The 6th Global Biodiversity Summit of Local and Subnational Governments, an official parallel event to the CBD COP 14, culminated on 24 November with the adoption of the Sharm El-Sheikh Communiqué for Local and Subnational Action for Nature and People, an urgent call to action for strengthened commitment to multi-level integration, collaboration and action to stem biodiversity loss and restore biodiversity health for the sake of people and nature.
The Sharm El-Sheikh Communiqué for Local and Subnational Action for Nature and People, which builds on consecutive previous Summit outcomes and declarations, was presented to the CBD COP 14 Plenary by Dr. Cathy Oke, First Vice President of ICLEI, as the outcome of the Summit.
“The Sharm el-Sheikh Communiqué calls on all levels of government and their partners to take action in light of the most recent global assessment reports, which so clearly point to the need for significant, rapid and collective action,” says Ms. Kobie Brand, Global Director of the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center. “Never before have there been so many diverse and simultaneous opportunities for us to build and exchange knowledge, pioneer new, systemic solutions and develop a shared vision for an urban future that incorporates nature and all it offers.”
The Sharm El-Sheikh Communiqué calls for significantly stepping up efforts by all CBD Parties and their subnational actors to work together to realize, enable and unlock to the fullest potential the rich, diverse and collective contributions of all levels of subnational governments and that of our growing urban populations to contribute directly and measurably to the attainment of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.
“This Summit and its outcomes demonstrate the spirit of multilevel cooperation and vertical integration between all levels of government to mainstream biodiversity into all sectors and promote nature-based solutions,” says Natalia Vera, Secretary General: Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD). “We welcome many more actors, networks and initiatives to join this growing community of leading subnational actors under the auspices of the Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity, co-chaired by the SCBD, ICLEI and nrg4SD.”
The Sharm el-Sheikh Communiqué further calls on CBD Parties and partners to increase and unlock mechanisms for collaboration and enable frameworks; accelerate efforts for awareness-raising, capacity building and facilitating scientific knowledge transfer; and enable and promote the implementation of current and past COP Decisions related to subnational governments.
In addition, it calls on Parties and partners to continue to increase efforts to collaborate with the other global sustainable development governance processes and Conventions to ensure that systemic and inter-related solutions are developed and adopted under the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
“When we arrive at another milestone in this century – 2020 – we must reach new heights in our biodiversity conservation efforts. For the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity to succeed in biodiversity conservation, it is crucial that subnational governments and cities play a significant role,” says Dr. Lena Chan, Senior Director, International Biodiversity Conservation Division at National Parks Board, Singapore. “We must together commit to the 6Cs (1) CONSERVE representatives of all ecosystems in core conservation areas; (2) CONNECT these conservation areas ecologically; (3) CREATE or enhance or restore or rehabilitate existing ecosystems; (4) COLLECT scientific data; (5) COLLABORATE and cooperate with everyone and promote citizen science; and (6) CONTINUOUSLY monitor our biodiversity efforts, using tools like the Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity.”
The Summit also announced a Subnational Roadmap and Action Agenda of activities towards CBD COP 15 and beyond, particularly on collective contributions to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The Subnational Roadmap and Action Agenda will capture all levels of subnational governments’ future plans to significantly scale up their own and shared actions; strengthen their partnerships; and scale up ambitions to ensure on-the-ground success of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, as called for by the Executive Secretary of the CBD, under the auspices of the Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity, supported and adopted by CBD Parties in 2011 at COP10 in Nagoya, Japan.
“As the future is urban, our constituency of all levels of subnational governments is ready to accelerate our Action Roadmap towards the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, in support of the global Roadmap Process of the Parties,” says Dr. Cathy Oke, First Vice President, ICLEI Presidium, and Councilor, City of Melbourne, Australia. “We want Sharm el-Sheikh to be remembered as a key meeting on the pathway towards bending the curve, and we want Beijing to give momentum to biodiversity at the same level Paris gave to climate.”
CitiesWithNature, a game changing new global initiative was also announced at the Summit by founding partners ICLEI, TNC and IUCN. CitiesWithNature provides a shared platform for all cities, regions and other subnational authorities to connect and engage in mainstreaming nature into cities and regions in ways that benefit both people and nature. It serves as the ‘one stop shop’ for all levels of subnational governments to share and report on their actions in contributing to making progress on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets and shaping the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
To view the Sharm El-Sheikh Communiqué for Local and Subnational Action for Nature and People, please click here.