Dialogue on the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework: What is the role of each order of government in Canada, from local to sub-national to national?

Webinar 26 – First Draft of the post 2020 GBF and how it affects local & subnational governments
Building a common ambition for biodiversity, and sharing strategies to answer global issues by implementing local solutions with local actors and ensuring participation of all stakeholders
On the 7th of July 2021, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability organized a multi-level dialogue, with the support and participation of the EU-funded project “Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. EU Support.”, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Canadian Co-Chair of the CBD Open Ended Working Group, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The dialogued aimed at discussing the role of each level of government, from local to national authorities, on the elaboration, negotiation, and implementation processes of the future Global Biodiversity Framework that should be adopted during CBD COP15 in Kunming, China.

Megan Meaney, Moderator of the Dialogue Session, and Executive Director of ICLEI Canada, opened the discussion by thanking all the participants and asking for the recognition of original settlers in Canada. Didier Babin, our Team Leader on the “Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. EU Support.” Project, acknowledged the leading role of Canadain multilateral biodiversity negotiations, which are critical in these times of high risk for biodiversity, as pointed out by IPBES and WEF reports, and need for sustainable recovery.

Oliver Hillel, Programme Officer at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity, showcased the important role of Sub-National and Local Governments (SNLGs) as key actors for the negotiation process, and first stakeholders for implementation of sustainable use measures and mainstreaming across multi-sector policies.

Ingrid Coetzee, Director: Biodiversity, Nature and Health, ICLEI Africa Secretariat & Global Cities Biodiversity Center, reminded us how the decisions on SNLGs at SBI and new plans for actions were developed in a bottom-up approach, as well as for the Edinburgh process.

Vanessa Préfontaine, Policy Analyst specialized on International Biodiversity Policy, at Environment and Climate Change Canada, underlined the involvement of Québec in the advisory committee of SNLGs to the CBD, and the support of Canada for a measurable and science-based biodiversity framework, for easier communication and commitments.

Rachel Lévesque, International Affairs Advisor for the Government of Québec, recognized the will for effective participation of SNLGs during negotiations, and encouraged for committed actions at local and subnational levels.

On a general note, panellists agreed on the paramount role of Sub-National and Local Governments in both the elaboration, advocacy, and implementation of ambitious biodiversity policies. They called for more dialogue and a better communication between small communities and major policy actors, such as national authorities and international bodies, and more vertical participation for increased awareness of biodiversity in all level of governments.

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