At the Geneva meetings in March ahead of the UN Biodiversity Summit (COP15) later this year, the local and subnational governments major group delivered a strong statement at the Joint Opening Plenary Session of OEWG-3, SBSTTA 24 & SBI-3.
The resumed sessions of the twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 24), the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 3) and the third meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG2020-3), are taking place 14-29 March 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more about the Geneva meetings here.
Local & Subnational Governments Major Group Statement read by Jean Lemire on 14 March 2022
Honourable Chairs, Co-chairs and distinguished delegates,
I address you on behalf of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments and Biodiversity – coordinated by Regions4 and the Government of Québec, the Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the European Committee of the Regions, and the Edinburgh Process Partners.
As the local and subnational governments major group, we would like to refer to the three bodies that will be in session during this negotiation meeting.
Firstly, for the Open-ended working group, we wholeheartedly welcome the mentions to local and subnational governments throughout the GBF. Our constituency can, and will, contribute to the 21 targets of the GBF. Accordingly, we strongly suggest adding a definition of the “whole of government” approach in the Glossary to ensure that harmonization between levels of government and across government is included. We must clarify that it covers all levels of governments in a vertical multi-level approach. We also ask for the reintegration of Nature-Based Solutions into the GBF. In that matter, the UNEA recently adopted a definition of NBS that could be valuable for CBD. The UNEA and IUCN’s definition demonstrates that NBS can have tremendous benefits for biodiversity and people. It is our responsibility to forge a definition that will limit the possibilities for negative impacts on biodiversity.
Secondly, for the SBI, we strongly advise Parties to “adopt” the CRP8 on the engagement with subnational governments, cities and other local authorities to enhance the implementation of the GBF as a whole of government approach. It aims at renewing the previous decision made by Parties at COP-10. Local and subnational governments are already taking actions on biodiversity per their competencies and priorities. This will optimize our actions and allow their contribution to the national and global targets. It will also allow for a more comprehensive and systematic reporting, including through the CitiesWithNature and RegionsWithNature platforms. We published the INF/DOC/45 and now ask the Parties to adopt the plan of action during the Geneva meeting.
Thirdly, for the SBSTTA, we reiterate that it is essential to include local and subnational governments in the official monitoring and reporting framework of the GBF. All indicators must include our constituency for our initiatives to be considered in the national and global targets.
We look forward to discussing these points further and suggesting how local and subnational governments can contribute to the GBF.