Today, almost 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas: a number expected to rise to 70%-80% by 2050. Sustainable cities involve a real political project, which must drive policies for urban development and provide access to infrastructure and services in health, education, transport and other sectors. Gathering a variety of stakeholders, cities represent crucial arenas for engaging future generations and implementing transformative actions to make them carbon-neutral.
The KMGBF Target 12, focusing on Biodiversity-inclusive urban planning emphasizes the importance to preserve, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems while increasing green and blue spaces to enhance native biodiversity and ecological connectivity.
This target mainly relies on “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) : a relatively new concept defining actions that sustainably address societal challenges simultaneously benefiting people and nature.
Thus, considering the high stakes of urban planning, Expertise France organized a Webinar on October 18, 2023 as part of its now-regular Rendez-Vous de l’Expertise.
Kobie Brand, Regional Director – Biodiversity, Nature and Health at ICLEI Africa – shared her vision of urban futures and the role that cities and local communities can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in general, and the KMGBF in particular.
ICLEI is a global network of more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development and Kobie brought her expertise through the example of their actions, committed to the development of nature-based solutions and establishing cities as key incubators of change.
« We want to send the message to all ICLEI member cities and regions out there, to all those cities and regions that have joined Cities and Regions With Nature, to all our partners. We can’t do it alone. We call on you. We call on the finance sector. Just be a little bit more risky and more understanding of the world of cities and what it takes to manage a functional city in these days, on so many cumulative crisis and so many cumulative opportunities as well » affirms Kobie Brand, Regional Director – Biodiversity, Nature and Health, ICLEI.
It is an honor to see our partnership with ICLEI, established in 2020 in the run-up to the KMGBF, evolving into a longer-term collaboration to accompany ICLEI in their commitment to carry the voice of cities and the importance to adopt Nature based Solutions (NbS) in urban planning
“The Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support project’s grant to ICLEI CBC has not only fostered greater ownership of the #KMGBF by local and subnational governments, but most importantly it has nurtured great leadership among them to develop biodiversity inclusive urban planning, paving the way towards the implementation of its Target 12.» Elisabeth Chouraki, International Technical Expert, UNEP MAP.
The second part of the webinar addressed the theme of the Creative City, considering urban culture and patrimony as a leverage for economic and social development.
This part of the Rendez Vous shed light on the importance of involving the whole-of-society, with a particular emphasis on urban youth, often creative and motivated, who have their own vision of sustainable and desirable cities, and who have a word to say when it comes to protecting the planet and ensuring their future.