SBI-3 Informal Session, 9 March 2021

Agenda item 6 Resource mobilization and the financial mechanism

Speaker: Ingrid Coetzee, ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability 


Honorable Chairs, co-chairs, and distinguished delegates,


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


Our constituency welcomes the whole-of-government, – society and – economy approach to resource mobilization as this resonates with local and subnational governments’ ambitions. We believe such an approach is necessary to bring about transformative, inclusive and equitable change. According to the World Bank, approximately 80% of global GDP[1] is generated in cities, and globally, in 2013 subnational governments accounted for about one-quarter of government spending – corresponding to 9 percent of GDP – and for almost 40 percent of public investment – equivalent to 1.5 percent of global GDP. Thus, it is crucial that Parties empower and encourage their local and subnational governments to review and reform their fiscal policies and budgets to result in no net harm to biodiversity and promote biodiversity mainstreaming across all sectors. Local and subnational governments can play a key role in applying safeguards to their budgets and procurement practices.  We welcome the recommendations on incentives and disincentives to encourage biodiversity-positive actions. Many local and subnational governments have introduced such incentives and disincentives and Parties should encourage and support more widespread application of such measures at these levels, as part of their scaling up plans.


We congratulate the Global Environment Facility on its Sustainable Cities Impact Programme, and are pleased to see it is growing. But we recognize that GEF and this Programme cannot meet the needs of all cities and subnational governments. Therefore, we appeal for more and other types of mechanisms to be set up by other funds, to finance biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration at the local and subnational levels. Local and subnational governments can play a key role in promoting ecosystem restoration through greening hard infrastructure, to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.


We welcome the recommendations on national biodiversity finance plans.  These plans should reflect local and subnational governments’ share in total public expenditure on biodiversity and nature, to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness in resource mobilization. Parties should support and encourage their local and subnational governments to develop biodiversity finance plans and to incorporate financial solutions that incentivize the protection of nature and prevent further loss of biodiversity.


We remain committed to engage in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and look forward to discussing these points further and continuing the good work together.


Thank you.