26 May 2023

Local governments shape the future of biodiversity

In December 2022, leaders from across the world came together in Montreal (Canada) for global biodiversity negotiations known as the “United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties”, or CBD COP15. This was the occasion to agree upon a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework with targets for 2030 that should protect and restore a wide range of ecosystems, flora, and fauna. A comprehensive report compiled by the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center is now available, which showcases critical interventions and milestones of cities and subnational governments at COP15.

In particular, the report highlights the importance and impact of the 7th Summit for Subnational Governments & Cities – an official parallel event to CBD COP15. In addition, for the first time at a CBD COP, there was a dedicated Subnational Governments & Cities Pavilion focused entirely on local and subnational government actions and opportunities. The Summit and Pavilion constituted an unprecedented global milestone: they demonstrated significantly strengthened contributions from cities and subnational governments to the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework.

ICLEI Europe sent a delegation to the Summit to meet with cities from around the world and to share the experiences of our Members. The team’s contributions to the event are among the many outputs included in the Subnational Governments and Cities report. In addition, ICLEI Europe projects and initiatives including CLEVER Cities, REGreen, NetworkNature, UrbanByNature, and CitiesWithNature contributed to sessions and bilateral meetings.

In addition, a Summit session on “Shaping the Berlin Urban Nature Pact” demonstrated opportunities for the Berlin Pact to support the Global Biodiversity Framework being negotiated at CBD COP15. This Pact is an initiative that builds on, and partners with, the Edinburgh Process and the Montréal Pledge to support cities ready to lead the implementation of bold biodiversity action by committing to and implementing a set of highly ambitious targets.

The Subnational Governments & Cities report details the unprecedented nature of the sheer level of mobilisation, commitment, and solidarity among subnational and local leaders at CBD COP15. This reflects the pivotal role these levels play in achieving global biodiversity targets.

Furthermore, cities and subnational governments were heard. The CBD COP15 outcomes include “the adoption of a renewed Decision on engagement with subnational governments, cities and other local authorities to enhance the implementation of the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework.”

“Cities are essential leaders in the fight against climate change, the protection of biodiversity and the adaptability of our territories,” explained Valérie Plante, Mayor of ICLEI Member Montreal (Canada) and ICLEI Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity. “They already experience the impact of environmental issues, they understand the major challenges that lie ahead, as well as the solutions to be implemented.”

Learn more! Read the Subnational Governments & Cities report in full at:

The Summit was co-hosted by ICLEI, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and Regions4, along with the host Government of Québec and the City of Montréal and with the support and engagement of the Province of Yunnan and the City of Kunming. Both the Summit and its associated Pavilion were financially supported by the Government of Québec as main sponsor.