The formal session of SBSTTA-24, Agenda Item 9 | May 25th 2021

Local & Subnational Governments Major Group Statement: Document CBD/SBSTTA/24/9 – Biodiversity and health


Honorable Chairs, co-chairs, and distinguished delegates,

I am taking the floor 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 ABTs, the European Committee of the Regions, and on behalf of the Edinburgh Process Partners.

Our consistuencies – local and subnational governments- recognize that the Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of the relationship between people and nature and the urgency of addressing the biodiversity crisis alongside the climate crisis. Our governments are currently on the frontline of the fight against the Covid-19 crisis since the vast majority are directly responsible for heathcare systems, as well as  biodiversity and health issues. Therefore, we believe that the role and involvement of subnational and local governments should be reflected adequately throughout Document CBD/SBSTTA/24/9. We will be pleased to provide some written suggestions in that regard.

We believe that the global action plan for biodiversity and health should support Parties and other governments, including subnational and local governments, in mainstreaming biodiversity and health linkages into their policies, strategies and programmes in accordance with the One Health approach. This action plan should emphasize collaboration among ministries, agencies and stakeholders and sustain the formation of relevant bodies across all level of governments. Existing subnational and local networks and partnerships on biodiversity and health linkages should also be referred to the action plan. In addition, we believe that monitoring and surveilliance capacities as well as data collection could be strenghtened at the subnational and local level. This action plan should therefore support capacity-building and ensure allocation of predictable and sustainable funding to subnational and local policies and programmes promoting the One Health approach. These policies and programmes should be considered and included in local and subnational biodiversity strategies and action plans along with health strategies and action plans, on a voluntary basis.

We firmly believe that mainstreaming biodiversity in the health sector and promoting biodiversity and health co-benefits is essential for halting the loss of biodiversity and for the achievement of the post2020 global biodiversity framework.

We look forward to discussing these points further and continuing the good work together.

Thank you.