Exploring the Linkages Between the Global Climate and Nature Advocacy Agendas (10:00 – 11:30)

We are at a critical point in the history of our planet, where urgent action is needed to secure our collective future. Biodiversity is diminishing at unprecedented rates, and the global climate is changing faster than ever before. Cities are part of the problem, but are also the solution, as it is at the local and subnational level where actions to solve both crises can be deployed most effectively. It is also at the local and subnational level where the impacts of these crises are most felt, and where the cost of inaction will be the greatest.

The biodiversity and climate crises are both crises in their own rights but are inextricably linked. They are two sides of the same coin, and neither crisis can be solved in isolation of the other. Instead, many of our climate adaptation and mitigation solutions lie in nature. What’s more, the climate crisis is contributing to the rapid loss of nature, and actions to adapt to and mitigate its effects will also yield positive outcomes for nature. It is in and around cities where the “rubber hits the road” as local and subnational governments are increasingly on the front lines of the battle for nature and climate. Local and subnational governments are uniting to take urgent collective action for global impact.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) have increasingly recognized the critical role of local and subnational governments in achieving the global climate and biodiversity agendas.

Attendees will leave the session with a stronger understanding of the critical role of local and subnational governments in the global biodiversity and climate agendas. Information will be shared regarding the Roadmap to the UN CBD COP 15 and opportunities for local and subnational governments to get involved in key advocacy moments. The links between the climate and biodiversity agendas will be showcased, and participants will be inspired to raise ambition in achieving them both in the coming decade. Attendees will also benefit from the insights of cities who will share best practice with regards to case studies that demonstrate how local and subnational governments can contribute to achieving both climate and biodiversity targets simultaneously.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Harriet Buckley, Professor of Geography and Coordinator of NATURVATION, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom
  • Kobie Brand, Regional Director ICLEI Africa and Global Director ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, Cape Town
  • Ingrid Coetzee, Senior manager Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions, ICLEI Africa; and Senior Program Manager, ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center
  • Susanne Nolden, Department of International Affairs and Global Sustainability, City of Bonn
  • Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI; LGMA Focal Point to the UNFCCC, ICLEI

Introducing CitiesWithNature to Daring Cities for Climate Resilience (15:00-16:00)

Nature provides immense value and multiple benefits to urban communities. Daring cities are those who are leading the way on ambitious local action – not only for climate but for nature too. The loss of nature is a global crisis in its own right, and cities are not only part of the problem but are also key to the solution. No action is too small. Now is the time for cities and regions to act with the unprecedented ambition to secure our increasingly urban future. Our solutions lie in nature.

CitiesWithNature is a global partnership initiative co-founded by ICLEI, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and The Nature Conservancy. CitiesWithNature provides a space to celebrate and showcase best practice from around the world. The initiative is growing and nurturing a community of practice comprising cities, regions, partner organizations, projects, practitioners, researchers, and urban communities to conserve, restore, and mainstream nature in and around urban areas. With over 170 cities and regions who have joined to date, the ever-growing CitiesWithNature family invites you to be a part of this first-of-its-kind initiative.

Co-shaped by a growing network of partners, including WWF, World Urban Parks, Cities4Forests, UNEP, and many others, the initiative provides a shared online platform for cities and regions to connect, learn, share, and inspire each other in pursuit of achieving global impact through collective local action for nature.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Chantal van Ham, EU Programme Manager Nature-Based Solutions and Focal point for local and regional authorities, IUCN European Regional Office, Brussels
  • Jayne Miller, Chair, World Urban Parks
  • Jennifer Lenhart, Global Lead WWF Cities, WWF Sweden

CitiesWithNature is endorsed by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity as the space for cities and regions to share their ambitions, make their commitments, and monitor and report on their progress in demonstrating their contributions to achieving the global biodiversity agenda.

Session attendees will leave with a better understanding of how their city can become a city that is daring enough to demonstrate their commitment to nature. You will learn more about the growing CitiesWithNature partnership initiative, the value of joining, and information on how you can be a part of inspiring a global movement to enhance the value of nature in and around our urban areas. Attendees will also gain insights on the many functionalities that the CitiesWithNature online platform offers to cities and regions.

We dare you to join us to hear more about this exciting initiative and learn how your city can join today!