Roadmap to COP 15: Timeline of key milestones

Due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic, many key events on the local and subnational Roadmap to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are continuously modifying their dates and methods of delivery. An updated timeline, with the most recent event dates and details can be seen below:

Key Updates


SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3 negotiations towards COP15

The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of Convention for Biological Diversity is scheduled to take place on 11-24 October 2021 in Kunming, China. COP15 is expected to result with the post2020 global biodiversity framework which is expected to elevate the recognition of nature in the global processes, including climate action. 

Virtual sessions of SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3 took place over May and June 2021 in preparation for CBD COP 15. These meetings are being convened virtually as an exceptional measure due to the conditions imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and do not constitute a precedent for the organization of future meetings under the Convention.

The local and subnational constituency is represented at the SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3 virtual sessions by 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.  To ensure the voice of local and subnational governments is heard in these sessions, statements on several agenda items have been read. 

Read the statements

Learn more about SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3


GoLS report on Subnational Governments’ Experiences of Vertical Integration

A report focusing on subnational governments’ experiences of vertical integration has been developed by the members of the Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS). It applies the 13 Guidelines for an integrated approach in the development and implementation of national, subnational and local biodiversity strategy and action plans and focuses on cross-cutting issues such as; the mainstreaming of biodiversity, sustainable use, consumption and production, and cooperation and synergies. 

Read the report 


Opportunities to get involved


ICLEI’s UN Decade Launch Event – Restoring urban spaces, designing future-proof cities

Join urban leaders on 1 June  from 12:00 to 12:45 UTC to envision cities full of life at this High-level Panel Event hosted by ICLEI as part of the official launch programme of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Speakers include:

  • Kobie Brand, Deputy Secretary-General of ICLEI (host and facilitator)  
  • Ana María Hernández Salgar, Chair of IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
  • Mauricio Vila Dosal, Governor of the State of Yucatán, Mexico (pre-recorded video message)
  • Anuela Ristani, Deputy Mayor for International Affairs, Tirana, Albania
  • Cheryl Jones Fur, Deputy Lord Mayor of Växjö Municipality, Sweden
  • Lena Chan, Senior Director, International Biodiversity Conservation Division, Singapore National Parks Board
  • Chumisa Thengwa, Manager: Biodiversity Impact Assessment at eThekwini Municipality (Durban), South Africa

Sign-up to attend

Learn more about the event 

See the full programme of the Decade’s launch week

Learn more about ICLEI as a Global Partner of the Decade

Learn more about the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration


The Road from Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming – Restoration in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

 The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with the Governments of Egypt and China, and the Korea Forest Service will be hosting a high-level virtual panel titled “The Road from Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming – Restoration in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework” on 4 June 2021 as part of the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. 

The event aims to build political momentum and raise awareness for ecosystem restoration in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The importance of initiatives, such as the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI), which aims to support developing countries capacity for planning and implementing ecosystem restoration as part of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans, will also be highlighted. This will also be an opportunity to engage key stakeholders and raise ambition for strong restoration commitments under the post-2020 global biodiversity framework that can also align with and support other globally agreed goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the Land Degradation Neutrality Targets. 

Register for the high-level panel event


Save the Date: Register for ICLEI CBC’s next webinar

ICLEI hosts a monthly Post-2020 webinar series to keep our constituency of cities and regions up to date on the unfolding participatory process on the roadmap to CBD COP 15. 

Our upcoming webinar on 3 June is titled ‘Rising to the restoration challenge’. World Environment Day will be taking place on 5 June 2021, and its theme for this year is “Ecosystem Restoration”. In keeping with this theme, and harnessing the momentum of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we intend to showcase how cities and regions are preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide. 

Register for the time slot that suits you best below:



Visit the dedicated website to stay updated on the local and subnational advocacy for nature agenda and to get involved, where all recordings of previous webinars are available to watch. 

Visit the Subnational Advocacy for Nature website 


8th Plenary of IPBES

The 8th Plenary of IPBES will take place between the 14th – 24th June 2021 as an online event. The plenary will be preceded by a Caucus Day organised by the Open-ended Network of IPBES Stakeholders (ONet) (please join ONet if you like) on 31 May. This is not part of the official IPBES program but rather an opportunity for IPBES stakeholders to learn more about ONet. Please find below information on how to register and participate. ONet will make an Opening Statement at the Plenary, and this is an opportunity for you to share your ideas. All inputs will be compiled and discussed at the Caucus and Stakeholder Days. 

Further, a Stakeholder Day will be organised between 3-9 June again as an online event. The stakeholder day is organised by ONet, IIFBES (International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IIFBES), and the IPBES Secretariat.  

Register for the Stakeholder Day

Find more info on the 8th Plenary


Edinburgh Process participants unite to support Subnational and Local Governments efforts in the post-2020 process at SBI-3

Edinburgh Process Partners, including members of the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments and Biodiversity (AC SNG) – co-ordinated by Regions4 and the Government of Québec; the European Committee of the Regions (CoR); the Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS), and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, require your support to deliver a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that includes a request for a dedicated and stepped-up decision and renewed Plan of Action toward 2030 to be adopted at COP15.

Assist these efforts by downloading the template letterhead and send it to your national focal point informing them of your sponsorship, and asking them to advance the aims of subnational governments, cities and local authorities for biodiversity over the coming decade.

Download the letterhead (under ‘Files’)



ICLEI is collecting resources that can be useful and inspiring for local and subnational governments. Click here to see the dedicated webpage, and click here to access a collection of relevant blog posts.

The generous support from the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support project, the INTERACT-Bio project, and CitiesWithNature partners and cities, has contributed to this email update.