The first meeting on the implementation of the Plan of Action on Sub-national governments, cities and other local authorities for biodiversity of the CBD was held last week in Montpellier to define results and milestones in the process.
Oliver Hillel, Senior Programme Officer, UNSCBD said: “The meeting’s remarkable results will significantly increase chances that the Convention’s 193 Parties achieve, in ten years, the 20 ambitious Aichi targets defined last October to stop the unacceptable loss of the planet’s living wealth, its biodiversity. The commitment shown by Mayor Mandroux and the warm welcome received by the community of Montpellier created all the conditions for a successful event”.
IUCN joined 38 participants in representing more than 2,100 cities and regions, as well as the governments of France, Brazil, Sweden, Portugal, Singapore and South Africa, international organisations such as UN-HABITAT, leading research institutions, and cities such as Mexico, Montreal, Bonn and Curtiba.
A participative planning methodology designed for the event included brainstorming on governance of the initiative, and an innovative “project market” where participants identified and engaged other partners and generated more than 15 concrete projects including:
- The promotion and mapping of decentralized cooperation projects on biodiversity.
- The designation of sub-national focal points for the Convention.
- A global assessment of the links between urbanization and biodiversity.
- Awareness raising projects for urban residents linked to eh UN 2011-2020 Decade on Biodiversity.
Taking advantage of Montpellier’s renowned scientific community, a reception at Chateau Grammond promoted further exchanges with the city’s leading institutions. Many follow up events addressed specific parts of the strategy: aside from the ICLEI-LAB workshop in February in South Africa, special meetings were defined to further engage French cities and regions, as well as cities around the Mediterranean basin.
The outcomes of the meeting will be taken to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the 193 Parties of the Convention in India, in October 2012. At the closing of the event, Mayor Mandroux accepted an invitation to become a member of the CBD’s Advisory Committee on Cities and Biodiversity, along with Mayors Tremblay of Montreal, Ducci of Curitiba, Nimptsch of Bonn and Kawamura of Nagoya.
Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary, UNSCBD said: “The campaign for life on Earth will be won, or lost, at the local level. I am grateful to Mayor Mandroux and to the French government for the support in this important event, and I commit the Secretariat to working within the Global Partnership on Local Action for Biodiversity to putting the guidelines defined in Montpellier into practice towards the implementation of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan of the Convention and the Aichi target”