Nature-based solutions are critical to sustainable urban development. There are inherent benefits to working with nature in ways that harness its natural services, from flood retention to pollution control to air quality improvements. It is therefore important that cities mainstream this approach in urban planning and design.

From 9 to 11 December, local and subnational governments will gather in Cancun, Mexico for the 5th Global Biodiversity Summit of Cities and Subnational Governments, an official parallel event to the CBD COP 13, the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The goal of this event is to strengthen the global contribution of local and subnational governments in protecting biodiversity and the effective management of ecosystems.

Planning for urban green growth is also critical to achieve the targets set by global frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Incorporating nature-based solutions into the urban environment allows cities to address multiple climate risks, protect biodiversity, build resilience and improve the overall health and well-being of residents.

This summit is a unique opportunity for local and subnational governments to outline their existing efforts and commitments to incorporate nature-based solutions, an important yet underutilized solution for sustainability.

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