Preface by the Executive Secretary of the CBD

Ours is an increasingly urban world. The 20 ambitious Aichi Biodiversity Targets set by the CBD for 2020 cannot be achieved without coherent governance at global, regional, national, subnational, and local levels. The habits of urban dwellers will largely determine the health of our ecosystems and the survival of biodiversity. Cities—their inhabitants and governments— can, and must, take the lead in fostering a more sustainable stewardship of our planet’s living resources. Many already are, in ways that are innovative, exciting, and inspiring—but so much more remains to be done. This publication is a new and valuable tool for steering urban development onto a sustainable path. I hope you will read it, share it, and together with others, take action to save life on Earth.

Overview of Cities and Biodiversity Outlook — Action and Policy

CBO – Action and Policy provides the summary of a global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Drawing on contributions from more than 120 scientists and policy-makers from around the world, it summarizes how urbanization affects biodiversity and ecosystem services and presents 10 key messages for strengthening conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in an urban context.

The CBO volume from which this summary was produced complements the more detailed scientific assessment titled Global Urbanization, Biodiversity, and Ecosystems – Challenges and Opportunities. Both publications are a collaborative effort of the CBD and the Stockholm Resilience Centre of Stockholm University, with significant input from ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.


Cities, subnational and national governments, academia, and international organizations have developed a vast toolbox of policy instruments, guidelines, projects, and institutions that promote the preservation of biodiversity. The complete CBO includes information about more than 50 of them—please refer to the webbased version for full details.

For a complete list of editors, authors, contributors, and credits, please consult partners-and-initiatives/cbo.