Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a model city of the global INTERACT-Bio project, commits to upholding the environment and harnessing Nature based Solutions (NbS) for its urban and societal challenges, through the release of the LOCAL BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN (LBSAP).

Following from the recent release of the Dar es Salaam’s Thematic Atlas, an innovative tool to support decision making about Nature based Solutions within an urban context, the municipality has now released its Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (LBSAP). This plan, co-produced by a diverse set of stakeholders and co-led by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the Dar es Salaam City Council, details the city’s strategic priorities in its utilization and management of its natural assets and biodiversity. Furthermore, the plan sets out clear focus areas and goals that will support the city in its endeavour to grow green spaces and protect biodiversity and nature’s benefits for its citizens.

This LBSAP, produced as part of the INTERACT-Bio project, in alignment with Tanzania’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. The LBSAP will guide urban planning decisions and ultimately support the wellbeing of the people of Dar es Salaam. One of the key outcomes of this project will see demonstration sites established, highlighting the social benefits of green open spaces and vegetated areas in the city. The INTERACT-Bio project is funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) implemented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA). The project aims to improve the utilisation and management of urban nature within fast-growing cities and the regions surrounding them.

“This LBSAP demonstrates our commitment to the environment and our people, ensuring the city can provide and sustain many livelihoods and nature simultaneously. We are proud of the collective inputs to this strategy and its plans and look forward to making these a reality for our communities,” says Eng. Amani I.B. Mafuru, Director of the Dar es Salaam City Council.

This sentiment is increasingly shared by national and sub-national decision makers. This was reflected during an event at the Multilevel Action Pavilion “Building urban resilience: Harnessing nature-based solutions for accelerating NDC’s in Africa” during the 27th Conference of Parties, COP27 hosted in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on 16 November. Deputy Secretary General for ICLEI, Kobie Brand shared: “Implementation of large and complex strategies can only work with a multilevel governance approach. It is only by working together – in a truly multilevel way – that we can ever hope to truly attain our climate resilience goals and remain on the right track.”

Prioritising biodiversity in cities and identifying investment opportunities for harnessing Nature based Solutions results in “greener” spaces, driving both equity and liveability in our growing cities. Given our reality in which where climate change is no longer separated from biodiversity loss, this endeavour can now become a reality with Tanzania’s first ever LBSAP, a significant achievement in the country’s commitment to resilience and sustainable development.

The LBSAP release is timely, coming just before the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, where a renewed and more ambitious decision and plan of action on engagement with cities for the enhancement of the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, will be negotiated.

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