Read by Mr Shu Zhu, East Asia Regional Director, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

11 October 2021

Minister Huang, Your Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,

Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor. I address you on behalf of ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability, the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments and Biodiversity – coordinated by Regions4 and the Government of Québec, the Group of Leading Subnational Governments towards Aichi Biodiversity Targets – coordinated by Aichi Prefecture, the European Committee of the Regions, and the Edinburgh Process Partners.

The world has reached a critical juncture, and the global subnational constituency wants to play our part in bending the curve of biodiversity loss – leading by example, and showing how cities and territories can use nature to address the climate challenges we all face.

In April 2020, we launched the Edinburgh Process, led by the Scottish Government. This resulted in a renewed Plan of Action for subnational and local governments – a voluntary, flexible framework for implementing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework – and a draft COP15 decision for the greater inclusion and recognition of the subnational constituency within the framework.

We also developed the Edinburgh Declaration. This sets out subnational and local government’s commitments to contribute to the post-2020 framework; and calls upon parties to recognise the vital role played by subnational authorities in translating global targets into transformative, local and regional actions. So far, 181 governments at all levels and other organisations have endorsed the Declaration, making clear the readiness, to take a whole of government approach towards action for the next decade.

The Edinburgh Process galvanised a global network of subnational and local governments and international organisations, to work together to achieve common goals. It showed that subnational and local governments can contribute to rulemaking at national level; and has encouraged them to increase measures for biodiversity conservation, promoting whole of government activities globally.

Within the framework of the Convention, Regions4,  coordinates, together with the Government of Québec, the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments to the Convention, which is the official platform created to channel subnational governments’ voices into the CBD. This platform welcomes all subnational and regional leaders and partners committed to a sustainable future; and through its operational partners, the Group of Leading Subnational Governments, led by Aichi, and the Regions4 Biodiversity Learning Platform, led by Regions4, creates the conditions in which these leaders can fulfil their commitments and learn from each other.

ICLEI coordinates the Advisory Committee on Cities to the Convention to channel local governments’ voices into the CBD.

Subnational and local governments are taking concrete measures to conserve, restore and mainstream biodiversity. We are listening to, coordinating with, and disseminating the voices of various actors through measures connected with stakeholders. The importance and significant contributions of our roles, need to be adopted at COP15, leading us to further promote measures for biodiversity conservation, restoration and mainstreaming in cooperation with Parties and various local actors.

We remain committed to engage in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and look forward to continuing the good work together. Thank you

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