The voice of local and subnational governments in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for advancing the Action Agenda for Nature and People and in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) development process

Biodiversity underpins ecosystem functioning by providing many essential services that our very lives depend on. Urbanization is a key driver of ecological change and is rapidly reshaping our world. Our future is increasingly an urban one. Globally, biodiversity is diminishing at unprecedented rates, with current consumption and production patterns overshooting earth’s carrying capacity and threatening our collective future on earth. The growth of cities is one of the main drivers of this biodiversity loss. However, local and subnational governments are also engines of innovation and solutions. The critical role of local and subnational governments in shaping and implementing the global biodiversity agenda is increasingly being recognized, through a number of CBD COP decisions since 2008. Building on COP Decision X/22, the 2011-2020 Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities, and other Local Authorities adopted in 2010 in Nagoya, 2020 will be the “Super Year for Biodiversity” as the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) will be negotiated and adopted at COP 15 to guide implementation over the coming decade in pursuit of the 2050 vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature” and in line with the objectives of the CBD: conserve biodiversity, restore biodiversity, and use it sustainably.

Decision 14/34 at COP 14, held Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2018, called for a comprehensive and participatory process for the preparation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) in the lead up to COP 15 in Kunming, China, under the auspices of the Sharm-el-Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature & People. ICLEI’s is the focal point for the local and subnational government constituency on behalf of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, a joint global policy advocacy initiative of the major international networks of local governments, to the UN in the area of biodiversity, under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This platform provides a space for the local and subnational government constituency to engage with key milestones and events, stay informed on advocacy outcomes to date, and participate actively in the roadmap to COP 15, to be held from the 15th-28th October 2020.

Get involved: Ways for local and subnational governments to participate in the roadmap

Post 2020 Local and Subnational Government Information Webinars

Join us for our Post 2020 information series, with monthly webinars to keep the local and subnational government constituency, networks, and partners up to date on key milestones and the participatory preparation process of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on the roadmap to COP 15.

Register now by clicking on the links below: 

6th February 2020 at: 10am CAT and at 3pm CAT 
26th March 2020 at: 10am CAT and at 3pm CAT
16th April 2020 at: 10am CAT and at 3pm CAT 
14th May 2020 at: 10am CAT and at 3pm CAT
4th June 2020 
at: 10am CAT and 3pm at CAT
23rd July 2020 at: 10am CAT and 3pm at CAT
20th August 2020 at: 10am CAT and 3pm at CAT
17th September 2020 at: 10am CAT and 3pm at CAT
8th October 2020 at: 10am CAT and 3pm at CAT
5th November 2020 at: 10am CAT and 3pm CAT
3rd December 2020 at: 10am CAT and 3pm CAT

Background to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

In 2020 the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework as a stepping stone towards the 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”. In its decision 14/34, the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted a comprehensive and participatory process for the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The Secretariat of the CBD (SCBD), together with the Governments of Egypt and China, launched the Sharm El-Sheik to Beijing Action Agenda for Nature and People at COP 14 in Sharm El-Sheik in November 2018.

Subnational governments are encouraged to actively engage and contribute to the process of developing a robust post-2020 global biodiversity framework; facilitate dialogues, meetings and consultations on the post-2020; and to make the results and outcomes of such dialogues, meetings and consultations available the CBD clearinghouse and other appropriate mechanisms.

Subnational governments’ significant contribution to the global biodiversity discourse and decisions over the past decade.

The Action Agenda has three main objectives:

  • Raise public awareness about the urgent need to stem biodiversity loss and restore biodiversity health for the sake of humanity and the global ecosystem;
  • Inspire and help implement nature-based solutions to meet key global challenges; and
  • Catalyze cooperative initiatives across sectors and stakeholders in support of the global biodiversity goals.

ICLEI CBC staff making a difference

The 14th Conference of the Parties, held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2018, decided to establish an Informal Advisory Group (IAG) on the Mainstreaming of Biodiversity, to advise the Executive Secretary and the Bureau of the Convention on Biological Diversity, on a long term approach to mainstreaming biodiversity, including on ways to integrate mainstreaming adequately into the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The IAG was established in May 2019 with the appointment of representatives of 15 parties to the CBD and 15 representatives of organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities. ICLEI was appointed to represent all local and subnational governments on the IAG. ICLEI is represented by Ingrid Coetzee, Senior Programme Manager ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center.  ICLEI’s appointment recognizes the impressive contribution that ICLEI and its Cities Biodiversity Center has made over the past decade in advocating for greater recognition of, and involvement by, local and subnational governments in the CBD.  Information and updates on the work of the IAG is disseminated to local and subnational governments through ICLEI CBC’s monthly post-2020 webinar series (see the timeline for webinar dates).

At a meeting of the Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation scheme’s Independent Advisory Committee (IAC), 25 – 26 September 2019, ICLEI was nominated as co-chair of the Independent Advisory Committee, in support of Austria, the new chair (previously held by Korea), for the 2019 – 2021 triennium.  Dr Ernita van Wyk, Senior Professional Officer: Social-ecological Systems at the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, represents ICLEI on the Ramsar IAC. The Ramsar Wetland City accreditation scheme (Resolution XII.10 of 2015) is a voluntary scheme that provides an opportunity for cities that value their natural or human-made wetlands to gain international recognition and positive publicity for their efforts. One of the roles of the Independent Advisory Committee is to review the Wetland City Accreditation applications and to report its decision to the Standing Committee. The current call for applications to the second edition (2019-2021 triennium) of the Wetland City Accreditation was announced by the Ramsar Secretariat on 15 July 2019. Interested cities have until 31 December 2019 to submit their applications to their national Ramsar Administrative Authority.

Through its decisions VII/24 and VIII/6, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) established an informal advisory committee (IAC) to provide advice on the development and implementation of the Programme of Work for the Global Initiative for Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA). Michelle Preen, Senior Manager: Communications and Knowledge Management at ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center (CBC) has been selected as a member of the CEPA-IAC for 2019/2020. This year, the IAC will play a key role in the implementation of the most recent COP decisions relating to communication. This includes IAC members’ input into the draft 2020 Communications Strategy, and in building the momentum in support of an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The 14th Conference of the Parties, held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2018, decided to establish an Informal Advisory Group (IAG) on the Mainstreaming of Biodiversity, to advise the Executive Secretary and the Bureau of the Convention on Biological Diversity, on a long term approach to mainstreaming biodiversity, including on ways to integrate mainstreaming adequately into the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The IAG was established in May 2019 with the appointment of representatives of 15 parties to the CBD and 15 representatives of organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities. ICLEI was appointed to represent all local and subnational governments on the IAG. ICLEI is represented by Ingrid Coetzee, Senior Programme Manager ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center.  ICLEI’s appointment recognizes the impressive contribution that ICLEI and its Cities Biodiversity Center has made over the past decade in advocating for greater recognition of, and involvement by, local and subnational governments in the CBD.  Information and updates on the work of the IAG is disseminated to local and subnational governments through ICLEI CBC’s monthly post-2020 webinar series (see the timeline for webinar dates).

In support of the process, ICLEI is collaborating with the following partners:

Together we have committed to mobilising and coordinating local and subnational action and contributions to the Action Agenda for Nature and People on the journey to Cop 15 in China in 2020 and the associated consultation and negotiation process on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). This commitment was made in the closing session of the 6th Global Biodiversity Summit of Local and Subnational Governments, held in the margins of COP 14 on 23 and 24 November 2019 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. We also welcome other actors, networks and initiatives to join this growing community of leading local and subnational actors under the auspices of the Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity, co-chaired by the SCBD, ICLEI and Regions4. Additionally, the Subnational Coalition for Biodiversity Action was launched at COP 14 with the objective of gathering a group of leading provinces, states, regions of the world in support of CBD Parties in the preparation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Advocacy outcomes to date

Our Summits & CBD COP Decisions

Successive Global Biodiversity Summits of Local and Subnational Governments have been co-convened by ICLEI and key partners as official events in parallel to the CBD COPs since COP 9 in 2008. Since the first Summit, there has been at least one official COP decision dedicated to local and subnational governments emerging from each Summit’s negotiations. This is testimony to CBD Parties’ and the SCBD’s recognition of the vital role that cities and regions play in contributing to the CBD objectives A key decision regarding local and subnational governments was the adoption of the Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2011 – 2020) and its subsequent endorsement in Decision X/22 by the CBD Parties at COP 10, held In Nagoya, Japan in 2010. COP 14, held Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2018, surpassed this proud tradition. COP 14 was characterized by very active and fruitful engagement between cities and regions, CBD Parties, their partners and the SCBD throughout the duration of COP 14 and the 6th Summit. The result of this intensive engagement was an unprecedented number of decisions – seven in total – that relate to local and subnational governments and the adoption of the Sharm El-Sheikh Communiqué for Local and Subnational Action for Nature and People in the COP plenary. The Communique calls on CBD Parties to strengthen their commitment to multi-level integration and collaboration with local and subnational actors to stem biodiversity loss and restore ecosystem health for the sake of people and nature. Furthermore, Decision 14/34, called for a comprehensive and participatory process for the preparation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). This Decisions urges local and subnational governments to actively engage and contribute to the process of developing a robust post-2020 global biodiversity framework in order to foster strong ownership of the framework to be agreed and strong support for its immediate implementation.

Previous CBD COP Decisions & Summit communiqués

CBD COP Decisions directly relevant to local and subnational governments

Summit communiqués, resolutions and declarations presented to CBD Parties

CBD COP 14
Adoption by the Parties of the following seven decisions that relate to the mandates and issues of cities and regions:
• COP/14/L.4 – Health and biodiversity;
• COP/14/L.11 – Sustainable wildlife management;
• CBD/COP/DEC/14 – Proposals for a comprehensive and participatory process for the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework;
• COP/14/L.19 – Protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures;
• COP/14/L.20 – Mainstreaming of biodiversity in the energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing sectors;
• COP/14/L.27 – Invasive alien species; and
• COP/14/L.28 – The conservation and sustainable use of pollinators;

6th Global Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Subnational Governments
Sharm El-Sheikh Communiqué for Local and Subnational Action for Nature and People 2018

CBD COP Decisions directly relevant to local and subnational governments

Summit communiqués, resolutions and declarations presented to CBD Parties

CBD COP 13
Adoption by the Parties of Decision XIII/3, on Strategic actions to enhance the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Parties agreed to enhance their efforts to engage subnational and local governments in order to strengthen their contribution to the implementation of the Convention and its Strategic Plan.

5th Global Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Subnational Governments
Quintana Roo Communiqué on Mainstreaming Local and Subnational Biodiversity Action

CBD COP Decisions directly relevant to local and subnational governments

Summit communiqués, resolutions and declarations presented to CBD Parties

CBD COP 12
Decision XII/9, on Engagement with Subnational and Local Governments, requested the CBD Executive Secretary to support the Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action on Biodiversity and its activities as an effective platform for scientific and technical cooperation, capacity development and the dissemination of best practices for local and subnational implementation of the Convention.

Biodiversity Summit For Cities and Subnational Governments
Gangwon/Pyeongchang Resolution for Cities and Subnational Governments for Biodiversity

CBD COP Decisions directly relevant to local and subnational governments

Summit communiqués, resolutions and declarations presented to CBD Parties

CBD COP 11
Adoption by the Parties of Decision XI/28: It highlighted the tangible role of local governments, specifying the need for national support in implementing the Plan of Action 2011-2020.

Cities for Life: City and Subnational Biodiversity Summit
Hyderabad Declaration on Subnational Governments, Cities and Local Authorities for Biodiversity

CBD COP Decisions directly relevant to local and subnational governments

Summit communiqués, resolutions and declarations presented to CBD Parties

CBD COP 10
Adoption by the Parties of the ground-breaking Decision X/22 and thereby endorsement of the Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2011-2020) and encouraged Parties to support cities and local authorities.

City Biodiversity Summit
Aichi/Nagoya Declaration on Local Authorities and Biodiversity
Support of Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2011 – 2020)

CBD COP Decisions directly relevant to local and subnational governments

Summit communiqués, resolutions and declarations presented to CBD Parties

CBD COP 9
Development of an intervention on behalf of local governments, presented at the COP. Adoption by the Parties of Decision IX/28, which for the first time recognizes the importance of local and subnational governments in supporting the implementation of the Convention and in implementing National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans.

Mayors Conference – Local Action for Biodiversity
Bonn Call for Action on Cities and Biodiversity

Opening Statement by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments for Biodiversity, presented during the Opening Plenary of the First Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on 27 August 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Read more here.

Statement read by Ingrid Coetzee from ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, at the Opening Plenary of Open-Ended Working Group 2 meeting in Rome, Italy, on 24 February 2020, on behalf of ICLEI, the Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments for Biodiversity (coordinated by Regions4 Sustainable Development and the Government of Quebec), the European Committee of Regions, and the Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Download here.

Statement presented by ICLEI on behalf of our local and subnational government constituency at the First Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group, during the session on the future work programme on 29 August 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Read more here.

Statement read by Ms Hiroko MIZUNO, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, at the Closing Plenary of Open-Ended Working Group 2 meeting in Rome, Italy, on 29 February 2020, on behalf of ICLEI, the Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments for Biodiversity (coordinated by Regions4 Sustainable Development and the Government of Quebec), the European Committee of Regions, and the Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Download here.

Singapore’s Statement for Cluster 4 presented by Wendy Yap of the  Singapore National Parks Board at the First Meeting of the Open Ended Working Group 1, on 28 August 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Read more here.

Notes d’allocution pour la mairesse de Montréal, Mme Valérie Plante, Discours de la mairesse au Sommet des Nations unies sur le Climat – Panel « Plans for a Carbon Neutral World », Lundi 23 septembre 2019, Nations Unies, New York.
Download in French.

Intervention by Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, at the Local Leadership for Climate: Solutions to the Climate Emergency on 21 September 2019 in New York.
Download in English.

“Aburrá Valley – Medellin Declaration of Metropolitan Areas to the post – 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework” adopted by the 17 metropolitan area authorities and 27 other local and subnational governments from 12 countries that met in Medellin, Colombia, from 17 to 19 July 2019, to contribute to the process defining the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Download in English or Spanish.

Key partners

ICLEI works with key partners such as the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the Group of Leading Subnational Governments Toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), and Regions4 Sustainable Development (Regions4) to advance its global advocacy agenda. This network of partners continues to expand.

Current Processes Underway for Local and Subnational Governments on the Roadmap to COP 15

Timeline & Events

Global & UN events

ICLEI events

Partner & regional events

Joint ICLEI & partner events

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News & updates

On this front, we proudly announce CitiesWithNature, a game changing new global initiative by founding partners ICLEIThe Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). CitiesWithNature is a shared platform for all cities, regions and other subnational authorities to connect and engage in mainstreaming nature into cities and regions in ways that benefit both people and nature. It serves as the ‘one stop shop’ for all levels of subnational governments to connect, share and report on their actions in contributing to making progress on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, its twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the Action Agenda for Nature and People. It will also provide the space for the local and subnational government voice to be heard in shaping the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and associated local and subnational roadmap, in support of the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.

The CitiesWithNature online platform will provide the official mechanism for promoting, coordinating and reporting on local and subnational government actions, contributions and commitments in this regard, as endorsed by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

It is here, under the auspices of CitiesWithNature, that you will be able to share your cities’ intentions, ambitions, and commitments to the current and future global biodiversity agenda.

This page is currently under construction and you will be notified when it is ready for you to engage with.

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