The “Cities and Biodiversity Outlook” (CBO) will consist of a global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Combining science and policy, scientists from around the world will analyze how urbanization and urban growth impacts biodiversity and ecosystems, delivering key messages on the conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources to decision-makers. Cities, local authorities and subnational governments will have the opportunity to showcase their practices on sustainability and biodiversity and learn from existing experiences how to incorporate those topics in their agendas and policies.
The basis for CBO-1 stems from the Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity as endorsed by the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in its Decision X/22, in Nagoya, Japan, from 18–29 October 2010.
Paragraph six of Decision X/22 as adopted: "...Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to the availability of resources, to prepare an assessment of the links and opportunities between urbanization and biodiversity for the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, based on the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook...”
By 2050, almost 3 billion additional people will inhabit the world’s cities, and the world will have undergone the largest and fastest period of urban expansion in all of human history. A recent estimate reveals that the area directly impacted by new urban infrastructure within the next 40 years would roughly cover an area the size of Mongolia, with obvious impacts on natural habitat and the wildlife that depends on it. Consequently, urban growth will impact the provision of many ecosystem services and the benefits humans derive from nature, and the demands of cities will reshape most rural landscapes in the coming decades. Without adequate consideration by policy-makers of the implications of the coming urbanization, many of the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as the Millennium Development Goals for providing clean water for consumption and sanitation and the UNFCC goals for mitigating and adapting to climate change, are unlikely to be met. A sustainable urbanization will be necessary for achieving goals of a more sustainable planet.