During the Cities for Life Summit, which took place on 15-16 October, the IUCN Director General was one of the speakers in a panel discussion on supporting cities and sub-national governments in implementing the CBD targets.
She underlined the enormous unseen potential in nature. Cities and urban areas are rich in biodiversity and awareness for urban interactions with nature is growing. Investing in nature can help cities to enhance quality of life, save money, strengthen the local economy and reduce the impacts of climate change. IUCN recognizes the importance of local and regional governments in achieving its mission to value and conserve biodiversity. Many decisions which affect biodiversity are taken at the local level and therefore IUCN strongly supports the cooperation and exchange for biodiversity conservation, restoration and management between sub-national governmental authorities and the IUCN constituency.
The Cities for Life summit brought to Hyderabad more than 500 participants, from 45 different countries across the globe, representing over 150 cities and sub-national governments who, together with experts and delegates from UN agencies, NGOs and business had the opportunity to network and learn during the 9 sessions and 2 study visits on 15 and 16 October.
Ending on a high note, the Cities for Life Summit concluded with the Hyderabad Declaration, a pledge by the mayors and governors of local and sub-national authorities to develop and implement local strategies towards the Plan of Action on Sub national Governments, Cities and Local Authorities for Biodiversity; and to achieve the twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The Declaration was presented during the High Level Segment Closing Plenary by an ICLEI representative on behalf of Local Governments and Subnational Authorities.
Two landmark initiatives launched at the summit were the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook: the first global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services; and the Cities in Biodiversity Hotspots programme, a ten-year global initiative seeking to provide over 250 cities located in and around the 35 biodiversity hotspots of the world with a platform to take action on biodiversity.