city-level and subnational advances and partnerships over the last decade and showcase current innovation for mainstreaming NBS into urban planning and development frameworks.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Objectives

  • Showcase local government experiences and policy-developments on how to mainstream nature based solutions and ecosystem services in urban development frameworks.
  • Horizontal and vertical mainstreaming of nature based solutions is strengthened through collaboration between sectors and different levels of government, partners, NGO’s and Researchers.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Quotes

“Nature-based solutions are critical to urban development, from flood control to pollution.”

-Cathy Oke

“How can cities’ population grow without cutting off the biodiversity and resources that sustain them? That is the challenge.”

“Cities are dependent on natural resources to exist.”

-Amy Fraenkel

“Nature-based solutions contribute to many global goals and most of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

-Thomas Elmqvist

“If a child goes to a school with more biodiversity in the schoolyard, they will be smarter. What could be more compelling than that?”

-Sarah Bekessy

“How can we plan our cities for the future if we don’t work with nature?”

-Kobie Brand

“Nature conservation isn’t just something remote. It is the life systems we depend on.”

-Kathy MacKinnon

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Gallery

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