On #WorldHabitatDay, let’s focus on the pivotal role of resilient cities in fostering economic development & post-pandemic recovery.— David Cooper (@hdavidcooper) October 2, 2023
It is essential to recognize the symbiotic relationship between urban development & #biodiversity conservation.
The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year, since 1985, as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our habitats, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The Day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.
Adequate shelter remains a fundamental human right, and it is intrinsically linked to prosperity and well-being. However, to fully satisfy human well-being, we also need to look at the role of biodiversity in providing all the ecosystem services that contribute to a good life.
In the context of cities driving growth, it is essential to recognize the symbiotic relationship between urban development and biodiversity conservation. The biodiversity within and around cities not only enhances the quality of life for urban residents but also provides critical ecosystem services, including clean air, water purification, disaster risk control and mitigation - all of which are essential to human wellbeing.
We must also be mindful of the potential threats that unsustainable urban development poses to biodiversity. It is estimated that around 56% of the world population live in urban areas. As we strive to provide essential services to urban populations worldwide, our solutions must not only protect existing biodiversity but actively contribute to its preservation, ensuring a sustainable future for all.
As we look ahead to the future and work towards the successful implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, it is imperative that we fully understand that this Framework offers a comprehensive blueprint for transformative change, redefining how we value biodiversity and how we protect our planet for future generations.
It sets forth specific targets to harness the potential of cities as engines of growth and recovery as well as the benefits of green and blue spaces to urban dwellers, halt biodiversity loss, bolster climate action, strengthen urban planning, and redirect financial resources to support these critical objectives. Realizing this vision demands a collaborative effort, encompassing governments and civil society alike.