Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity


The journey towards a global partnership on cities and biodiversity started in early 2006 at the ICLEI General Assembly in Capetown, South Africa, where the more than 300 local authorities’ member to ICLEI called for the establishment of a pilot project on Local Action for Biodiversity. 21 Cities representing 52 million have worked together with ICLEI and IUCN’s Countdown 2010 initiative. At the initiative of Mayor Richa and the Secretariat of the CBD, a meeting was held in Curitiba, Brazil, on 26-27 March 2007. Over 34 mayors or their representatives attended, and participants adopted the Curitiba Declaration on Cities and Biodiversity. The Declaration reaffirms the Mayor’s commitment to contribute actively to the implementation of the three objectives of the CBD and to the achievement of the 2010 biodiversity target. A task force was established with the Secretariat of the CBD, ICLEI and its Local Action for Biodiversity programme, UNEP, UN-HABITAT, IUCN’s Countdown 2010 initiative, and UNESCO, as well as the mayors of Curitiba, Bonn, Nagoya, Montreal and Singapore.

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. This was re-iterated at the Bonn UN Biodiversity Summit in May 2008, where Mayor Dieckmann of City of Bonn (Germany) hosted a Mayor Conference which issued the Bonn Declaration. The formal launch of the Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity took place at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on 7 October 2008 in Barcelona, in time to mobilise a network of cities for the UN International Year on Biodiversity in 2010 where the next UN Summit was to take place in October 2010 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. On that occasion, Mayor Kawamura of Nagoya and Governor Kanda of Aichi Prefecture, announced the adoption of the Aichi/Nagoya Declaration on Local Authorities and Biodiversity at the high-level segment of COP 10 on October 28, 2010. The 2011-2020 CBD Plan of Action on Cities, Local Authorities and Biodiversity was also adopted by the Conference of the Parties at the summit closing plenary. The first meeting on the implementation of the Plan of action was then successfully held in Montpellier, France, in January 2011, and launched the preparations of the second summit on local authorities and biodiversity to be held in conjunction with the high level segment of COP 11 in India in October 2012.

Governance and Responsibilities

The partnership will be facilitated by the CBD secretariat. At the level of city government representation, ICLEI and current partners of the initiative will engage city networks such as the World Mayor’s Council on Climate Change (through a biodiversity chapter), Metropolis and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), to coordinate the participation of cities along with Countdown 2010’s network of more than 260 local governments. Scientific networks on urban biodiversity such as URBIS, the Urban Biosphere Network supported by the Stockholm Resilience Centre and UNESCO, and Erfurt University’s URBIO will be called to provide technical assistance. At project level, a coordinating mechanism will be set up of project managers (evolving out of the current LAB Steering Committee). The Partnership shall remain open to new institutions and networks that will add to its strengths, by consensus of its members. The responsibilities of the partners would be as follows:

  • City governments: make a commitment to work with local communities, managers of protected areas and national governments; provide staff time to work on action plans and their implementation; provide experience to other cities where they exist;
  • National governments: make a commitment to support cities by creating an enabling environment for the activities under this partnership including environmental rules and regulations (if necessary); involving cities in the development of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans; supporting the partnership technically and financially.
  • Donors: the private sector and other partners can join the partnership and contribute by facilitating contacts with local and national partners; providing expertise and tools, funding; and outreach platforms.
  • Multilateral organizations and NGOs: make available staff time to support development of regional action plans and other activities; support meetings and trainings (financially and/or in-kind); develop tools with and for cities; facilitate the exchange of experiences; coordinate the development of publication(s); and draft funding proposals.
  • Academia and research organisation mobilise to engage in site based, policy relevant research for sustainable management of linked social-ecological urban systems
  • Other partners: provide knowledge products (data, tools) and staff time for trainings and awareness-raising.

See what activities our partners are leading by visiting Our Partners'Initiatives page.

Minutes of the teleconferences of the Global Partnership





Advisory Committee on Cities and Biodiversity

Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments and Biodiversity

  • Aichi prefecture, Japan, as previous host at the subnational level of CBD COP 10;
  • Andhra Pradesh State, India, as next subnational level host of CBD COP 11; 
  • Africa: Fatick in Senegal and possibly Tlemcen in Algeria; 
  • from Asia: Gyeongsangnam in South Korea and Sichuan Province in China; 
  • from the Americas: Québec in Canada and Paraná in Brazil; from Europe (two as members and two alternates): Catalonia in Spain, Brussels Capital 
  • Region in Belgium, Rhône-Alpes in France and North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany; 
  • from Oceania: Victoria, Australia; 
  • the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity; 
  • the Secretary General of nrg4SD; 
  • the representative of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability as observer.