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

The Edinburgh Process: An Update on the Edinburgh Declaration

The Edinburgh Declaration for subnational governments, cities and local authorities on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, is now available to access and is open for signature by subnational and local governments and networks, supportive organisations and supportive national governments up to COP 15.


The Declaration sets out the aspirations and commitments of the Scottish Government, Edinburgh Process partners, and the wider subnational constituency of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in delivering for nature over the coming decade. To read the Declaration and find out how to sign it, click here.


Launch of the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook

 The fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO 5) will be launched during the special virtual session of SBSTTA on Tuesday, 15 September 2020, at 11:00-13:00 UTC. The special session will be followed by a Press Conference at 13:15 UTC.


Launch of the second edition of the Local Biodiversity Outlooks 

The second edition of the Local Biodiversity Outlooks (LBO-2) will be officially launched during the special virtual sessions of the SBSTTA meeting on 16 September 2020. The LBO-2 publication assesses progress against all 20 of the Aichi Targets which characterised global ambitions between 2011 and 2020 and acts as a companion publication to the Global Biodiversity Outlook. For more information, click here.


Special Virtual Sessions, in Preparation for SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3

Given the COVID-19 pandemic related delays,  SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3 will be held in the first quarter of 2020. As a result, this series of special virtual sessions will facilitate preparations for the meetings of the subsidiary bodies. These special virtual sessions have been scheduled for 14 – 18 September 2020. The further aim of these sessions is to help maintain momentum ahead of the UN Biodiversity Summit and towards COP 15.

The special sessions provide opportunities for the presentation of information and for statements by Parties and observers. No decisions or formal recommendations will be made at the special sessions. Interpretation will be provided in all UN languages.

The programme of the special virtual sessions will include:

For more information click here.

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Strategy Reveal and Engagement Kickstarter

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’s team has announced that the strategy guiding the UN Decade has now been finalised. This follows an intensive and inclusive review process which was informed by more than 2,000 comments from governments, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples, youth and others.


The strategy will be published on 15 September, along with various engagement opportunities from 3-4:30pm (EAT). An interactive webinar will introduce the strategy and its tools, as well as providing an opportunity to ask questions and explore your role in the upcoming UN Decade. To register, click here.


SCBD webinars on the role of subnational governments and local authorities in the Post-2020 GBF and the long-term approach to mainstreaming biodiversity 

The Scottish Government and the SCBD will host a webinar on 23 September at 8:00 CET and again at 16:00 CET on the outcomes of the Edinburgh Process on the role of subnational governments and local authorities in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. For additional information and to register for the webinar, click here.


The SCBD and the Informal Advisory Group on Mainstreaming of Biodiversity will hold a webinar on 7 October 2020 from 9:00 to 10:30 EST (Montreal time) to introduce the draft long-term approach to mainstreaming biodiversity, developed as requested by the Conference of the Parties in its decision 14/3. Join this meeting by clicking here, noting that the event will be in English only and is limited to the first 250 participants.


Nature For Life Hub

Hosted by UNDP, UNEP, and the CBD, the Nature for Life Hub will offer a 4-day virtual event, where each day will be dedicated to a different theme ranging from SDGs, business and finance, global ambitions, and local actions (see Agenda here). The virtual Hub will be an opportunity to hear from political and corporate leaders, the world’s youth, indigenous and community leaders, local authorities and cutting-edge thinkers, leaders and practitioners. Each day will culminate in key messages to be fed into UN biodiversity-related discussions.The event will run from 24 to 29 September 2020, and will be hosted in English. For more information, click here.


United Nations Summit on Biodiversity

The United Nations Summit on Biodiversity will be convened by the President of the General Assembly on 30 September 2020, at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.” The Summit will highlight the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021. This framework, and its effective implementation, must put nature on a path to recovery by 2030 to meet the SDGs and realize the Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”. For more information and updates, click here.


Past webinar conference jointly organized by the Government of Egypt and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

On 10 September 2020, the Government of Egypt and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity presented a webinar titled ‘Building back better: protecting biodiversity, combating land degradation and mitigating climate change to reduce the risks of future pandemics’. This webinar highlighted the links  between the health of the planet and the health of people and explored how the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, combating land degradation, and fighting climate change can help to reduce the risks of future pandemics as part of an inclusive and comprehensive One Health approach. To watch the webinar recording, click here.


Opportunities to get involved

Save the Date: Register for our next webinar

ICLEI continues to host its monthly Post-2020 webinar series to keep up to date on the unfolding participatory process on the roadmap to COP 15: The Paris Moment for Nature.

Join us for the 16th webinar in the series, to be held at both 10am and 3pm SAST (GMT+2) on 17 September 2020. The topic for this webinar will be: Reflections from the SBSTTA and SBI special virtual sessions and other major events.

You can register for the webinar by clicking on your preferred time below:
At 10am SAST (GMT+2) 

At 3pm SAST (GMT+2) 

Visit the dedicated platform to stay updated on the local and subnational advocacy for nature agenda and to get involved. In case you have missed the previous webinars in the series, the recordings are available on our YouTube Channel. To read more about our previous webinar in the series on the topic of Dialogues towards a green recovery and lessons learned from nature in the context of the Post-2020 GBF, click here.


Register for Daring Cities: A Global Virtual Forum for Urban Leaders

Daring Cities invites urban leaders from around the world who are pushing boundaries in their own contexts to come together online for a three-week period of idea exchange on how to take on resilience and mitigation in the time of urgent climate and health crisis. Daring Cities 2020 will run from 7-28 October 2020, offering an online array of high level and visionary speaking sessions, a series of informative workshops and personal networking opportunities. Throughout the three-week period, there will be various sessions related to biodiversity and the links between nature and climate.

Register your interest in participating today! Please visit the About or FAQ pages for further information.


Visit our Updates page to read more about what our growing network of over 170 cities and regions are doing to enhance the value of nature in and around our urban areas. Click here to see the latest CitiesWithNature Buzz.

To join CitiesWithNature, connect with the growing network of cities and regions who are taking action for nature, and experience this innovative platform, click here.

Subscribe to stay up to date with the latest CitiesWithNature news.



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.

Disclaimer: If you would prefer not to receive these updates in future, please let us know.