Mayor Valérie Plante of the City of Montréal will take up the role of ICLEI’s Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity. The position will shine a spotlight on the role of cities to address the biodiversity extinction crisis and advocate for the protection of nature and biodiversity by local governments.
In May, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a report that estimated that globally one million species are threatened with extinction today and that extinction rates are accelerating.
With half of the global population living in cities and rapid urbanization exerting pressure on fresh water supplies and the living environment, cities and urban communities have a critical role to play in addressing the biodiversity extinction crisis.
Newly appointed ICLEI Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity, Mayor Plante is calling on Mayors around the world to join her in igniting a global wave of action in cities, towns and regions to plan with, conserve and restore nature.
Image © City of MontrealVille de Montréal Sarah Latulippe
“Now is the time for urgent action. Nature underpins our very existence and livelihoods and is integral to the effective functioning and well-being of urban communities,” said Mayor Plante.
The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will take place next year in China where national governments will set the course for multilateral action on nature and biodiversity. “Collective action at the local level is our best hope for seeing the change needed at a global scale. It is crucial that the voices of urban communities are heard in the negotiations on a new deal for nature” continued Mayor Plante.
Redefining nature in cities is more critical than ever. CitiesWithNature – a rapidly growing global partnership initiative founded by ICLEI, the IUCN, and The Nature Conservancy with support from a variety of other partners such as World Urban Parks, the Biophilic Cities Network, WWF and others– offers a platform for cities and regions to connect, learn, act and inspire one another to design, plan and work with nature while making commitments and taking local action to protect nature.
CitiesWithNature is endorsed by the Secretariat on the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) as the official platform for cities and subnational governments to share and report on their ambitions and commitments to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
More than 70 cities from around the world including Melbourne, London, Manchester, Bonn, Kochi, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town, Barcelona, Fort Collins, and Londrina have already joined CitiesWithNature and are committed to embark on this ambitious journey alongside Mayor Plante.