Mayor Valérie Plante calls on local and subnational government leaders to take action on nature

As we celebrate the International Day for Biodiversity (22 May) and World Environment Day (5 June) this year, the COVID-19 pandemic provides a sobering opportunity to reflect on our relationship with nature. Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and ICLEI Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity, has penned a compelling letter, calling on mayors and leaders of local and subnational governments from around the world to jointly take action to halt and reverse the trends of biodiversity loss, especially as they develop their post-COVID-19 recovery plans. She outlines numerous ways that leaders can take strong, decisive action to create healthy, vibrant cities, where people and nature can thrive.

Read Mayor Plante’s letter below:

“As mayors and leaders of local and subnational governments, we have a unique opportunity and an important responsibility to protect our biodiversity and ecosystems in ways that will restore humanity’s relationship with nature, especially as we develop our post-COVID-19 recovery plans. Together, let’s take strong action to create healthy, vibrant cities, where people and nature can thrive.”

~ Mayor Valérie Plante of the City of Montréal & ICLEI’s Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity

 

 

2 responses to "Mayor Valérie Plante calls on local and subnational government leaders to take action on nature"

May 26, 2020 at 1:20 pm, Dorin Miclaus said:

Dear Mayor Valérie Plante
Baia Mare Municipality is committed to continuously increase its sustainability and resilience in “Integrating nature and biodiversity”. Therefore I want to share with you the fact that Baia Mare was granted a funding under Urban Innovative Actions for the project Smart Post-Industrial Regenerative Ecosystem (https://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/uia-cities/baia-mare)
By this project we propose a revolutionary approach to the reuse of heavy metal-contaminated land in the city, through adaptive phytoremediation and the creation of new urban ecosystems, as a long-term strategy for sustainable local economic development. You can read more on the site as well as on the project’s site: http://spire.city/
As stated on the project site our challenges are:
Baia Mare’s industrial past in the mining and metallurgical sector left circa 627 hectares of land polluted by heavy metals (up to 5 times the acceptable value) within the metropolitan area, which are now disconnected from the urban framework and a danger to the inhabitants and the environment. SPIRE’s challenge is to test an integrated, innovative strategy capable of:
– Recovering contaminated land and starting a long-term phytoremediation and land revalorisation process;
– Co-creating new bio-based development models and novel solutions to pressing urban issues, like housing insulation or carbon emissions reduction;
– Finding alternatives to fossil fuel to foster sustainable energy transition;
– Supporting participation and a behavioral shift, leveraging on novel digital solutions to reward environmentally friendly actions.

I strongly believe that through this project we can help the development of a better world with help from nature.
Therefore I would be more than happy if Baia Mare could contribute with its efforts towards improvement of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) which shall enable us to contribute to improve our relationship with nature thus helping cities to become more healthy and “more resilient and better able to cope with extreme events and other impacts related to climate change” as you stated.
I also totally agree with what you said “As mayors and leaders of local and subnational governments, we have a unique opportunity and an important responsibility to protect our biodiversity and ecosystems in ways that will restore humanity’s relationship with nature. Together, we can have a global impact”.
Considering what you said “that cities, large and small, are ideally placed to significantly contribute to curbing biodiversity loss and reversing the unsustainable use of nature by proactively bringing nature back into our rapidly urbanizing world. By planning our cities with nature –through nature-based solutions, green infrastructure and green open spaces –we can dramatically improve the quality of life for all” I want to draw your attention to the experiment we are implementing in our city. Not only we are recovering contaminated land but we involve the local community in all our actions. We will work on 5 polluted sites each one being assigned to a neighborhood civic council (a kind of neighborhood town hall) together with a school within the neighborhood. In this way, the local community participates directly and actively in our actions but also helps to change the mentality of the citizens so necessary in these times. What is more direct and effective than involving children and young people with the community in nature protection actions?
So, you see that Baia Mare Municipality wants to make a significant impact, and therefore mobilize without delay to take actions.
We are also welcoming partnerships in the implementation of our project because we are open to test in a city like laboratory other NBS approaches.
Should you be interested to join us in our effort please be free to contact us and we are sure that together we can contribute to the wellbeing of communities.

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June 01, 2020 at 10:53 pm, raquel penalosa said:

An exemplary letter, actions that need to be implemented in all sectors of the city, to integrate nature as a living system in our urban settings

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