CitiesWithNature Action Platform webinars huge success in reaching and inspiring cities globally

In the build-up to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 – which will take place in Montreal from 7-19 December 2022 – ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, in collaboration with ICLEI’s regional offices, provided capacity-building webinars to demonstrate uploading actions and commitments to the CitiesWithNature Action Platform, recognized in the Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2021-2030). 

 

The road to COP 15 is a crucial moment for local and subnational governments to demonstrate their commitments to actions that will contribute to the successful implementation of the new global biodiversity framework (GBF) and its targets. As a result, the CitiesWithNature Action Platform webinars not only trained cities across the world on using the platform, but also explained the importance of their engagement and participation in the platform in the build-up to COP15. 

The CitiesWithNature team that served as recurring speakers in all the webinars are:

 

Ingrid Coetzee
Director Biodiversity, Nature & Health, ICLEI Africa

 

Stefania Romano
Senior Professional Officer – Global CitiesWithNature and RegionsWithNature Coordinator: Recruitment and Advocacy

 

Willemien Calitz
Communications Officer

 

Jade Sullivan
Professional Officer: Biodiversity, Nature & Health

 

USA RO Speakers:

Calyn Hart
Program Officer, ICLEI USA

Southeast Asia RO Speakers:

Russel James Andrade
Biodiversity Focal for ICLEI Southeast Asia; Project Assistant

Victorino Aquitania
Regional Director ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability Southeast Asia Secretariat

Dr. Rajan Chedambath
Director: The Kochi Municipal Corporation and the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development
Puerto Princesa City

Dr. Lena Chan
Senior Director of the International Biodiversity Conservation Division, National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapore

SAMS & MECS SAMS (Portuguese)

Speakers:

Marília Israel de Azevedo Borges
Biodiversity Analyst at ICLEI South America

Rodrigo Corradi
Deputy Executive Secretary at ICLEI South America

Oliver Hillel
Programme Officer at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity

Bianca Cantoni Coutinho
Advocacy Officer at ICLEI South America

Jaime Holguin
Representative of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF)

Luciano Paes
Secretary of Climate of Niterói

Gabriel Neves
Municipal Secretary of Green, Environment and Sustainable Development
Municipal Government of Campinas

Leta Vieira
Technical Regional Manager: Low-Carbon, Resilience, Biodiversity and Circular Development, ICLEI



ICLEI SAMS (MECS)

Speakers:

Ivana Del Río
Technical Secretariat - ICLEI Mexico

Maria Mejia
Lead - BiodiverCities by 2030 Initiative at Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos

Óscar Figueredo
Bucaramanga Metropolitan Area, Colombia

Paulina Soto
Director of Programmes and Projects

Sergio Aranguren
Biodiversity Coordinator, ICLEI

Braulio Diaz
Institutional Relations and Advocacy Regional Manager, ICLEI

Oceania RO Speakers:

Steve Gawler
Regional Director ICLEI Oceania

Cr Amanda Stone
Councillor, Yarra City Council, Australia, ICLEI Global Executive Committee Member and ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee

Helaine Stanley
Program Advisor CWN Academy

Nadine Gaskell
Biodiversity Coordinator, City of Knox

European RO Speakers:

Shreya Utkarsh
Officer: Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience

Gillian Dick
Spatial Planning Manager – Research & Development Development Plan Group Neighbourhoods, Regeneration & Sustainability, Glasgow City Council

Marta Mansanet Cánovas
Policy Officer: European Committee of the Regions

Holger Robrecht
Deputy Regional Director of Sustainable Resources, Climate and Resilience


Africa RO Speakers:

Bronwen Griffiths
Head: Sustainable Partnerships & Financing, Spatial Planning & Environment: Environmental Management Department, City of Cape Town

Alex Kivumbi
Principal Community Development Officer, Makindye Ssabagabo, Uganda

On the road to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 – which will take place in Montreal from 7-19 December 2022 – ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, in collaboration with ICLEI’s regional offices, is providing capacity-building webinars to demonstrate uploading actions and commitments to the CitiesWithNature Action Platform, recognized in the Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2021-2030). 

By enabling and supporting local and subnational governments to achieve the global nature goals and their commitments for nature, the Action Platform is intended to align with, and feed into, the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and National Reports to the CBD of countries that have ratified the Convention. 

With COP 15 around the corner, it is a crucial moment for local and subnational governments to demonstrate their commitments to actions that will contribute to the successful implementation of the new global biodiversity framework (GBF) and its targets. As a result, our Action Platform demonstration webinars aim to assist cities worldwide with using the tool as optimally as possible.

We have set up a range of webinars by region, as shown in the table below. For more information, contact the ICLEI Regional Officer of your region, as indicated in the table.

 We welcome you to participate in the webinar and join the concerted efforts for living in harmony with nature. 

USA RO Kale Roberts - kale.roberts@iclei.org
Calyn Hart - calyn.hart@iclei.org
Anne Marie Cleary Rauker - am.clearyrauker@iclei.org

October 26, 5.30 - 7.00pm SAST time | 11.30am (New York time)

Southeast Asia RO Russel James Andrade - russel.andrade@iclei.org

October 21, 8.30am (CEST time) | 2.30pm (Manila time)

South Asia Monalisa Sen - monalisa.sen@iclei.org
SAMS & MECS SAMS, Brazilian Municipalities

Bráulio Dias - braulio.diaz@iclei.org
Leta Vieira - leta.vieira@iclei.org
Marília Israel - marilia.israel@iclei.org
Bianca Cantoni - bianca.cantoni@iclei.org

One webinar with SAMS - only Portuguese speaking municipalities

October 13, 3 - 4.30pm CEST | 10 - 11.30am (Brasília)



SAMS and MECS for Spanish speaking municipalities Ecuador, Colombia, Amazonian areas, Perú, Mexico

Bráulio Dias - braulio.diaz@iclei.org
Leta Vieira - leta.vieira@iclei.org
Marília Israel de Azevedo Borges - marilia.israel@iclei.org
Bianca Cantoni - bianca.cantoni@iclei.org
Sergio Aranguren - sergio.aranguren@iclei.org
Ivana del Río Benítez - ivana.del.rio@iclei.org

October 25, 4.00 - 5.30pm CEST time | 10 - 11.30am (Mexico time)

Oceania RO Steve Gawler - steve.gawler@iclei.org

October 19, 7.30 am SAST time | 4.30 pm AEST

European RO Shreya Utkarsh - shreya.utkarsh@iclei.org
Alice Reil - alice.reil@iclei.org

October 18, 2 - 3:30pm CET


Canada RO Megan Meaney - megan.meaney@iclei.org
Anne Marie - anne-marie.legault@iclei.org

November 30, in English 7 - 8.30pm SAST


November 29, in French 7 - 8.30pm SAST

Africa RO Tarryn Quayle - tarryn.quayle@iclei.org
Uganda, Kisumu (Kenya), Ghana (Cape Coast City) and Quelimane and Nacala in Mozambique

Paul Currie - paul.currie@iclei.org
Madagascar

Kate Strachan - kate.strachan@iclei.org
Mozambique

Nelson de Lamare - nelson.de.lamare@iclei.org
Senegal and Burkina Faso

Ernita Van Wyk - ernita.van.wyk@iclei.org
Tanzania

Vanessa Tshite - vanessa.tshite@iclei.org
Bongiwe Simka - bongiwe.simka@iclei.org
Sierra Leone

November 2, 2 - 3.30pm SAST time

East Asia RO Shu Zhu - Shu.Zhu@iclei.org
Ge Liu - ge.liu@iclei.org
Japan Togo Uchida - togo.uchida@iclei.org
Tomoya Taniguchi - Tomoya.Taniguchi@iclei.org

Have you ever heard of a “Blue Flag beach”? Of course you have! The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. 

We are proud to announce that Blue Flag has joined the global CitiesWithNature partnership initiative! 

Image provided by: Blue Flag

Coastal zones are critical areas, not only to provide livelihoods and recreational opportunities, but because they serve as immensely important buffer areas to sea level rise, deadly floods and storm surges, while also providing essential, safe havens and breeding grounds for many fish species and countless other organisms, plants and animals. Blue Flag, founded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), will actively work with CitiesWithNature to promote nature conservation activities across its networks.

“We know that we can achieve more together than separately and will strive to make the most of our collaboration as we implement solutions for people and the planet.”

Daniel Schaffer, CEO of the Foundation for Environmental Education

To qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. The beach must comply with laws and/or regulations pertaining to issues related to coastal zone planning, environmental management, wastewater management, environmental conservation, and others in order to receive and maintain Blue Flag status.

 

With this awards system, the mission of Blue Flag is to promote sustainability in the tourism sector, through environmental education, environmental protection and other sustainable development practices. As a result of Blue Flag and its partnerships, more than 5,000 beaches, marinas and eco-tourism boats are concretely contributing to the sustainable development goals. Blue Flag also campaigns against disparity, inequality, unemployment, health threats, depletion of natural resources, environmental threats, pollution and general environmental degradation. Find out more about Blue Flag’s efforts to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals  here

 

In addition to its role in maintaining coastal ecosystems, FEE is also a recognized world leader within the fields of Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development. Through its three youth-focused educational programs, Eco-Schools, Learning about Forests (LEAF), and Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), the organization uses a solutions-based pedagogical approach to empower young people to create a more environmentally conscious world. 

 

As an international umbrella organization, FEE has over 100 members in 81 countries and has its Global Secretariat in Copenhagen, Denmark. Through this partnership, CitiesWithNature and Blue Flag will work towards bringing even more unique and tailor-made technical services, reporting mechanisms, capacity-building and funding opportunities – specifically in the field of coastal management – to our collective Blue Flag and CitiesWitNature cities and towns globally. 

“We are so pleased to welcome the highly respected global Blue Flag programme into the CitiesWithNature initiative, demonstrating our shared commitment to work with subnational and local governments in coastal cities to ensure that we live, act and plan with nature. This partnership provides a unique opportunity for urban communities and their governments to rise to the challenge and take ownership of our precious shores, committing to renewed action as part of this important Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.”

Kobie Brand, Deputy Director General of ICLEI

This new partnership comes right on time, with world leaders recognising and adopting an action-oriented Political Declaration to save the ocean from existing and future threats, including marine pollution, harmful fishing practices, biodiversity loss, and acidification at the 2022 UN Oceans Conference in Lisbon – co-hosted by Kenya and Portugal in June this year at the onset of the United Nations Decade of Oceans Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

To prioritize nature-based solutions during the “Super Year for Nature” — a year when the global community is calling for nature to have its “Paris Agreement” moment —  ICLEI USA is hosting a six-part “Biodiversity Bootcamp” learning-and-leadership virtual training series open to all U.S. cities, counties, and communities (non-ICLEI members welcome). From July 18 until August 22, 2022, every Monday 11:30 am to 12:30 pm MST, engage with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) proceedings unlike ever before.

Each Bootcamp session features a unique lens on biodiversity solutions:

  • Session 1: Introduces global frameworks and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels and outlines the Bootcamp
  • Session 2: Establishes baselines for action in support of nature, showcases natural asset mapping, and features International Union for Conservation of Nature nature-based solutions in cities’ framework
  • Session 3: Explores finance options (crowdfunding, green bonds, grant programs, and making good use of U.S. Infrastructure Bill funds)
  • Session 4: Includes community driven planningfinancing, and implementation of biodiversity solutions within local communities
  • Session 5: Focuses on community engagement and citizen science and explores city-university collaborations and their role in taking action for nature
  • Session 6: Features a ‘putting-it-all-together’ workshop, which includes reviewing success indicators, implementing a natural asset report map, and determining threats to current management

Want to take action for nature and spearhead nature-based solutions in your community? Read more about the free Biodiversity Bootcamp, and register here to be at the forefront of addressing and remediating the global biodiversity crisis.

Register now for Connective Cities’ session on planning for sustainable infrastructure titled ‘Green infrastructure: Guidance & recommendations for overcoming the implementation gap in cities’. The event will take place online on 8 June 2022 14:00 – 16:00 (CEST).

What exactly is meant with ‘Green Infrastructure’?

The European Commission defines Green Infrastructure as “a strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services such as water purification, air quality, space for recreation and climate mitigation and adaptation.”

There are already many innovative strategies and practices on local level in place when it comes to sustainable urban planning, urban greening, and land-use as well as ecosystem-based management practices. However, there is also a lack of systematic implementation of urban green infrastructure and underpinning cross-sectoral governance and management arrangements as well as access to these practice-oriented solutions and the relevant contacts.

To this end, Connective Cities and in partnership with NetworkNature is organising this session that focuses on the main barriers of green infrastructure implementation. The session also aims at highlighting best practices and experience of European and international cities in overcoming these barriers as well as introducing the audience to available guidance and resources.  The session showcases the findings of the scientific opinion paper drafted for the German Environment Agency, and a mapping of remaining nature-based solutions knowledge and implementation gaps performed as part of the H2020 project NetworkNature. The session also aims at highlighting best practices and experience of European and international cities in overcoming these barriers as well as introducing the audience to available guidance and resources.