WGRI-5 Recommendations

WGRI 5 Recommendation 5/5

5/5Engagement with subnational and local governments

The Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention
1.Noting the importance of biodiversity in measures to address the challenges of sustainable urbanization by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, agencies within the United Nations system, such as UN-Habitat and the Economic and Social Council, subnational and local governments and the organizations that work to support them, such as ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and in the context of the post-2015 United Nations development agenda and the sustainable development goals,
2.Taking note with appreciation of the valuable contribution of a temporary seconded staff person from ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, upon which the Secretariat currently relies to carry out its work on subnational and local implementation,
3.Encourages Parties still preparing their fifth national reports to include reports on subnational and local implementation, providing concrete examples of coordination between different levels of government;
4.Recommends that the Conference of the Parties, at its twelfth meeting, adopt a decision along the following lines:
The Conference of the Parties,
1.Welcomes efforts to quantify and draw attention to the challenges and solutions associated with current patterns of urbanization, such as the publication of TEEB for Local and Regional Policy Makers, and the global assessment Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities, 10 and encourages their broad dissemination and use;
2.Invites Parties to increase their efforts to enable, support and guide strategic and sustainable urbanization by working together with subnational and local governments for the achievement of the Aichi Targets, especially in promoting local and subnational biodiversity strategies and action plans;
3.Calls on Parties to incorporate biodiversity considerations into their urban and peri-urban planning and infrastructure, such as “green infrastructure”, and to strengthen capacities of subnational and local governments to incorporate biodiversity into urban planning;
4.Encourages Parties to support relevant initiatives that are contributing towards achieving sustainable patterns of urbanization, such as, inter alia, the Urban Biosphere Initiative (URBIS), the Maritime Innovative Territories International Network (MiTin) and the MediverCities network;
5.Encourages subnational and local governments to contribute to the attainment of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 by, specifically, integrating biodiversity considerations into plans for sustainable urbanization, including local transport, spatial planning, water and waste management; promoting nature-based solutions; monitoring and assessing the state of biodiversity and progress to preserve it; integrating biodiversity conservation as a solution to climate change; and prioritizing biodiversity issues by showcasing the positive effects of biodiversity and ecosystem services on other topics, such as health, renewable energy and livelihoods;
6.Requests the Executive Secretary, subject to the availability of resources, to increase efforts:
(a)To mainstream biodiversity into the work of other agencies and key partners involved in work at the subnational and local levels;
(b)To assist Parties and subnational and local governments, and their partners, to more effectively integrate the contribution of subnational and local governments into the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020;
(c)To collaborate with other United Nations agencies, international organizations and other stakeholders, including biodiversity-related conventions, on issues related to subnational and local implementation, such as working with the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (the Ramsar Convention) on urban and peri-urban wetlands issues.

10Published in 2013 and available as an open access publication at