Local action global results

25 October 2010 | News story

The City Biodiversity Summit, being held in parallel to the Convention on Biological Diversity's 10th Conference of the Parties (CBD COP10) in Nagoya, Japan, aims to confirm the importance of cities and biodiversity, encourage information exchange among local authorities worldwide, and appeal for more local initiatives to conserve nature.

Hundreds of local government leaders are set to endorse the "CBD Plan of Action on Cities, Local Authorities and Biodiversity". This promotes the Convention on Biological Diversity at the local level and the use of an index which enables local authorities to monitor biodiversity effectively.

Speaking at the event IUCN’s Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, said IUCN increasingly recognizes the importance of the urban and local dimension.

“With more than half the world’s population already living in cities, and consuming most of the planet’s resources, IUCN realizes that effective conservation cannot be confined to remote and pristine natural areas, but should take a holistic view and include all relevant actors,” added Marton-Lefèvre.

The Summit results will be put together in a declaration and presented at the CBD COP10 High Level Segment to introduce the initiatives taken by local governments.

“Many decisions which affect biodiversity are indeed taken at the local level, that’s why IUCN strongly supports efforts by local authorities towards biodiversity conservation,” said Marton-Lefèvre. “This is what we call the urban imperative.”

“During the 2008 IUCN World Conservation Congress, our global membership adopted two resolutions that are of particular relevance for this Summit: the first one calls for the establishment of networks of urban protected areas; the second one requests us to include local authorities in the structure of the Union.”

“IUCN is one of the founders of Local Action for Biodiversity which helps cities develop and monitor their biodiversity plans and actively supports their implementation. Our World Commission on Protected Areas and the Commission on Ecosystem Management are closely involved in developing the urban dimension of IUCN’s work. IUCN National Committees in France and the Netherlands are working with local authorities in helping them implement biodiversity strategies.”

“IUCN is actively engaging in the forging of strategic partnerships in the urban field and is ready and willing to share its knowledge and expertise. IUCN hopes that the Parties to the CBD, who are currently engaged in so many crucial discussions, will recognize the need for a new way of working together for biodiversity by adopting the Plan of Action for Cities.” 

For more information, please contact:

Hans Friederich, Director of IUCN's Regional Office for Pan-Europe, e-mail: hans.friederich@iucn.org