The 8th Summit for Subnational Governments and Cities, an official parallel event to CBD COP16, will take place on 26 October 2024 in the Blue Zone at the CBD COP in Cali, and is part of a 3-day program from the 25-27 October.

Announced by ICLEI and the City of Cali at the ICLEI World Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil yesterday, the Summit will continue a proud tradition, being the 8th such event since the first Summit convened 14 years ago.

Over the past two decades, ICLEI, through its Cities Biodiversity Center (CBC), has collaborated closely with the United Nations Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Biodiversity COP host countries and cities, and its key partners, such as Regions4 and UNEP, to elevate the voice of local and subnational governments at the Biodiversity Conference of the Parties (COP), ensuring that strong action is taken to create vibrant cities and regions, where people and biodiversity can thrive.

This collaboration has not only resulted in global summits for the local and subnational government constituency, as official parallel events at the COPs, but also a seat and voice in the negotiations. This has led to the adoption of more than 20 Decisions recognizing cities and regions contributions to the CBD and global biodiversity targets, including a dedicated Decision providing for a multilevel governance mechanism and plan of action on engaging subnational governments and cities.

In announcing Cali as COP host city, the President of Colombia declared that this COP would be the COP of the people and of making peace with nature. Cali is located in one of the most megadiverse regions globally. Making peace with nature, justice, equity and addressing social and economic benefits of biodiversity are top priorities for Cali.

Regional and city governments are best placed to understand and act upon the opportunities and constraints for systemic change. It is therefore important that their voices and insights are heard on international platforms that are focused on issues of global significance.

The Summit will align with the objectives and priorities of CBD COP16 to showcase subnational biodiversity actions at the local and territorial scale, in contributing to the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and the Plan of Action under Decision 15/12.

Local and subnational government leaders from around the world, together with their key stakeholders, are invited to participate in targeted and high-level dialogues on implementation progress and the important issue of leveraging financing for, and investment in, biodiversity and nature at the local and territorial scale.

ICLEI also presented the Summit logo for the very first time at its World Congress. Aligning closely with the COP16 logo, it includes the beautiful Inírida flower, a species endemic to Colombia. The logo also includes urban elements, and uses colors that align with the colors the CBD is using for The Biodiversity Plan’s Target 12, which focuses on enhancing green spaces and urban planning for human well-being and biodiversity, and Target 14, focusing on integrating biodiversity in decision-making at every level of the Biodiversity Plan.

Together, we need to pave the way for a sustainable future where cities and nature coexist in perfect harmony. Nature underpins our livelihoods and very existence. It is integral to the effective functioning and wellbeing of urban communities. Urgent collective global action is needed to reconnect people with nature, protect biodiversity and restore ecosystems. We cannot forget UN Secretary-General Guterres’ landmark 2020 speech on the state of the planet, in which he said that making peace with nature will be the defining task of the 21st century for everyone.

The leadership and active participation of all subnational governments are vital in this transformative journey. We look forward to welcoming you in Cali!

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