RegionsWithNature webinar: platform emphatically endorsed

On 13 July 2022, RegionsWithNature hosted its first webinar to gather inputs from subnational governments around the world to develop and refine the platform in alignment with their needs. The webinar also offered an opportunity for the governments of Scotland, Quebec and Yucatan to showcase their policies and actions for nature, particularly on ecological infrastructure, biodiversity management and restoration. 

The enthusiasm among regional governments and partners was evident in their endorsements of the platform. Most notably, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) reaffirmed its official support to RegionsWithNature, as a groundbreaking initiative that has matured into a one-stop shop for capacity building for the next 10 years to create an implementation mechanism for actions for nature. 

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.

~ Kobie Brand, Deputy Director General of ICLEI. Tweet

 

 

Oliver Hillel, SCBD Programme Officer, stated that “RegionsWithNature is a necessary platform demonstrating the effectiveness of multilevel governance, and we need to scale up finance for territorial action. Its contributors are the pilots – the leaders for enabling subnational governments to manage territory beyond municipal borders. Collaboration is the key.”

Sayda Rodriguez, Secretary of Urban Development and Environment of Mexico’s State of Yucatan, noted that the Yucatan Governor, Mauricio Vila, “is the champion of RegionsWithNature.” She added that “through RegionsWithNature we motivate and share experiences to raise ambition for subnational governments to be at the forefront for biodiversity to make the difference.”

RegionsWithNature has been working closely with its partner Regions4 Sustainable Development. Renata Gomez, Regions4’s Biodiversity Programme Manager, explained to other partners and governments that “the RegionsWithNature platform is made by you and it is for you, to get to the CBD COP and put solutions into practice.” She highlighted that the case study database Regions4 is developing – which will be hosted on the RegionsWithNature website – can be used as “a tool to breach the gap between knowledge, reporting, science and implementation for subnational governments to translate and scale up actions on the ground.”

During the webinar, the governments of Catalonia and Quebec both emphasized the importance of RegionsWithNature in progressing the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework goals – particularly by providing a voice for regional governments and serving as an instrument for taking action for nature. Similarly, the Aichi Prefecture expressed their support for RegionsWithNature to play a role in building on the 2010 Plan of Action, as well as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Finally, the Region of Lombardy expressed their interest in joining RegionsWithNature, and also announced that they are already a signatory to the Edinburgh Declaration.

A call for action ahead of COP 15: 

UN Biodiversity’s COP15 and the 7th Global Biodiversity Summit of Cities and Subnational Governments provides an opportunity to mobilize more subnational leaders and governments to sign up to RegionsWithNature. Simultaneously, it is crucial for subnational governments to show their commitment and scale it up when it comes to implementation for RegionsWithNature to become an implementation mechanism for actions for nature.

“We cannot wait for actions, we know that cities and regions, of all shapes and sizes around the world – like-minded – are pioneering solutions and are ahead in connecting the climate and nature crisis, health and the pandemic, connecting the dots for what a sustainable future is, for all of us,” Kobie Brand,  Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability said.

She added that “we need the same platform, for the different levels of subnational governments – taking hands with states, regions, and prefectures that join to learn, inspire each other, commit their actions, and report how they deal with for example water crises, and land management crises, as well as with the urban-rural linkage when it comes to food security, restoring nature and biodiversity in this very important UN Decade on Restoration.”

Following this statement, Kobie expressed a call for action for each regional government or partner to recruit at least one region to join RegionsWithNature and make voluntary commitments to take action for biodiversity before COP15.

For more information on the nature policies by regional governments, visit the RegionsWithNature Tools & Resources page

Stefania Romano’s – CitiesWithNature and RegionsWithNature Global Coordinator responsible for Recruitment & Advocacy – presentation is here and the recording of the webinar can be found here. Below the presentations of Carolina Duarte (Yucatan), Peter Hutchinson (Scotland), and Caroline Daguet (Quebec), are available.

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Regions with Nature – 13 July 2022 – Peter Hutchinson, NatureScot Peatland Action (A3778000)

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