ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the leading global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future.
By helping the ICLEI Network to become sustainable, low-carbon, resilient, ecomobile, biodiverse, resource-efficient and productive, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart infrastructure, we impact over 25% of the global urban population.
ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center (CBC) is located in Cape Town, South Africa, embedded in the Africa Regional Office of ICLEI. We offer cities a broad portfolio of supportive services through our dedicated team of passionate, skilled and dynamic biodiversity and urban development experts.
Through our ICLEI CBC programmes and initiatives we seek local solutions and promote innovation to address the complex issues surrounding natural capital and the degradation of ecosystem services in a rapidly urbanizing world. The CBC recognizes the crucial role that cities and local governments play in the pursuit of a greener existence through efficiently integrating urban development and biodiversity management at the local level.
ICLEI CBC offers ICLEI members the following opportunities and services:
- Access to dedicated tools and capacity-building engagements, such as:
- Workshops and training webinars
- Urban biodiversity guidelines
- Peer-to-peer learning and networking opportunities
- International profiling and engagement platforms, including:
- The Urban-Nature series (a parallel event to ICLEI’s tri-annual world congresses)
- The cities and regions biodiversity summit in partnership with the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- Participation in global regional and national cities-led programmes, such as:
- LAB (Local Action for Biodiversity)
- UNA Rivers for Life (Urban Natural Assets for Africa: Rivers for Life)
ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center is hosted by the ICLEI Africa Secretariat and is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Our team has a broad range of biodiversity and climate expertise at the local government level. Above all, we are passionate about the work that we do.
Humankind and all other forms of life directly depend on biodiversity for their very existence. It is well-recognised that biodiversity and ecosystems generate, mediate and underpin numerous resource flows into cities such as fresh water, energy and food. In addition, approximately 40% of the world’s economy depends on the Earth’s natural biological resources and associated ecosystem services for sustained growth.Out of the 24 ecosystem services that make a direct contribution to human well-being and the global economy, 15 are in rapid decline; current global biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate. This is mainly due to rapid human development and expansion as well as climate change.
In addition, with ever expanding population levels, the world is undergoing dramatic urban expansion, with more than 90% of the world’s population being forecasted to live in urban areas by 2100. This urban expansion will heavily draw on natural resources on a global scale, with severe knock-on effects for biodiversity and ecosystem services and consequently for cities in the form of reduced ecosystem services. In order to maintain critical biodiversity and ecosystem services for the benefit of humans, cities need to increasingly mainstream biodiversity conservation into urban planning and design. A shift toward planning for ‘urban green growth’ is imperative, not only to secure sustainable ecosystem services and resource flows, but also to ensure resilience in the face of climate change.Local governments play a critical role in this regard and the programs under ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center have demonstrated that cities and local governments can make tangible contributions to nature conservation and biodiversity management globally through local actions.