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How to Get Involved


Local authorities represent the level of government closest to people thus their involvement in the implementation of the Convention and its 2010 target is of crucial importance. As land-use planners, policy-makers, and developers and managers of local infrastructure, they have a critical role to play in promoting sustainable development and its biodiversity components. As community leaders, they have a responsibility to raise public awareness about the importance of biodiversity. In addition, actions at the local level can have direct results that can convince others of the need to get involved, while sending a message to higher levels of governments.

The establishment of a Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity was proposed during the Curitiba Meeting on Cities and Biodiversity in March 2007 to support cities in the sustainable management of their biodiversity resources, to assist cities to implement practices that support national, regional and international strategies, plans, and agendas on biodiversity, and to learn from existing initiatives. Click here for more information on the Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity, which was formally launched in October 2008 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Following the adoption of the Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity and the inclusion of partners from the subnational levels of governments, the partnership was officially renamed Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity at the occasion of the Second Meeting on the Implementation of the Plan of Action which took place in the City of Bonn, Germany, on 5-6 September 2011.

Local authorities and COP decisions

The Convention’s comprehensive and integrated approach to biodiversity conservation and management acts as a framework within which Parties can define national policies, which are subsequently implemented at the national, regional and local level. It also acts as a framework within which local authorities can define local policies and regulations. Guiding for these policies lies notably in COP decisions. For example, decision V/6 presents the adopted Description, Principles, and Operational Guidelines for the Ecosystem Approach, a powerful tool for landscape-level planning. These elements were developed further in decision VII/11. At COP 9 in Bonn, Germany in May 2008, the Parties discussed the role of local authorities in the implementation of the Convention and for the first time ever adopted a decision on cities and biodiversity, Decision IX/28. This decision encourages the 191 Parties to the Convention to recognize the role of cities in national strategies and plans, and invites Parties to support and assist cities in implementing the Convention at local level. In 2010, Decision X/22 and its annex The Plan of Action on Sub-National Governments, Cities and Local Authorities on Biodiversity was adopted by the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in October, in Nagoya, Japan.

Click here to view all COP decisions.

Share your experience

If you wish to share your unique experience regarding the implementation of the Convention, thus participating in the exchange of best practices and awareness raising of biodiversity issues, we invite you to send us a case study, which will be included on the Secretariat's website. We encourage you to look at the CASE STUDIES subsection to become familiar with the themes and the procedure for the submission of case studies. Cities are also invited to submit information on their experiences in implementing the Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities, which will posted on the corresponding web page.

Cities are celebrating IDB!

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Every year, country Parties and their partners all over the world are taking part in IDB celebrations, including local governments.

The theme for the International Day for Biodiversity (IDB) in 2012 will be Marine and Coastal Biodiversity.
In 2011 the theme of IDB, 'Forest Biodiversity', corresponds to the International Year of Forests. Click here to learn more about the 2011 celebrations.

In 2010, the theme was Biodiversity, Development and Poverty Alleviation, and the Day contributed to the celebrations of the International Year of Biodiversity! Designation of IDB 2010 on the theme of development provides Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other organizations dealing with development, opportunity to raise awareness of the issue and increase practical action. Click on the links below to read the reports on 2010 celebrations in :

In 2009, eleven cities were engaged in celebrating IDB. Click here to read the summary of the Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity events. The Executive Secretary. Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf sent a message to all cities. For more details and to download the message, visit the IDB pages. Click on the links below to read the reports on 2009 celebrations in :

In 2008, Curitiba launched the IDB celebrations under the Green Wave movement! For more information, click here!

In 2007, the following cities organized activities to commemorate the theme: "Biodiversity and Climate Change".

Communication, Education and Public Awareness

The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity contributes to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. Here you can find information about biodiversity, events around the world, and how we can make a difference.

The Green Wave

The Green Wave is a global biodiversity campaign to educate children and youth about biodiversity. Each year, the campaign contributes to worldwide celebrations of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB).

Quick guide to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Sustainable consumption and production
Learn more about Aichi Biodiversity Target 4 and take the steps necessary to bring resource consumption to sustainable levels