Reports state that continuing biodiversity loss is predicted, but could be slowed (pending required policy choises) and a Stern review-like report on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) has given natural assessments a significant boost.
Better frameworks, please
As countries strived to carve out the careful wordings for a ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the COP10 in Nagoya, cities and local authorities used the momentum to boost their own role in managing biodiversity.
Their message is clear: Give us a better policy framework and we will unfold the local potential to protect global biodiversity.
As the world turns increasingly urban, with more than five billion people projected to live in cities by 2030, it is becoming increasingly recognised that cities are important role players in halting global biodiversity loss.
Resilience researchers have long argued that increased urbanization, although riddled with increasing uncertainty, represent an opportunity for change. This is because big cities are hubs for knowledge and innovation. It is also considered to be crucial for biodiversity conservation.
The Good, the Bad, and the Solution
At the City Biodiversity Summit 2010, which was held concurrently with the COP10, a declaration appealed to the international community (and the CBD Parties in particular), to recognise that cities and urbanisation is not all bad. Increasingly growing cities are also hubs for knowledge, innovations and human and financial resources, making them crucial for solving global environmental problems.
- Local governments provide many services that affect biodiversity both positively and negatively. Public procurement is one such example. When combined, these influences can exert great power toward the conservation and the recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem services, the declaration states.
At the summit, centre researcher Thomas Elmqvist, who helped draft the declaration, lead a highly popular session on how urban biodiversity and ecosystems play an important role in building resilience to climate change.
The session focused on the role of equity issues, education, improved disaster management and the importance of community-based resource management.
See video interview with André Mader from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) on the importance of cities to biodiversity management:
Research news | 2020-02-21
Despite rapid urban growth, agriculture in a wetland area in the south of Mexico City soldiers on, more than a millennium after its birth
Research news | 2020-02-19
Malin Falkenmark calls for a shift towards a water based biosphere stewardship. The alternative, she warns, could be catastrophic
Research news | 2020-02-17
Trying to reach the goals under current business-as-usual will come at a heavy price on the planetary boundaries
Research news | 2020-02-14
The new "Our Future On Earth" report provides risks analysis based on survey of 222 global sustainability experts, including centre researchers
Research news | 2020-02-13
New assessment aims to fill critical gaps in understanding the growing role aquatic foods play in the global food system
Research news | 2020-02-09
A new study harmonizes the water planetary boundary with local boundaries for the La Cienega wetlands in Colombia