Cities and Subnational Government collaborate for biodiversity

14 October 2014


The 2014 Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Subnational Governments will cement unparalleled cooperation among all levels of government to collectively safeguard urban biodiversity and support the Sustainable Development Goals on cities and biodiversity.


12 October 2014, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea – The Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Subnational Governments is set to make huge strides towards safeguarding urban biodiversity by bringing together local, subnational and national governments, facilitating a new wave of cooperative biodiversity governance. This multi-level government cooperation is crucial in ensuring the successful implementation of existing and new biodiversity actions, plans and strategies for cities and subnational governments in order to protect the world’s extraordinary wealth of biodiversity but also its role in generating ecosystem services upon which large and small urban populations and communities rely on for their food, water, and health.


Taking place in parallel with the 12th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP12), the Summit will be held on 12-14 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, in the Republic of Korea. Hosted by the Republic of Korea and the Provincial Government of Gangwon, the Summit is organized in partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the Secretariat of the CBD. Around 500 representatives from local, subnational and national governments are expected to attend to explore ways of integrating biodiversity across government sectors, strengthening multi-level cooperation in support of the Strategic Plan of the CBD (2011-2020) and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and reinforcing support for the Sustainable Development Goals on biodiversity and on cities.


This year’s Biodiversity Summit will also build on the groundbreaking outcomes of the previous Biodiversity Summits and CBD COPs. Specific focus will be given to multi-level cooperation to further scale up the progress that has already been made at the city and subnational level.


The Executive Secretary of the CBD, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias remarked that while there has been notable progress in implementing the Aichi Biodiversity Targets at all government levels, it is still not enough. “We need good ideas from everyone including the Biodiversity Summit and the engagement of cities and subnational governments in Pyeongchang to help us build on the good success stories out there. There are many success stories, but, we need to scale up. We need to multiply those success stories to more cities, to more subnational governments”, said Dr. Dias.


ICLEI Korea Director Yeon-hee Park commented that, “With this Summit, we hope to contribute to the global discussions on biodiversity, and most importantly, provide the necessary leadership for local and subnational governments to transform their cities into sustainable and biodiverse cities”.


A key outcome of the Summit will be the Gangwon / Pyeongchang Resolution for Cities and Subnational Governments which will demonstrate the spirit of cooperation between cities and national governments to jointly safeguard urban biodiversity. The Gangwon/Pyeongchang Resolution will also concretize support to the SDG process, specifically on the proposed stand-alone goals of the urban SDG (Goal 11) and on biodiversity conservation (Goal 15).


Working together with different levels of government makes a lot of sense because ultimately, we are all striving for the same goal – a world where our invaluable natural resources are conserved and used sustainably and biodiversity is respected and integrated into decision making to ensure sustainable development,” said ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center Manager, Shela Patrickson.


Under the theme ‘Biodiversity for Sustainable Development’, COP 12 aims to enhance the awareness of the global community on biodiversity for sustainable development. It will also feature a proposed suite of decisions under the umbrella of “Cooperation with other Conventions, International Organizations and Stakeholders’ Engagement Including Business”, which includes a decision on Engagement with Subnational and Local Governments. COP12 is the fourth consecutive COP to consider text on subnational implementation, and the first to focus explicitly on sustainable urbanization.


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