Introducing the CitiesWithNature Action Platform

Why should cities commit and take action for nature on the CitiesWithNature Action Platform?

CitiesWithNature Action Platform recognises the critical role cities play in protecting and restoring nature

Why do we need nature to make our cities more sustainable and resilient?

  • By 2050, two thirds of people will live in urban areas.
  • People depend on healthy ecosystems for food, livelihoods, health and wellbeing.
  • By integrating nature into our cities, we enhance community resilience to global challenges like climate change, and enable people and biodiversity to thrive.
  • There is a growing urgency for collective and large-scale action to protect the biodiversity in and around cities to prevent irreversible loss and damage to the natural systems we depend on.
  • Now more than ever, we must unite and embrace nature, reconnect communities with nature, and become CitiesWithNature! 

Why are the world’s biodiversity goals important for cities?

  • Through the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD), countries commit to a new and ambitious blueprint, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF), to guide actions for protecting nature and its vital contributions to people.     
  • The GBF has a whole-of-government approach and recognizes that cities and subnational governments are key to its successful implementation.
  • In the 2030 Action Targets, the GBF sets out clear targets for urgent actions we must take in the next decade, so that people may live in harmony with nature and thrive.

How can CitiesWithNature help cities to thrive with nature?

What contribution can cities make?

  • Cities are where most people live, where new ideas germinate, where most of the consumption that threatens nature takes place, and where many decisions are made, reaching far beyond the city limits.
  • Local and subnational governments have direct contact with the people who live in their cities, allowing for more concrete and strategic action on the ground.
  • Local and subnational governments have the power to integrate nature into the way cities work.
  • They can do this through policy reform, advocacy, investment, and on-the-ground interventions.
  • They can do this for land use and urban development planning; infrastructure development and maintenance; management of consumption including agriculture, water and industry; resource mobilization; and urban response to disasters and risks – ultimately improving health and wellbeing.
  •  2030 Action Targets, the GBF sets out clear targets for urgent actions we must take in the next decade, so that people may live in harmony with nature and thrive.

What is the Action Platform?

  • The CBD recognizes the CitiesWithNature Action Platform in its Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2021-2030 as the place where cities will monitor and report on their voluntary commitments to national and global biodiversity targets.
  • Through the Action Platform, cities can showcase their actions and plans, understand how they contribute to global nature goals and easily track their achievements.
  • The Action Platform translates the post 2020 global biodiversity framework into commitments that cities and regions are willing to make, taking specific actions under the commitments and setting targets for a particular action most relevant to the city’s local context.
  • It  has 3 action areas that align with the categories of the CBD 2030 Action Targets: to protect and restore nature; use nature sustainably; and develop tools and solutions.
  • , the GBF sets out clear targets for urgent actions we must take in the next decade, so that people may live in harmony with nature and thrive.

How cities can make their mark through the Action Platform

Level 1: Make a COMMITMENT

  • A city can show its commitment to take action on specific topics such as nature areas, recycling and access to parks.     
  • All commitments are voluntary but will contribute towards achieving global and national targets for protecting and restoring nature.
  • After making commitments, cities can move on to the next step: Taking specific actions and setting specific targets aligned with their local and regional context and priorities.

Level 2: Take specific ACTIONS to achieve a commitment

  • After making a particular commitment, a city can identify what actions they will take to achieve it.     
  • For example, after committing to “Protect, connect and restore ecosystems”, a city can specify how it will achieve this by taking actions such as “Increase protected areas” or “Restore degraded areas.”
  • These actions should align with the city’s biodiversity plans, policies and strategic direction, as well as subnational and national biodiversity strategies and action plans. 
  • They should be implemented at the city’s pace, considering capacity and resources.

Level 3: Set specific TARGETS to monitor progress

  • After making a commitment, and identifying the actions to be taken, cities can then set targets to track their progress. 
  • For each action, a city can set a specific target for what it wants to achieve by 2030. For example, “By 2030, protected areas will cover 4% of the city’s jurisdiction.”           
  • For each target, a city must also set a baseline. For example, “Currently protected areas cover 2% of the city’s jurisdiction.”

Linking the three levels of the Action Platform

  • Commitments, actions and targets are the three levels of the Action Platform geared to help you in your journey towards achieving sustainability goals. For example:
  • Commitment: Our city commits to protect, connect and restore ecosystems.     
  • Action: We will achieve this commitment by taking the action of increasing protected areas in our city.      
  • Target: By 2030, protected areas will cover 4% of the city.

Calling all cities to take action!

  • By using the Action Platform, cities can inspire each other and show the world what actions they are taking for nature and people. They can monitor and track their progress, and see how their actions compare with other cities in their country, region or continent. 
  • The Action Platform also helps cities to gather information to feed into their countries’ National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans. This helps their countries to achieve national priorities and simplify their reporting to the UN CBD.
  • Join CitiesWithNature and use the Action Platform to unite with other cities around the world – to ensure healthier, happier and safer cities for a nature-positive future.

CitiesWithNature Action Platform launch on Earth Hour 2022: Support from partners

CitiesWithNature Action Platform launch on Earth Hour 2022: Support from leaders

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