Six Chinese “Charming Cities” announced at COP15

The first-ever Pavilion for Subnational Governments and Cities at UN CBD’s COP15 not only created a home for the subnational and local governments constituency during the conference, but also offered a platform for the launches and announcements of a range of initiatives. During China Day on 13 December 2022, a new initiative titled “Biodiversity Charming City” – operated by ICLEI and China Environment News – announced six Chinese cities who achieved the Charming Cities title, namely: Chengdu, Kunming, Huzhou, Jiaxing, Nanyang, and Shenzhen. The initiative is developed to recognize those cities who have achieved remarkable progress and created best practices in biodiversity conservation at the local level in China. These six cities, which have all joined the CitiesWithNature partnership initiative, are currently implementing numerous biodiversity conservation projects, which are highlighted below.

Image: China Environment News, Chengdu Municipal Government


Chengdu City, the capital of Sichuan Province, is a mega-city with a permanent population of 21,192,000 with an urbanization rate of 79.5%. As an important high-tech industrial base in China, its GDP ranked 7th in the country in 2021. Chengdu is also one of the 34 biodiversity hotspots in the world, and rich in endemic and rare species, hailed as the “Garden of Western China” and the “Land of Abundance”. The city has received several titles for its biodiversity, including National Model City for Environmental Protection (2005),  “National Forest City” (2007) and in 2020, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding was granted the title of “National Advanced Collective in Scientific Popularization”

Case study: Fireflies nestling in Tiantai Mountain-lighting up ecological protection

Tiantai Mountain, 110 kilometers from downtown Chengdu, is home to more than 20 kinds of fireflies, with the leading number and species nationwide. Fireflies require very demanding conditions for survival – including high air and water quality. As a result, these insects are regarded as a visual biological indicator. To protect firefly resources and create a viewing base for eco-tourism, Chengdu City prioritizes science-based approaches to ecological conservation and sustainable development.

By 2021, with a forest coverage of nearly 95%, Tiantai Mountain greatly improved the conditions for fireflies to survive, attracting more and more “starry” fireflies to settle in Tiantai Mountain along with many wild animal species. Through the continued protection and cultivation of the area, Tiantai Mountain has been honored as a National Scenic Area, National Forest Park and National 4A-Class Tourist Attraction, strengthening the city’s tourism-based economy.

Image: China Environment News, Huzhou Municipal Government


Huzhou is an important ecological conservation area and ecological barrier in the Yangtze River Delta region, with a forest coverage rate of over 48% and a wetland area of 47,800 hectares. The city has formed a wildlife habitat protection system with seven national nature reserves at the core, supplemented by wetland parks and forest parks. In 2013, Huzhou was awarded the title of “National Forest City”, and in 2022, it was approved to set up a sustainable development innovation demonstration zone.

Case study: Anji County, Huzhou City – bamboo ecology and economy in the “Hometown of Chinese Bamboo”

As the “Hometown of Bamboo”, Anji County in Huzhou City attaches great importance to biodiversity conservation. It actively promotes the transformation of bamboo–broad-leaved forests and the practice of interplanting in bamboo forests, transforming moso bamboo species, and cultivating a vast bamboo sea to secure a habitat for wild animals. Simultaneously, it uses bamboo to sequester carbon and increase carbon sinks for sustainable development. With the advantage of rich bamboo forest resources, Huzhou City has established the world’s first moso bamboo forest carbon flux observation system in 2010. In 2016, Anji County developed and completed the “Methodology of Bamboo Forest Operation Carbon Sink Project” and the country’s first bamboo forest operation carbon sink Chinese Certified Emission Reduction (CCER) project. Anji County’s bamboo industry offers bamboo structural materials, decorative materials, daily necessities, fiber products, biological products, and bamboo wood machinery, as well as crafts and food made of bamboo shoots. In 2021, Anji bamboo industries raked in 4.14 billion yuan in total, creating nearly 30,000 job opportunities.

Image: China Environment News, Jiaxing Municipal Government


As one of the important cities in the Yangtze River Delta, Jiaxing is home to 5.4 million permanent residents. In the past five years, Jiaxing has invested more than 16 billion yuan in ecological protection and environmental management. The city has more than 3,000 species, including more than 1,000 species of terrestrial vascular plants, 300 species of terrestrial vertebrates, 600 species of insects and more than 1,000 species of aquatic organisms. In 2019, Jiaxing was named the “National Water Ecological Civilization City”, and in 2021, it was approved as a national ecological civilization construction demonstration zone.

Case study: South Lake Park – underwater forest green corridor around the lake

Jiaxing’s South Lake is a water storage hub for major local rivers. In 2020, Jiaxing South Lake District created a pilot water ecological environment demonstration zone in Zhejiang Province, to solve the problems of turbid water bodies and fragile water ecosystems, kicking off the South Lake Ecological Restoration Project. As a result of significantly improved water quality, the transparency of the lake was enhanced and resurging submerged plants in the South Lake area – which had almost entirely disappeared – now cover an area of 1.48 square kilometers, accounting for 28.5% of the water area, and forming a green corridor around the lake.

Jiaxing City has built the “South Lake District Water Digital Support System”, which is the first successful application of using underwater acoustic measurement technology to ensure high-precision and all-terrain measurement of river networks in the plain. This enables the underwater measurement and monitoring of underwater topography of rivers and lakes in the South Lake District, projected visually, to support effective policy-making to solve underwater problems.

Image: China Environment News, Kunming Municipal Government


Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan Province – the richest biodiverse region in China and a global biodiversity hotspot – and host city to the UN CBD COP15 Part 1. By the end of 2021, Kunming had a population of 8.5 million long-term residents, of which 6.84 million are urban residents, accounting for 80.5% of the permanent residents population. Kunming’s complex and diverse topography, numerous lakes and rivers, and sound hydrothermal conditions have fostered rich biodiversity. In 2013, Kunming was named the “National Forest City”, in 2009, the “National Garden City”. and in 2022, Kunming was named the “National Greening Advanced Group” by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Case study: Nature-based solutions – biodiversity restoration of Dianchi Lake

Dianchi Lake is the biggest lake in Kunming, serving 64% of the city’s population and 77% of the total economy. Since the 1970s, due to the rapid development of industry and agriculture around the lake, reclamation of land from the lake, and population growth, Dianchi Lake has been severely polluted by sewage. Recently, the Kunming Municipal People’s Government has implemented the eco-environment restoration of the lake, to improve harmony between the people, city, lake and industry.

Kunming has made space for Dianchi lake by returning ponds, farmland and housing to the lake through 90 km of breakwaters. The city has also built an ecological belt, including lakeside wetland, ecological forest, and naturally restored lake wetlands, effectively improving the living environment of wild animals and plants, and greatly improving the biodiversity of Dianchi Lake. At present, the natural shoreline rate of Dianchi Lake has reached 89%, forming a basically closed ecological belt around Dianchi Lake.

Image: China Environment News, Nanyang Municipal Government


Nanyang City is the geographical and cultural center of China, and home to the Funiushan Global Geopark and Baotianman Biosphere Reserve. In 2018, Nanyang City was approved as a national forest city, a national model city for greening, and a national pilot city for water ecological civilization. In 2021, the case of “Conservation and Restoration of Water Sources in the Middle Route of the Danjiangkou South-to-North Water Diversion Project in Henan” was included among the “100+ Biodiversity Positive Practices and Actions around the World” by the UN. Finally, in 2022, Nanyang was rated as one of the first national pilot zones for ecological progress.

Case study: Ecological Restoration of Water Sources in the Middle Route of the Danjiangkou South-to-North Water Diversion Project in Henan

Henan Danjiang Wetland National Nature Reserve is one of the richest biodiverse areas in Nanyang and crucial to providing safe drinking water for nearly 79 million residents living in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Henan. However, the reservoir area of Danjiangkou Reservoir has a highly fragile ecological environment, with persistent challenges such as stony desertification of mountains, slope soil erosion, non-point source pollution of farmland and unsustainable use of wetlands. 

Over the past three years, degraded wetland of 4 million square meters at Danjiang Wetland National Nature Reserve has been restored, and over 6 million trees such as bamboo willow, dawn redwood, poplar, reed, and mulberry trees have been planted, which has vastly improved the wetland’s ecological environment. Numerous bird species have settled in the reserve, including the protected great bustard, golden eagle, and scaly-sided merganser species. The Danjiang Wetland has become the most important habitat and breeding place for birds in Henan Province and the most important place of transit for migrating birds in North China. This progress has further led to improved patrol, management and protection of the Reserve.

Image: China Environment News, Shenzhen Municipal Government


Since its origin in 1979, Shenzhen has rapidly developed economically into a megacity with a permanent population of 17.68 million, a GDP of over 3 trillion yuan, and an urbanization rate of 100% in 2021. Shenzhen is both a mountainous and coastal city with diverse ecosystems and rich biological resources. In 2018, Shenzhen was approved to become an innovation demonstration zone for sustainable development, and in 2020, it was named the “National Model City for Ecological Progress”.

Case study:Public participation in the management of nature reserves: A case study of Futian Mangrove Ecological Park

The Shenzhen Futian Mangrove Ecological Park forms part of the coastal wetland ecosystem of Shenzhen Bay, creating a buffer zone between nature and the city for urban biodiversity protection. To protect natural ecosystems in the park, the city’s approach included mobilizing and educating the public, as well as improving public services. Ultimately, the Shenzhen Municipal Government is working towards a model characterized by government leadership and public participation in nature reserve management, with guidance from experts.

As a result of this approach, biodiversity in the park has increased – in particular, the 22 species of mangrove plants and species recorded on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Moreover, the ecological park creates opportunities for local and global exchanges and promotional activities to create awareness of the importance of the park. The marine forest restoration project of the ecological park was included among “Top 10 Typical Cases of “Nature-Based Solutions in China” by the Ministry of Natural Resources and IUCN.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on 2 February, in commemoration of the initial signing of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

This year, the theme is
“It’s time for wetlands restoration” linking two important biodiversity components - wetlands protection and ecosystem restoration.

Wetlands and restoration

Despite being the world’s most productive ecosystems and crucial to human well-being, wetlands continue to experience extremely high rates of decline and degradation: an estimated 35% of wetlands have been lost since the 1970s. To prevent further losses and secure the necessary ecosystem services that wetlands provide – such as water purification, climate change mitigation, food and building materials, and flood control – the restoration of these important inland water and coastal systems are urgently required.

Ecosystem restoration has increasingly become a priority for scientists, politicians, officials and environmental activists in recent years as a critical approach to curb biodiversity loss and promote resilience to climate change. As such, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a 10-year push to halt and reverse the decline of the natural world, was launched in 2020. Through this year’s Wetlands Day theme, the UN Convention on Wetlands is calling for global restoration efforts to include the rehabilitation of wetlands.

Restoration acknowledged at high-level UN meetings

In 2022, urban wetlands were recognized as critical to human well-being at the UN Convention on Wetlands’ 14th Conference of Parties. During Ramsar COP14 in Geneva and Wuhan, Parties were called upon to take appropriate and urgent measures to achieve the goal of halting and reversing the loss of wetlands globally. 

Also in 2022, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s 15th Conference of Parties in Montreal and Kunming witnessed the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which includes under its Target 2 an aim that, by 2030, at least 30% of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine ecosystems are under effective restoration.

It’s time for restoration of urban wetlands​

The loss of wetlands noted above is particularly prevalent in cities. Urban wetlands are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of urbanization as they tend to be undervalued and therefore often converted or used as dumping grounds. However, while the challenges of urbanization to wetland health are profound, so too are the opportunities for wetland restoration. 

As part of the newly adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework mentioned above, Parties adopted the decision titled Engagement with subnational governments, cities and other local authorities to enhance implementation of the post-2020 Global biodiversity framework and its accompanying revised Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities (2022-2030), which recognizes the vital role that cities and local authorities play in the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework – including by restoring urban wetlands and thereby contributing to Target 2. On the CitiesWithNature Action Platform, the CBD-recognized platform for cities to use for monitoring and reporting on their actions for biodiversity, the restoration and protection of urban wetlands can be recorded by Cities under Commitment 1 titled “Protect, Connect and Restore Ecosystems” and specified under two actions: “a) Restore and/or rehabilitate terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems” and “(b) Increase protected areas.” 

Globally, cities are increasingly acknowledging the importance of protecting and restoring wetland areas. To acknowledge cities’ significant contributions to take care of valuable urban wetlands, the UN Convention on Wetlands established the Wetland City Accreditation Scheme.

Wetland City Accreditation – Encouraging a positive relationship with urban wetlands

The Wetland City Accreditation (WCA) scheme was launched in 2015 – during the Ramsar Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands  COP12 in Uruguay – with the aim of improving local authority or authorities’ work in conservation and wise use of wetlands. The accredited Wetland Cities are intended to act as models for the study, demonstration and promotion of the Convention on Wetlands’ objectives, approaches, principles and resolutions. Cities become candidates for accreditation by applying to the official call for applications posted here. 

The WCA scheme aims to encourage cities in close proximity to and dependent on wetlands, especially Wetlands of International Importance, to highlight and strengthen a positive relationship with these valuable ecosystems, for example through increased public awareness of their importance and participation in municipal planning and decision-making. 

During the Ramsar COP14 in 2022, the second triennium Wetland City Accreditation Awards Ceremony took place to celebrate the accreditation of 25 new cities (listed below). These cities have joined the already existing 18 accredited Wetland cities that have since been tasked to maintain their accreditation.

Wetland City Network and Roundtable of Wetland City Mayors – sharing best practices among decision makers

To further promote the conservation and wise use of urban and peri-urban wetlands, and to share city-level experiences among city leadership, the Roundtable of Wetland City Mayors first took place in 2019, where a Wetland City Network was established to continue the work of the accreditation scheme and enable cities to achieve more and learn from other Wetland Cities. The 2nd Roundtable of Wetland City Mayors will take place in June 2023, in Amiens, France.

The 2022 accredited cities are:

Sackville (Canada)

Sackville was built on/adjacent to saltwater marshes which had been dyked and drained in the 1600s to become freshwater “dykelands”. Since then the Town has undertaken many projects to restore, protect and utilize them, including creating legal restrictions which are supported by laws at all levels of government. The wetlands include the internationally recognized Sackville Waterfowl Park.

Hefei (China)

Hefei has 118,200 ha of wetland area, with a wetland protection rate of 76%. The city has invested in the protection of the Chao Lake area, protecting 10 wetlands covering a total of 100 square kilometers. This has significantly contributed to aquatic ecosystems, water security and quality, and wildlife habitat – up to 562 wetland plant species and 303 bird species. The City’s strategies include nine wetland education centers, wetland protection volunteers and science popularization to enhance residents’ relationship with the wetlands.

Jining (China)

Jining City is known as the “Canal Capital” for its abundant water resources, booming business activities and cultural exchanges. Jining wetlands cover an area of 158,800 ha, with the wetland protection rate reaching 77.38% as a result of the government’s commitment to wetland protection. Nansi Lake and the Grand Canal – designated as a Ramsar site in 2018 – attract millions of migratory birds every year.

Liangping (China)

Lianping’s rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs and small wetlands are protected by the City’s strategy of “comprehensive water management, wetlands nourishing the city”, and its adopted model of “small and micro wetlands construction with ecological conservation, pollution control, organic industry, and natural education”, to benefit the lives of communities surrounding the urban wetlands. 

Nanchang (China)

Nanchang has a wetland area of 153,000 ha, which provides a major habitat for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl globally, and an important wintering place for Siberian white cranes. The City has protected 68% of its wetlands and restored more than 8,000 ha, enhancing the ecological functions of wetlands, the urban living environment, and the socio-economic development of the city.

Panjin (China)

Panjin’s wetland covers 249,600 ha, accounting for 60.8% of the whole area. Its wetland protection rate is 54.6%, with 124,000 ha of wetlands restored since 2018 – benefiting the value of rice, river crab, tourism and other wetland industries. Panjin’s coastal wetlands are home to 477 species of wild animals – including 78 species of national key protected wild animals – and a stopover or destination for millions of migratory birds, including the Saunder’s Gull, Red-crowned Crane and Western Pacific Spotted Seal.

Wuhan (China)

In Wuhan the Yangtze River (the third largest river in the world) meets its largest tributary, the Han River. Endowed with 165 lakes and 166 rivers, Wuhan has abundant wetland resources and a wetland rate of 18.9%. Ecological restoration is secured through legislative protection, ecological compensation, conversion of fish ponds to wetlands, restoration of degraded wetlands, and public participation.

Yangcheng (China)

Yancheng has two Wetlands of International Importance and one coastal wetland World Natural Heritage Site. By 2021, the protection rate of natural wetlands in the city has reached 62%, and the “Yancheng Yellow Sea Wetland ecological restoration case” is renowned for its global nature protection in densely populated and economically developed areas.

Belval-en-Argonne (France)

The Belval-en-Argonne municipality joined forces with several nature protection associations (e.g. Birdlife France), to purchase the ponds of Belval-en-Argonne, which were designated a Regional Nature Reserve in July 2012. Major restoration work on the dykes and sluices has been carried out to better manage the water levels, and a large inventory of ponds and amphibians to create awareness of the site’s biodiversity has been created.

Seltz (France)

Seltz is a European town in the northern Bas-Rhin Department, with a population of 3,400 and home to the Seltz nature reserve: the Sauer Delta. This 486 ha site is remarkable for its botanical richness (including willow beds, mudflats and reedbeds), hydrology and landscapes, as well as ornithology.

Surabaya (Indonesia)

As a result of Surabaya City’s low elevation, many estuarine mangrove and wetland ecosystems have formed, amounting to 1.722,68 km2 of wetland ecosystem (76.51% of the total area 2.251,62 km2). These wetlands are important for bird species, particularly migratory seabirds and shorebirds in the East Asia-Australia Fly Away. Urban planning initiatives, in cooperation with community associations, are addressing challenges such as river and coastal pollution, seasonal water scarcity and urban flooding.

Tanjung Jabung Timur (Indonesia)

Tanjung Jabung is located on the east coast, with its west coast stretching across 12 km of the Sungai Berbak river mouth, and 15 km south of Tanjung Jabung. The city’s mangrove forest fringe ranges from 200-500 m wide and consists mainly of Avicennia marina and Rhizophora species with about 10 species of large waterbirds, including milky storks.

Bandar Khamir (Islamic Republic of Iran)

With the longest wetland coastline in Iran, Bandar Khamir has started a widespread popular movement – comprising events, festivals, educational workshops and numerous learning centers – in recent years for the wise use of the wetland. As a result of increased awareness and education of the value of the wetland and its ecosystem services, the participation and involvement of different groups to protect the wetland has increased.

Varzaneh (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Varzaneh city is located 20 km from Gavkhouni International Wetland which is supplied by the ZayandehRud river that passes through the city. Because of the hot climate of the city, the river and wetlands have benefited residents’ livelihoods, including agriculture, animal husbandry and ecotourism.

Al-Chibayish (Iraq)

Many projects implemented in Al-Chibayish city have contributed to the revival and sustainability of its wetlands. These wetlands support infrastructure and basic services for the local population and economy, in addition to its unique scenery and ecotourism services. The marshes also support a unique cultural heritage that is characterized by its residents and their traditional handicrafts, landscapes and biodiversity – such as buffalo and wild birds.

Izumi (Japan)

Izumi City is known as the largest wintering site of cranes in Japan, where more than 10,000 hooded and 2,000-3,000 white-naped cranes migrate every winter. The wintering habitat comprises mainly rice paddies which have been protected by Japanese policies against development. One of the city’s pillars of city planning includes “A city where human happiness and environmental conservation go together”.

Niigata (Japan)

Niigata recognizes the multifaceted benefits of wetlands near the city and involves their citizens in protection activities – particularly for fisheries – such as including school children for environmental education. The Niigata community has a relationship with the waterfowl, such as swans, that roost in the wetlands at night and feed in the rice paddies of the city area during the day.

Ifrane (Morocco)

Ifrane is located in the heart of the Atlas Cedar Biosphere Reserve, and considered to be the “ecological capital” of the Kingdom of Morocco. The City is working to conserve its urban wetland ecosystems – Lake Zerrouka, the Aïn Vittel springs and Oued Tizguite – through many national regulatory measures and instruments for the protection of wetlands. With its partners, Ifrane Province is a pioneer in the restoration of wetlands by piloting the “Lake Dayet Aoua restoration project”.

Gochang (Republic of Korea)

There are two Ramsar wetlands in Gochang, both protected under the National Wetlands Protection Act. Gochang has restored the paddy fields since 2017, and restored the brackish water zone between 2016 to 2020. The area is surrounded by ecotourism activities, such as the open market, and educational programs that are creating awareness among the communities of the importance of restoring wetlands. 

Seocheon (Republic of Korea)

The Seocheon Getbol wetland reserve – a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site – is a designated migratory route for migratory birds between East Asia and Oceania, and home to 19 endemic species and three endangered invertebrates, supporting 100 species of waterfowl. The Seocheon County Ordinance operates the Wetlands Protection Committee, a public-private joint organization, to systematically preserve and manage wetlands through monitoring, restoration and waste collection.

Seogwipo (Republic of Korea)

The Mulyeongari Oreum Wetland in Seogwipo City is home to 15 endangered species of living organisms. Ecological specialists and local residents in Seogwipo City perform extensive ecological monitoring on a regular basis to protect the Mulyeongari Oreum Wetland.

Kigali (Rwanda)

The Kigali Wetlands have been threatened by human activities such as agriculture, human settlements, commercial and industrial activities – decreasing their capacity for flood and pollution abatement. In response, the City is implementing strategic ecological rehabilitation solutions such as the Kigali wetland masterplan, which supports the efficient and sustainable management and use of wetlands. As a result, all business activities inside wetlands were evacuated; Nyandungu wetland (121.7ha) was transformed into a recreational eco-park; and a study to rehabilitate five wetlands that cover 480 ha has been conducted to contribute to its Vision 2050 of developing a Green City.

Cape Town (South Africa)

Cape Town is a coastal city with numerous wetlands and is a recognized global biodiversity hotspot. The City aims to mitigate wetland damage through innovative policies and plans, wetland offset projects, best-practice wetland management and restoration, people and conservation programmes, skills development, job creation, plus the Mayor’s priority water quality programme addressing impacts to and rehabilitation of the City’s larger wetlands.

Valencia (Spain)

L’Albufera de València is a wetland culturally linked to the community’s heritage, including traditional fishing and rice cultivation. Since the 1970s, Valencia’s City Council has played a fundamental role in the site protection and planning, which has resulted in the lagoon and coastal forest being declared a Natural Park in 1986. In 1982, the Devesa-Albufera Municipal Service was created, responsible for the development of plans and projects for the conservation and restoration of the wetland.

Sri Songkhram District (Thailand)

The Songkhram River has a basin of 6,473.27 km2 and is an important tributary of the Mekong River. About 54.2% of the overall Songkhram Basin may be classified as “wetlands”, which are significant as a capture fishery providing seasonal employment, income and food to thousands of households. Other products are also sourced from the wetlands by local residents (e.g. mushrooms, bamboo shoots, wild vegetables and reeds). The wetlands, declared as a Ramsar site, are protected as a “community forest” on both sides of the Songkhram River, set up by Thailand’s Royal Forest Department.

ICLEI’s role as partner to the Convention

The Independent Advisory Committee (IAC) governs the Wetland City Accreditation Scheme. This committee reviews the Wetland City Accreditation applications from candidate cities and reports its decision to the Standing Committee of the Convention. ICLEI, along the Convention on Wetlands’ International Organization Partners, promotes the Wetland City Accreditation Scheme and local efforts to gain and maintain its branding. Through ICLEI’s city networks and CitiesWithNature platform, it is well positioned to promote the Wetland City Accreditation brand. During the second triennium from 2019 until 2022, ICLEI has been serving as Co-chair of the IAC, 25 more cities were accredited and they received their award during an Award Ceremony at COP14 in Geneva in 2022.

Kunming, China, has become the 244th signatory to the Edinburgh Declaration, a statement of intent that has been agreed between subnational and local governments across the world and calls on Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to take bold action to halt biodiversity loss.

The Scottish Government, with support from a wide range of partner organizations, proudly hosted the Edinburgh Process for Subnational and Local Governments on the Development of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which began towards the end of April 2020.

The Edinburgh Process brought together delegates from across the world representing all levels of governments, including strong representation from subnational and local governments, as well as indigenous people and local communities, women, youth, NGOs and the business community.

The Edinburgh Declaration for subnational governments, cities and local authorities on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, sets out the aspirations and commitments of local and subnational governments for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, to work alongside CBD Parties in taking transformative actions for nature over the coming decade, to deliver the 2050 vision of ‘living in harmony with nature.’

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I am delighted that the Mayor of Kunming,

has signed the

Edinburgh Declaration –

cementing their commitment to delivering the

post-2020 global biodiversity framework

and joining the call for bold, transformative action to halt biodiversity loss across the globe.

The Edinburgh Declaration also calls for greater prominence to be given to the role that subnational and local governments play in delivering a new global framework of targets and affirms their readiness to meet this challenge.

More specifically, subnational and local governments are calling on CBD Parties to support the adoption at COP15, of a new dedicated decision for the greater inclusion of subnational and local governments within the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The Edinburgh Process Partners include the Welsh Government, the UK Government Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), European Committee of the Regions (CoR), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Government of Quebec, Regions4 Sustainable Development, Group of Leading Subnational governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS), with support from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), NatureScot, and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).