Thank you for attending the webinar on Reflections on engagement with cities & regions to enhance implementation of the post-2020 GBF & the road to COP 15 on 1 July 2021.
The webinar gathered five panelists across two sessions: Kobie Brandt and Ingrid Coetzee for ICLEI Cities Biodiversity, Renata Gomez for Regions4SD, Su Campbell for the Scottish Government, and Shu Zu for ICLEI East Asia Office.
The session introduced key findings and recommendations of the review document on the current Plan of Action (2011 – 2020), which was co-produced by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS), Regions4 Sustainable Development (Regions4), the European Committee of the Regions, the Government of Quebec and the Scottish Government.
The webinar stressed how Cities and Regions have been working together speaking with one voice with a joint statement at CBD SBI on mainstreaming and the draft decision and new Plan of Action for Local & Subnational Governments 2021-2030, which was sponsored by the EU, Uganda, Colombia, and Peru. The plan to be adopted at CBD COP15 focuses on 7 interrelated action areas: NBSAPs, mainstreaming, resource mobilization, capacity development, communication, improved access to information, monitoring, and reporting. It is urging parties – and no longer inviting them – to implement the plan as appropriate and has more emphasis on implementation and reporting with the NBSAPs than the previous plan.
Cities and regions have also jointly undertaken the drafting of a proposal for the implementation of the new Plan of Action. This joint work also includes active lobbying of CBD parties towards supporting the decision on the new plan of action including through a set of vertical dialogues in 6 partners countries (Peru, Mexico, Colombia, South Africa, Canada, and China) and across a set of preparatory webinars towards IUCN Local Action Summit with the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU support project. Those events also supported the endorsement of the Edinburgh Declaration by a growing number of CBD Parties as Mexico and Germany are for now their only signatories, while over 150 entities including local and subnational governments and civil society organizations have endorsed it overall.
The process came as a game-changer as history was made over the CBD session with CBD Parties producing a conference room paper on the draft Decision and Plan of Action. Regions4 also highlighted the need to integrate local and subnational governments across the different thematic strategies under preparation by the Convention including on biodiversity mainstreaming and resource mobilization. It presented a new analysis for that purpose entitled “Mainstreaming Biodiversity: The Subnational Government Experience“. The document addresses capacity building and training needs, opportunities to develop partnerships, and mechanisms to monitor the implementation of actions to advance the mainstreaming practice.
Finally, the webinar closed up with the announcement of a pre-summit to the 7th Global Biodiversity Summit of Cities & Subnational Government to CBD COP15 to take place on 9 July in China. While uncertainty remains as to the date and physical feasibility of attending the summit, its theme “Ecological Civilization: Urban Living in Harmony with Nature”, objectives, expected outcomes, co-hosts, and supporting partners have been confirmed. It is expected to result in the announcement of voluntary initiatives by leading local and subnational governments and their networks, the adoption of the “Kunming Declaration” which reflects the vision and commitments of cities and regions in boosting urban biodiversity new plan of action, the submission of the Outcome Paper to COP15 high-level segment and a Biodiversity Charming City Award.
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