From 9 to 11 December, 700 delegates from over 70 countries gathered in Cancun, Mexico for the 5th Global Biodiversity Summit of Cities and Subnational Governments, where they focused on ways to mainstream biodiversity as part of development planning.
Co-organized by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, SEMARNAT, CONABIO and ANAAE, the summit marked a decade of cooperation between nations and local and subnational governments on biodiversity and nature-based solutions. It was also the largest such event held to date.
The key outcome of the summit was the Quintana Roo Communiqué on Mainstreaming Local and Subnational Biodiversity Action, which was submitted for consideration to nations that have signed onto the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The communiqué highlights priority focus areas that will enable local and subnational governments to contribute to global biodiversity targets, known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. It specifically calls on nations and partners to:
The summit provides an important platform for engaging local and subnational governments in the global biodiversity process, which is becoming increasingly urgent “because we are losing biodiversity at rates faster than ever before,” Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico reminded participants.
During a rich variety of plenary, breakaway and roundtable sessions, delegates discussed issues such as the role of local and subnational governments in the new global development agenda and the opportunities to finance local biodiversity initiatives.
The summit was also a moment to announce and promote the following biodiversity-related initiatives: