GoLS and Aichi Prefecture join RegionsWithNature global initiative

The prestigious, well-established and respected Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS) and the Aichi Prefecture have joined the global RegionsWithNature partnership initiative.

GoLS and its members, that include the Aichi Prefecture, ANAAE, Campeche, Catalonia, Gangwon, Jiangsu, Ontario, Quebec and São Paulo, have stood firmly on matters related to subnational and regional governments’ collective action. Subnational governments, including States, Provinces, Regions, and Prefectures, are key in implementing actions and achieving results for the conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity, and their active contributions are essential to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The Aichi Prefecture has been the key subnational government in implementing the Aichi Targets since their adoption at the 2010 biodiversity CBD COP10, held in Nagoya, the capital city of the Aichi Prefecture. It is at this COP that, for the first time, CBD Parties endorsed and adopted the Plan of Action on how to mobilize subnational and local governments to bring national strategies and plans addressing global biodiversity issues into a local context.

The Aichi Prefecture has taken important action in pursuing the local and subnational agenda and creating communities that support rich and abundant biodiversity, for humans and nature to live in harmony.

The Aichi Prefecture has joined RegionsWithNature as a founder under the leadership of Governor Ohmura and has shown its determination to be actively involved, together with ICLEI, in promoting nature conservation activities in municipalities around the world. Aichi Prefecture is a metropolitan area with a thriving manufacturing industry, but also a region rich in nature, with forests, rivers and a long coastline. Aichi Prefecture is committed to working with other local and subnational governments and other actors participating in RegionsWithNature in order to implement effective measures to harmonize the environment and the economy.

Today, as global sustainability is becoming an ever more pressing issue, and as local government involvement is seen as a pivotal condition for fair and just transition on the ground, Parties are reaffirming the importance of involving local and subnational governments in the global suitability agenda including in the context of climate crisis.

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This is our time to make a significant contribution and make a concrete and substantial difference. National governments should embrace multilevel cooperation and local and subnational governments need to scale up actions.

Fortunately, frameworks for international action are in place and we can step up our efforts through and with RegionsWithNature to achieve our common goals. ICLEI Japan will work together with GoLS and the Aichi Prefecture in addressing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across all levels of governments in Japan and elsewhere around the globe.

The Convention on Biological Diversity was fortunate to have the local and subnational governments across the globe advancing and accumulating experience based on the Plan of Action in 2010. But further actions are needed.

With GoLS joining RegionsWithNature as a partner, we add an important ally to strategically move ahead, together with the other founding partners, ICLEI, Regions4, the European Committee of the Regions, the IUCN and global bodies like the UN Environment Programme and the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Aichi Prefectural Government in Japan comes in as well, along with the founding subnational governments, namely Yucatán and Campeche in Mexico, São Paulo and Pernambuco in Brazil, Goa in India, the Community of Madrid in Spain, the Western Cape Province in South Africa, Québec in Canada.

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We warmly welcome GoLS and the Aichi Prefecture joining RegionsWithNature and recognize Governor Ohmura’s leadership in building a lasting legacy from the landmark COP10 in Nagoya in 2010 and creating ecological networks for taking effective and urgent actions to halt the loss of biodiversity.

Our ICLEI office in Japan, through Executive Director, Togo Uchida, is ready to continue advising GoLS on their journey in RegionsWithNature, as we share the mission, scope and objectives in restoring our natural environment for a systemic transformation to more sustainable, inclusive and green societies.

Amidst environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency there is reason for hope, as we come together, strengthening tools, resources, and decisive action for shifting to a sustainable future. Local and subnational governments are looking forward to the adoption of an updated, strengthened and more ambitious Plan of Action on engagement of subnational governments, cities and other local authorities to enhance the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), at the Biodiversity COP 15 in Kunming, China later this year. This will put local and subnational governments on a trajectory to optimize their contributions to achieving global and national biodiversity targets and the vision of living in harmony with nature.