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Subnational and Local Authorites and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets are 20 ambitious goals that make up part of the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, adopted in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010. The targets provide a framework for action by all stakeholders—including cities—to save biodiversity and enhance its benefits for people. Many of the targets are referenced in the key messages in Section II of this report. The CBD is preparing a set of informal “Quick Guides” to all of the targets, available at www.cbd.int/nbsap/training/quick-guides.

AICHI TARGET 1: By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.

No level of government can reach citizens for education, communication, and awareness-raising as regularly, clearly, and effectively as city officers. National governments need to help cities achieve this target.

AICHI TARGET 2: By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and are being incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate, and reporting systems.

Mainstreaming of biodiversity needs to be done at national as well as subnational and local levels to be effective. Biodiversity values are different for each level of “vertical” (i.e., national, provincial, and local) and “horizontal” (i.e., divisions such as environment, planning, transportation, education, finance, and nutrition) government.

AICHI TARGET 3: By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio economic conditions.

City authorities have key mandates on this target. Strategies include facilitating licensing of green businesses, enforcing environmental regulations, providing incentives for new (and greener) technologies (such as tax breaks or free land/infrastructure), promoting and attracting green investors, and mainstreaming of “payment for ecosystems services” mechanisms.

AICHI TARGET 4: By 2020, at the latest, Governments, business and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption and have kept the impacts of use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits.

Means of production and modes of consumption are dictated by norms, regulations, and negotiations happening in cities. City governments—by their business licensing and law-enforcement mandates, close relations with large corporations, and landscape management tools they have at close range—are arguably THE level of government that can achieve this target.

AICHI TARGET 5: By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.

Cities can help preserve forests and wetlands of critical biodiversity by ensuring the connectivity of existing and future protected areas. Managing footprints (best done at the provincial, state, or regional level) can also make a difference.

AICHI TARGET 11: By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.

In the USA, out of $81 billion invested in biodiversity (most of it in the design, establishment, and operation of protected areas) 008, $61 billion came from local authorities. Parkways, corridors, and municipal and provincial parks (public and private) arguably can make the difference in reaching this target.

AICHI TARGET 12: By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.

Campaigns by scientific institutions, zoos, museums, and aquariums — where city and regional authorities often have a managing interest — can raise critical attention and funds and provide technical assistance for the conservation of threatened species, even across the globe.

AICHI TARGET 15: By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.

No other level of government does as much restoration as local governments. Many “brown” and transition (ex-industrial) areas under city governments are either in the process of being restored or could be. City governments can also promote the use of green infrastructure and roofing.

AICHI TARGET 17: By 2015 each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.

Cities are encouraged to develop local strategies and action plans on biodiversity in support of national strategies.

AICHI TARGET 18: By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and their customary use of biological resources, are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations, and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, at all relevant levels.

At least 40 percent of the world’s indigenous peoples now live in cities. Traditional knowledge and the importance it bestows to biodiversity therefore need to be integrated into urban planning. Cities in Panama, Guatemala, Bolivia, Venezuela, Fiji, Samoa, and Indonesia, among many others, possess significant indigenous populations that should be engaged in sustainable urbanization and city management.

AICHI TARGET 20: By 2020, at the latest, the mobilization of financial resources for effectively implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 from all sources, and in accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy for Resource Mobilization, should increase substantially from the current levels. This target will be subject to changes contingent to resource needs assessments to be developed and reported by Parties.

Innovative financing is one of the solutions that will be found at provincial and municipal levels. Most Payment for Ecosystem Services mechanisms (for watersheds or temperature regulation, for example) and examples of tourism revenues accruing to park systems through concessions, for instance, come from subnational or local governments.