Local and Subnational Governments Call for Action to Restore Biodiversity Health
Photo by: Lauren Anderson
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The Summit adopted the ‘Sharm El-Sheikh Communiqué for Local and Subnational Action for Nature and People’.

The Communiqué calls on all Parties to the CBD and partners to step up efforts to realize the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in ways that advance implementation of the SDGs and NDCs for the Paris Agreement on climate change.

24 November 2018: The Sixth Global Biodiversity Summit of Local and Subnational Governments adopted an urgent call for action for strengthened commitment to multi-level integration, action and collaboration to stem biodiversity loss and restore biodiversity health for the benefit of people and nature. The Summit took place in parallel to the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The Summit adopted the ‘Sharm El-Sheikh Communique for Local and Subnational Action for Nature and People,’ which recognizes efforts of all levels of subnational governments and their populations to “contribute directly and measurably” to achieving the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity. The Communiqué underscores the need for urgent action in light of recent global assessment reports, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018, among others.

The Communique calls on all Parties to the CBD and partners to, inter alia: step up their efforts to work together to realize the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in ways that advance implementation of the SDGs and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change; increase and unlock mechanisms for collaboration; accelerate efforts to raise awareness, build capacity and facilitate scientific knowledge transfer; and enable and promote implementation of current and past CBD COP decisions related to subnational governments. The Communique further calls on Parties and partners to continue to increase collaboration with other global sustainable development Conventions and processes to ensure the development and adoption of systemic and inter-related solutions under the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

CBD COP 15 should give momentum to biodiversity at the same level Paris gave to climate.

Many participants expressed support for the Summit’s outcomes while also urging increased ambition and scale. Global Director of the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, Kobie Brand, explained that the Communique calls on all levels of government to “take action in light of the most recent global assessment reports, which so clearly point to the need for significant, rapid and collective action.” The Secretary General of the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD), Natalia Vera, said the Summit and its outcome demonstrate the vertical integration between all levels of government and the spirit of multilevel cooperation “to mainstream biodiversity into all sectors and promote nature-based solutions.” Cathy Oke, First Vice President, ICLEI Presidium, and Councilor, City of Melbourne, Australia, expressed hope that Sharm el-Sheikh would be remembered as “a key meeting on the pathway towards bending the curve,” saying CBD COP 15 should “give momentum to biodiversity at the same level Paris gave to climate.”

The Summit also announced a Subnational Roadmap and Action Agenda of activities towards CBD COP 15 and beyond, including on collective contributions to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The Subnational Roadmap and Action Agenda aim to scale up ambition to ensure the success of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and capture subnational governments’ plans to scale up their own and shared actions, among other aims.

Also at the Summit, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced the ‘CitiesWithNature’ initiative. The initiative provides a shared platform for regions, cities and other subnational authorities to connect and engage in mainstreaming nature into cities and regions to benefit both people and nature. [ICLEI Press Release] [ICLEI Summit Webpage] [CitiesWithNature Website]


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