Local and subnational governments and their networks heading towards COP15
Hosted by the French Association of the Council of Municipalities and Regions of Europe (AFCCRE), the event gathered multiple networks including ICLEI, Regions4, UCLG, Mayors Associations, the IUCN Urban Alliance and the IUCN French Committee and several local and subnational governments to come up with a collective roadmap towards CBD COP15.
“The role of municipalities is crucial, it must be recognized and valued. We will adopt an IUNC motion in that direction. We want more municipalities to adhere to IUCN too!” Bérangère Abba, Secretary of State for Biodiversity, France
“The world of conservation like IUCN today has a great interest in embracing urban development challenges including the external impact of cities on nature, beyond its border. Multiple local and subnational governments are ready to adhere to and support IUCN.” Ronan Dantec, President AFFCRE
Beyond this call to open-up the IUCN to local and subnational constituencies, the networks leaders called for the adoption of a truly transformative GBF, one that integrates local and subnational governments across its different targets, on top of the adoption of a renewed plan of action for them and a related COP decision.
As captured by the Edinburgh Declaration, those ambitions now need to be massively endorsed by local and subnational governments, but also states, civil society organizations and other platforms to make sure that SLNGs commitments in delivering for nature can be fulfilled over the coming decade. Already signed up by over 130 organizations and local and subnational governments, it will remain opened to signature up until CBD COP15.
“The Edinburgh Declaration is our call to CBD Parties to adopt a decision for Local & Subnational governments & a renewed plan of action for them at CBD COP15 ! ” Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform of the Scottish Government
As key agents of change and innovation for nature, local and subnational governments were also strongly encourage to value their action for nature on the platform CitiesWithNature and use the support provided by the newly launched Local & subnational advocacy for nature website to this end.
The event finished up with the adoption of a Declaration of networks of local and regional authorities on the occasion of the World Conservation Congress – Local action: the foundation for biodiversity conservation. Through the voice of Kobie Brandt, ICLEI Vice Secretary, participating networks called on IUCN authorities to integrate these inputs into the Marseille Declaration, that shall be adopted by the end of the Congress and make sure it is supported by all its constituencies.
“ICLEI under its CBD mandate will convene a Cities summit at COP15 with all the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments partners in agreement with Chinese authorities.” Kobie Brandt, ICLEI Vice Secretary
P2 Partnership Pavilion – Whole-of-society mobilization
Day 5 at the P2 Partnership Pavilion is focused on mobilization for action and addresses how to catalyse the full spectrum of actors to ensure rigorous implementation of the GBF. If we are to avoid the mistakes of Aichi it will be essential to ensure a whole-of-society approach in the implementation, the accountability, the reporting, and review to ensure that governments uphold their political commitments.
The Evening and Morning Virtuals are focused on the challenges and opportunities for deepening whole-of-society approaches in the GBF.
The first on-site session will invite speakers to share their vision for whole-of-society approaches and how the GBF should ensure that it embraces all voices, especially Indigenous Peoples.
“My constituency sits in two places: society and governments.They are at the frontline & the CBD recognizes that SNLGs have a role through the Plan of Action the latest being tabled for adoption at Kunming” Ingrid Coetzee, ICLEI
“We focus too much on the 30% protected areas, while 50% of the GDP is coming from the remaining 70%. We need to focus on landscape approaches and invest in natural capital. We need healthy ecosystems. We as humans, are exploiting all the planet’s resources. There is a limit of course, and I don’t know how we can prepare for the next generations, with real sustainable development and a viable planet.” Didier Babin, Project Team Leader
“There are no healthy people on a sick planet: this is the message to engage for mobilisation.” Yolanda Kakabadse, Rio Doce Panel
“We need the science to be communicable. Science communication is a field that will be key in the next five years, and not just in English, but in all languages.” Marie-Eve Marchand, Beyond Aichi Targets Task Force
The second on-site session ill drill down on the solutions for strengthening whole-of-society mobilisation approaches in the GBF.
“SDGs are accessible to a broad audience. Eradicate poverty, climate action… These concepts make sense. When you talk about mobilizing young people they are enablers for action.” Alissa Sallans, World Girls Guide
“The biodiversity strategy must start at home in our own value chains. How can we transition to recycled & regenerative sources? We are now working together to create a new normal”Jennie Granstrom, H&M Group
“The Earth Charter and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, the youth begging for ecojustice…Principles and practicalities are needed for the dream of Mother Earth to take roots.” Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University
First thoughts on Congress build up, young people are eager to share their views across platforms!
After the end of the Congress Forum, and as the members’ Assembly gets together to elect its new board, the youth delegation moves from speaking engagements and participation to contributions to the momentum on nature conservation and sustainable use.
Following a series of discussions throughout the week, a Marseille Manifesto draft was shared with all WCC participants. The young leaders present reviewed it and coordinated to provide comments on the document, to elaborate on the effective participation of stakeholders and young people in particular, and to improve its text as regards to reaching transformative change for Nature. The Manifesto will be submitted to the Members’ Assembly for approval and shared further to other environmental organizations, including at the upcoming meetings of the CBD. Academic interest was here, as Melina Sakiyama (GYBN) discussed with a university researcher on the challenges, critiques and characteristics of a 30% by 2030 apex conservation target. But mobilization also happens outside of Congress and, online, the participants were particularly vocal in sharing and giving visibility to the many interesting insights provided by experts in the thematic sessions.
“Bye bye IUCN Congress, you were exciting, interesting, challenging, productive, insightful, puzzling and fun! Thanks to Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support project and UNESCO MAB who made it possible for me to be here.” Alicia Donnellan Baraclough
As the first participants start to make their way back from Marseille, the youth delegation also reflected on their time here, and expressed their first impressions. “99% of my expectations have already been met, said Rabecca Yego (MAB Youth Kenya). I have been honoured to meet and learn from all these people.” Andrea Morales (GYBN El Salvador) agreed. She recalled the exciting experiences and opportunities to meet high-level people and to gain the confidence to address large crowds to voice concerns. However, Andrea also raised the urgent need for more representation from youth and the Global South in those forums.
The young leaders also took it upon themselves to discover the beauty of local biodiversity, on a short trip to the Calanques National Park outside Marseille. They enjoyed the Mediterranean sea and the breath-taking views of the surrounding hills.