As we celebrate the International Day for Biodiversity (22 May) and World Environment Day (5 June) this year, the COVID-19 pandemic provides a sobering opportunity to reflect on our relationship with nature. Valérie Plante calls on mayors and leaders of local and subnational governments to take action to halt and reverse the trends of biodiversity loss. She outlines numerous ways that leaders can take strong, decisive action to create healthy, vibrant cities, where people and nature can thrive.
“As mayors and leaders of local and subnational governments, we have a unique opportunity and an important responsibility to protect our biodiversity and ecosystems in ways that will restore humanity’s relationship with nature, especially as we develop our post-COVID-19 recovery plans. Together, let’s take strong action to create healthy, vibrant cities, where people and nature can thrive.” Mayor Valérie Plante of the City of Montréal & ICLEI’s Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity
She also invites governments around the world, citizens from all walks of life, economists, scientists, to use the current pandemic as an opportunity to rethink how we can do things differently and reimagine humanity’s relationship with nature. This requires to plan cities with nature by creating parks and involving citizens in the protection of wildlife. Bringing nature back into our rapidly urbanizing world will improve quality of life now and lay the ground for a sustainable future for the next generations.
“We are not only dreaming the city of tomorrow — we are building it now, integrating nature-based solutions in our development approach. Let’s rally for the planet and for ourselves, by living in harmony with nature” Mayor Valérie Plante of the City of Montréal & ICLEI’s Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity