Promising first steps for the Edinburgh Process for Subnational and Local Governments on the development of the Post 2020 global biodiversity framework

Bringing together Regional and Local Governments to meet the aims and ambitions of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

This workshop brought subnational, regional and local governments together to explore and define their role in the CBD post 2020 framework. It notably focused on how subnational governments and authorities can build capacity to support action towards biodiversity and sustainability goals.

May 22, 2020 Local and Subnational Governments.

The earlier presented Edinburgh process that brings subnational, regional and local governments together to explore and define their role in the CBD post 2020 framework is now well underway.

The four information sessions hosted across the world regions over the first week of May came as a very promising first step with significant attendance registered from local and subnational government authorities in the Africa (35), Asia-Pacific (30), Latin America (25) and Europe/North America (40) zones. Local and subnational representatives actively engaged with the partner organizations panelists presenting the consultation process, the Zero Draft of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the Edinburgh Declaration, and the Renewed Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity. Among other interventions, Basile van Havre co-chair of GBF Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) called them to develop strong positions, share them, find support from liked-minded parties, express them and have them expressed by like-minded state parties over the third OEWG. All proved very eager to build their capacity to support action towards biodiversity and sustainability goals, which is essential to integrate nature in Covid-19 recovery.

We must reach the harmonization of policies and resources across all level of governments. The post 2020 biodiversity framework ambitious goals can only be fully met with the ambitious support of local and subnational governments.” Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, Director of the Implementation and Support Division at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity

The four thematic sessions designed to inform all participating authorities with the technical insight on key are now half-way through with two webinars already held gathered an average hundred participants.

  • “Monitoring and Reporting tools” organized by ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center on 12 May. Oriented on metrics and methodologies for measuring success, the discussion shed the light on CitiesWithNature, the CBD endorsed platform where local and subnational governments can submit their biodiversity commitments and monitor their progress against their set objectives. With over 140 cities and regions registered already, the journey through the Nature Pathway has met great success harnessing the power of nature. It comes as a shared space seeking complementarity with all initiatives (Singapore Index, IUCN Urban Nature Index, etc) to provide a meaningful set of indicators for local and subnational actors to reflect on how they can contribute to post 2020 biodiversity framework targets.
  • Interlinkages Between Climate Change and Biodiversity: Maximizing Synergies and Minimizing Tradeoffs” monitored by IDDRI on 19 May.The webinar recalled the instrumental role of local and subnational governments in the post 2020 GBF process, not only to implement nature-based solutions, but because they are at the forefront of land-use conflicts, and prepared to provide place-based context-specific solutions. Best practices from subnational implementation of NBS brought from Scotland and Sao Paulo provided inspiring lessons to the audience. Three national governments (Costa Rica, Colombia and France) perspectives on the necessary convergence of international agendas for climate and biodiversity later recalled the absolute need for a vertical harmonization of climate and biodiversity policies across the level of governance for an integrated local-national-international approach.
  • Nature Based Solutions” (NBS) set on May 22nd, the International Biodiversity Day echoed the theme selected for its year 2020 edition: “Nature is our solution.” It raised the instrumental role played by local and subnational governments in implementing NBS using leverages such as capacity building and cross jurisdictional action. The vision of government officials (Rio de Janeiro, Glasgow) and leading experts (Naturvation project, Connecting NBS project) brought to light the multiple benefits of NBS for socio-economic development, social justice and community action, health and well-being addressing climate change through nature conservation, restoration and sustainable use.
  • The remaining thematic session “Resource mobilization” is scheduled on June 4th with the European Committee of Regions support. It will reflect on means and tools to leverage and diversify resources for local and subnational biodiversity policy action.

    In the meantime, the consultation on the “zero draft” and the “plan of action” launched by the process will remain opened until 29 May.

    Together with the various event outputs, the results from the consultation on the “zero draft” and the “plan of action” running until 29 May will feed the process report under preparation by the process partners.

    From 29th June-3rd July, a second series of regional webinars will conclude the process by presenting the event results and outputs and demonstrating how inputs have been incorporated.

    All the information sessions and thematic sessions’ recordings are available on the video section of the process platform. If you are interested in participating and to receive further updates, please contact the team at

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