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