Local & subnational advocacy for nature: Aug 2020 update

Roadmap to COP 15: Timeline of key milestones

Due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic, many key events on the local and subnational Roadmap to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are continuously modifying their dates and methods of delivery. An updated timeline, with the most recent event dates and details can be seen below:

Key Updates

Launch of New Local and Subnational Advocacy for Nature Platform

ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, with support from a range of partners, recently launched a new online platform to serve as the voice of local and subnational governments in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity & associated Conventions. This website provides a comprehensive information platform to keep our constituency up to date with the latest relevant news, events and resources that relate to local and subnational governments on the roadmap to COP 15 and beyond. Check out the new platform today!

Click here to explore the key past and upcoming advocacy moments. The new platform also highlights key ways for the constituency to get involved, including through our monthly Post 2020 webinar series. These webinars provide a useful way to stay up-to-date with the unfolding process in the lead up to COP 15. Another way is to regularly check out our News and Resources page, where we will continue to post relevant information. For more on this, you can visit our dedicated Updates page.

The Edinburgh Process: An Update on the Edinburgh Declaration

As you are aware, the Edinburgh Process for Subnational Governments, Cities and Local Authorities on the development of the Post 2020 global biodiversity framework is currently underway, as arguably one of the most significant opportunities for the voice of the local and subnational government constituency to be heard loudly in the lead up to COP 15. Given the COVID-19 context we find ourselves in, the event was transformed into a dynamic and interactive online consultation process.

The Draft Edinburgh Declaration was released for consultation between 26th June 2020 and 24th July 2020. Following the receipt of comments, the Scottish Government and the Edinburgh Process Partners have prepared a final version that will be made available soon for local and subnational governments to endorse through senior political sign off up to CBD COP 15. Watch this space for more details on where to find the Edinburgh Declaration and how your local and subnational governments can sign on to support it.


All of the online information sessions, thematic webinars, and a range of other resources emerging from the Edinburgh Process are available on the dedicated YouTube channel. For more information, and to stay up-to-date with the process as it continues to unfold, click here.

United Nations Summit on Biodiversity

The United Nations Summit on Biodiversity will be convened by the President of the General Assembly on 30 September 2020, at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.” The Summit will highlight the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021. This framework, and its effective implementation, must put nature on a path to recovery by 2030 to meet the SDGs and realize the Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”. For more information and updates, visit the dedicated webpage.

European Week of Regions and Cities

The European Week of Regions and Cities is the biggest annual EU event dedicated to regional policy during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance. This year, the European Week of Regions and Cities will spread over three consecutive weeks in October, each dedicated to one timely topic:

  • 5-9 October: Empowering Citizens,
  • 12-16 October: Cohesion and cooperation,
  • 19-22 October: Green Europe, in cooperation with the Green Week.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related health and safety measures, the majority of the 500 sessions will be in fully digital format.

Registration for the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities will open on 27 August 2020.

For more information on the event, click here.

EU Green Week

EU Green Week 2020 is now scheduled for 19-22 October 2020, on the theme of nature and biodiversity. After the adoption of a new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 in May 2020, this year’s Green Week will highlight the contribution biodiversity can make to society and the economy, and the role it can play in supporting and stimulating recovery in a post-pandemic world, bringing jobs and sustainable growth. The event will examine how EU policies such as the European Green Deal can help protect and restore nature, leaving it room to recover and thrive. This year’s Green Week will also act as a milestone on the path to the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

For more information, and to register for the conference, click here.

Opportunities to get involved

Save the Date: Register for our next webinar

ICLEI continues to host its monthly Post-2020 webinar series to keep up to date on the unfolding participatory process on the roadmap to COP 15: The Paris Moment for Nature.

Join us for the 15th webinar in the series, to be held at both 10am and 3pm SAST (GMT+2) on 20th August 2020. The topic for this webinar will be: Dialogue towards a green recovery and lessons learned from nature in the context of the Post 2020 GBF

The webinar will feature the following panelists:

10am SAST (GMT+2)

  • Ms Jessica Kavonic, Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Natural Assets, ICLEI Africa
  • Dr Ernita van Wyk, Senior Professional Officer: Socio-ecological Systems, ICLEI Africa
  • Rajan Chedambath, Director: Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED), Research & Development wing of the Kochi Municipal Corporation, India
  • Mr David Barlow, Snr Policy Officer, Lead – Green infrastructure & Biodiversity, City of Manchester Policy Team

3pm SAST (GMT+2)

  • Ms Jessica Kavonic, Senior Professional Officer: Climate Change and Urban Natural Assets, ICLEI Africa
  • Dr Ernita van Wyk, Senior Professional Officer: Socio-ecological Systems, ICLEI Africa
  • Ms Andrea Cruz Angon, Coordinator of Biodiversity Strategies and International Cooperation, CONABIO, Mexico
  • Ms Marlene Laros, Director: Biodiversity and Coastal Management, Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, South Africa
  • Mr Paul Dale, International Affairs Advisory, Secretariat for Infrastructure and Environment, Sao Paulo State Government, Brazil

Don’t miss out! You can register for the webinar by clicking on your preferred time below:
At 10am SAST (GMT+2)

At 3pm SAST (GMT+2)

Visit the dedicated platform to stay updated on the local and subnational advocacy for nature agenda and to get involved. In case you have missed the previous webinars in the series, the recordings are available on our YouTube Channel. To read more about our previous webinar in the series on the topic of Outcomes of the Edinburgh Process: What’s next for cities and regions? click here.

Webinar jointly organized by the Government of Egypt and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

“Building back better: protecting biodiversity, combating land degradation and mitigating climate change to reduce the risks of future pandemics, and the importance of a coherent approach”

10 September 2020, 3-5 p.m. (Cairo time, GMT+2)

The Government of Egypt, in the context of its Presidency of the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), is organizing a webinar on protecting biodiversity, combating land degradation and mitigating climate change to reduce the risks of future pandemics jointly with the Secretariat of the Convention that will take place on 10 September 2020 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (GMT +2). This webinar is also organized within the context of the initiative by Egypt to promote a coherent approach for addressing biodiversity loss, climate change and land and ecosystem degradation.

See the CBD notification here: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2020/ntf-2020-057-hbom-en.pdf

Register for this webinar here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4134741372519882256.

Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information on how to join the webinar.

Special Virtual Sessions, in Preparation for SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3

During the twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24) and the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) government representatives, competent in the relevant field of expertise, will meet to provide the Conference of the Parties (COP) and, as appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies, with timely advice relating to the implementation of the Convention.  In advance of these meetings, a series of special virtual sessions of SBSTTA and SBI are being scheduled for 15-18 September 2020.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic related delays in the scheduling of SBSTTA-24 and SBI-3, which are now due to be held in November 2020, this series of special virtual sessions will facilitate preparations for the meetings of the subsidiary bodies. The further aim of these sessions is to help maintain momentum ahead of the UN Biodiversity Summit and towards COP 15.

The special sessions provide opportunities for the presentation of information and for statements by Parties and observers. For more information, click here.

Call for Papers and Sessions for the World Forestry Congress (WFC)

The World Forestry Congress (WFC) is held every six years and is the world’s largest global gathering of foresters. It provides a unique opportunity to strengthen international cooperation with forest supporters and intersectoral partners by sharing expertise and experiences and projecting a vision of the future roles of forests in the global sustainable development.

The next WFC will be held in Coex, Seoul, Republic of Korea from 24 to 28 May 2021, to emphasize the role of forests in the context of the Global Forest Goals, Paris Agreement, Post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the 2030 Agenda, identifying key measures and enriching the prospective future of forests as the forest sector adjusts to the post-COVID-19 developments.

The XV World Forestry Congress is now inviting submission of papers, posters, videos, and applications for side events under the central theme Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests. For more information, click here.


Consultation on draft documentation for the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation: Gender Plan of Action

The third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation, under agenda item 3, is expected to review progress in the implementation of the Convention and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, which will consider, amongst other matters, the review of implementation of the 2015-2020 Gender Plan of Action and a new draft gender plan of action for the post-2020 period. The Secretariat of the CBD has prepared a draft outline of the gender plan of action, now available for your input at: https://www.cbd.int/sbi/review.shtml.

The draft outline serves as a basis for consultation (drawing on the review of the current plan of action and consultations on gender in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework) to obtain initial feedback on the structure of a new gender plan of action, including the identification of priority areas for action and associated objectives. Parties and partners are invited to reflect on the draft outline and propose priority action areas and related objectives. Please send your comments, using the associated review comment template available at the same webpage, no later than 31 August 2020, by e-mail to: [email protected].

The recording of the Information briefing that was held on 12 August 2020 to announce the launch of the consultation is available at: https://youtu.be/MJBQsSGbHhc

Thematic Consultation on the Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework Virtual Meeting

The Thematic Consultation on the Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, previously scheduled on 30 March – 1 April 2020, in Bern, Switzerland, will now be held online, in order to ensure the consideration of further views on elements related to the sustainable use of biological diversity for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The virtual consultation is taking the form of an online survey, a series of webinars and an online discussion forum. The series of webinars will be comprised of two sessions. The first webinar, held on 27 July 2020, included expert presentations, provided further details on the process of the consultation and opened the period for completing the survey. The online survey was open from 27 July-17 August 2020. The online forum, scheduled from 7-11 September 2020, will discuss the preliminary results of the survey. The second webinar will present the outcomes of all discussions and will take place in the week of 5 October 2020.

For information on the webinar series, survey & online discussion forum, see the CBD notification here.

Register for Daring Cities: A Global Virtual Forum for Urban Leaders

Daring Cities invites urban leaders from around the world who are pushing boundaries in their own contexts to come together online for a three-week period of idea exchange on how to take on resilience and mitigation in the time of urgent climate and health crisis. Daring Cities 2020 will run from 7-28 October 2020, offering an online array of high level and visionary speaking sessions, a series of informative workshops and personal networking opportunities. Throughout the three-week period, there will be various sessions related to biodiversity and the links between nature and climate. Watch this space!

Register your interest in participating today! Please visit the About or FAQ pages for further information.


Visit our Updates page to read more about what our growing network of over 165 cities and regions are doing to enhance the value of nature in and around our urban areas. Click here to see the latest CitiesWithNature Buzz.

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ICLEI is collecting resources that can be useful and inspiring for local and subnational governments. Click here to see the dedicated webpage, and click here to access a collection of relevant blog posts.

The generous support from the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support project, the INTERACT-Bio project, and CitiesWithNature partners and cities, has contributed to this email update.