Local and subnational governments can now officially commit to transformative actions to achieve the aims and ambitions set out in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) recently posted The Edinburgh Declaration, a document that came out of the Edinburgh Process, which consulted local and subnational governments on their role in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, on its website for the Informal Session of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). This is a significant achievement for local and subnational governments as it means that their ambitions, captured in the Edinburgh Process, are formally on the SBI agenda.
The Edinburgh Process, led by the Scottish Government in conjunction with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), is a series of consultations with subnational governments, including regional, city and local authorities, on their role in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and targets which will be agreed at the Conference of Parties meeting – COP15 – in Kunming, China in 2021. Online information sessions, thematic webinars and online consultations enabled the development of key outputs, including the Edinburgh Declaration, which demonstrates the commitment of subnational authorities across the world in working with parties to the Convention to deliver for nature over the next decade. The UK, in support of the Scottish Government and Edinburgh Process partners, submitted the outcomes of the Edinburgh Process to be considered as an additional item under the agenda for the SBI informal session meeting.
ICLEI, as one of the Edinburgh Process partners, was actively involved in the preparation and running of the Edinburgh Process, which was hosted by the Scottish Government. The main outcomes of this process included the Edinburgh Declaration and a call on CBD Parties to adopt a renewed decision and ambitious Plan of Action for this decade, outlining the vital role of local and subnational governments in implementing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
To date more than 130 cities, subnational governments and their networks, including ICLEI, have signed the Edinburgh Declaration. In Japan for instance, 51 local governments have signed the Declaration, answering the call of the Aichi Prefecture, which hosted the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP10) in Nagoya in 2010.
The Declaration is available in all official UN languages and will be open for signing until CBD COP15 later this year.