SBSTTA23: Local and subnational governments on nature-based solutions – Montreal

Addressing biodiversity and climate challenges: local and subnational governments taking action using nature-based solutions
The world is increasingly recognizing the role and contributions of local and subnational governments in addressing the biodiversity loss and climate change crises. The first meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on the post-2020 recognized the importance to engage them in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Numerous examples exist of projects and initiatives being implemented that go beyond theory and tackle biodiversity and climate challenges through ecosystem-based approaches and nature-based solutions in tangible ways.

A side-event was held in cooperation with various local and subnational government organizations, to present initiatives from key actors in sustainable development, and share experiences on the role of biodiversity and climate change governance in urban areas. Many innovative approaches to nature-based solutions were showcased, prompting the audience to reflect on synergies and implementation. Participants agreed that the effectiveness of the Post-2020 biodiversity framework was highly dependent upon inputs from cities and subnational governments. This included elements of implementing capacity on the ground, as well as the potentialities for feedback concrete lessons learnt in the process. The panelists and participants reaffirmed that nature-based solutions and the links between biodiversity and climate change governance were a priority agenda, especially at subnational level where policies have an actual impact on people’s daily lives. This was very eloquently summarized from the Singaporean perspective::

“In Singapore, biodiversity and nature are as important as infrastructure in urban governance.” Wendy SEAH Su Ling, Singapore National Parks Board

Contributions by local and subnational governments, when aggregated play a vital role in achieving the CBD objectives and Vision 2050. Attendees, including representatives from the Aichi Prefecture where COP10 was held, expressed their willingness to further engage in workshops and events conducive to promoting the role of subnational authorities in the Post-2020 global biodiversity framework. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the project thanked them and committed to finding new innovative avenues for collaboration.

The participants will further study and develop how cities and subnational governments can contribute to implementing solutions that address both urban biodiversity and climate change challenges.Among those, Scotland announced the hosting of a thematic workshop to draw actions and commitments contributing to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (Edinburgh, 1-3 April 2020)