The new CitiesWithNature Action Platform, launched on 26 March 2022 by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and aligned with the Sharm El Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People (Action Agenda), aims to inspire and accelerate systemic and bold actions for nature by enabling cities to make voluntary commitments that contribute to achieving global, regional and national biodiversity targets.
As part of the platform, cities will be mobilized to form part of a global community of like-minded frontrunner agents of change by increasing collective action and tracking cumulative positive impacts for nature, people and the planet. Commitments made to the platform are intended to inspire and prompt other cities to take action, as well as learn from each other, receive international recognition for their contributions, and build the case for attracting funding for nature.
The commitments will feed into the Sharm el Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People, making use of an Action Agenda Network of open-source platform components, to influence other cities and non-state actors to contribute to the post 2020 global biodiversity framework.
The connection to the Sharm El Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People helps elevate commitments from cities and non-state actors, building greater awareness on integrated actions and solutions globally to reduce the drivers of biodiversity loss and advance positive socio-economic and ecological outcomes for nature and people.
The CitiesWithNature Action Platform facilitates the profiling of commitments. This includes helping cities to set their own targets, track progress and compare actions with other cities, both nationally and globally. The platform also supports cities in gathering information on their contribution to their respective countries’ national activities.
With more than 80% of the global GDP generated in cities, and more than half of the global GDP estimated to be dependent on nature, cities have a critical role to play in ensuring nature is restored and protected. Local and subnational governments have the power to integrate nature into the way cities operate, through policy reform, advocacy and on-the-ground interventions. Topics covered by the Action Platform range from nature-based solutions, ecosystem restoration and conservation to biodiversity mainstreaming, financing and the circular economy.
The launch comes at a critical time. Non-state actors are presently showcasing their contributions to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, currently being negotiated in Geneva and due for adoption at part two of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) in Kunming, China, later this year.
The CitiesWithNature Action Platform is a global partnership initiative of leading organisations. These include ICLEI, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Nature Conservancy (TNC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Over 200 cities (e.g. New York, São Paulo, London, Cape Town, Istanbul, Montreal and Melbourne) have joined CitiesWithNature and are able to make commitments on the Action Platform and to the Sharm el Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People in support of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Any non-state actor - such as civil society, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs), women and youth groups, business, industry, finance and individual citizens - can make a commitment to the CBD’s Action Agenda for Nature and People and any city can make a commitment to the CitiesWithNature’s Action Platform.