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Biodiversity at the EU Regions Week and Green Week 2020  

Following the adoption of the CoR opinion on biodiversity "“Bio-diverse cities and regions beyond 2020 at the UN CBD COP 15 and in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030" by rapporteur Roby Biwer (LU/PES), the ENVE commission co-organised with ICLEI and Regions4 three events on the topic as part of the 18th EU Regions Week and the Green Week 2020. You can read below a summary of these events.

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20 October 2020: "Biodiversity 2030: your say, our future"

The session shared the successful stories of EU cities and regions, such as Seville (ES), Murter-Kornati (HR), Nijmegen (NL), Lombardy (IT), Bettembourg (LU), Sant Cugat del Vallès (ES) and Lahti (FI) in halting biodiversity loss and ecosystems degradation. Some of the experiences shared include increased public awareness on the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services; the necessity of greener urban areas as well as the importance of generating financial changes to promote local and subnational action, including long-term investments to prevent future pandemics. Read more here.

Recording: https://euregionsweek2020-video.eu/video/biodiversity-2030-your-say-our-future

 

21 October 2020: "Catalysing Local Governments Action for the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework: Local Governments Biodiversity Action"

The European Committee of the Regions in cooperation with the South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, ICLEI and Expertise France organised this side event of the EU Regions Week to present the EU-South Africa Dialogue project that will involve, among others, CoR members and South African counterparts to share their best practices on protection and conversation of biodiversity and nature.

The event also provided insights and advocated on the active roles and actions local governments can take towards contributing to biodiversity conservation in the post-2020 global biodiversity policy framework.

Agenda, presentations and recording of welcome messages are available at http://tiny.cc/EUSA_Dialogue

 

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22 October 2020: "Biodiverse Cities And Regions Post Covid-19"

Cities like Lahti (Finland), Växjö (Sweden), Tartu (Estonia), Copenhagen (Denmark) have already developed and implemented initiatives to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of them centered on the fundamental importance of biodiversity and nature for human well-being. Some of the experiences shared include a generalized increased public awareness of the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services; the necessity of greener urban areas as well as the importance of generating financial changes to promote local and subnational action, including long-term investments to prevent future pandemics. Thanks to the European Investment Bank, participants could discover that there are financial opportunities for cities and regions to apply for.

At the European level, the EU institutions are cooperating more than ever to accelerate the action to preserve and conserve nature and biodiversity in EU cities and regions; while guaranteeing an access and right to enjoy them by their citizens. In addition to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the European Commission launched today the Green City Accord. Meanwhile, the European Committee of the Regions supports the implementation of EU policy on nature and biodiversity also via the recent Opinion “Bio-diverse cities and regions beyond 2020 at the UN CBD COP 15 and in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030". The Opinion highlights the importance of local and regional leaders in the biodiversity agenda at the European and global level.

At the global level, local and subnational governments, gathered under the Edinburgh Declaration led by the Scottish Government and partners including the European Committee of the Regions, ICLEI and Regions4 are advocating for the adoption of a new dedicated Decision at CBD COP15 for the greater inclusion of subnational governments, cities and local authorities within the post-2020 global biodiversity framework among other key messages. The Edinburgh Declaration is open for signature, more information on how to join is available at https://www.gov.scot/publications/edinburgh-declaration-on-post-2020-biodiversity-framework/pages/how-to-sign/