Post-2020 global biodiversity framework - Edinburgh Process: report

This report details the outcomes of the Edinburgh Process for subnational and local governments and Edinburgh Declaration relating to the post-2020 biodiversity framework.

Views on the post 2020 global biodiversity framework zero draft from a subnational and local government perspective

10. The key objective of this part of the Edinburgh Process was to seek the views of subnational and local governments (SNLG) on the Zero Draft document of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. In particular whether it covered the key biodiversity issues, achieved the level of ambition required and provided the implementation framework needed by subnational and local governments, in line with the whole of government approach.

11. Views were sought through a series of online regional information sessions, thematic webinars and a written consultation. Four regional information session were held to initiate the process and inform participants: Europe/North America (Chair: Prof Sir Ian Boyd, Scottish Government); Africa (Chair: Kobie Brand, ICLEI); South America (Chair: Renata Gomez, Regions4); and, Asia/Pacific (Chairs: Togo Uchida, ICLEI Japan; Teru Kisuna, GOLS/Aichi Prefecture). These events were attended by the Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework who outlined the post-2020 process and the role of subnational and local governments.

12. These sessions highlighted the valuable role that the subnational constituency plays in helping people adapt to addressing major issues such as pandemic responses. It was noted that action will take place at a local government level to implement the framework therefore it is clear that cities and regions will have a key role in delivering the framework and in helping to meet the targets - they will be a key part to helping deliver a successful framework. Participants noted that the outputs of the Edinburgh Process are intended to deliver positive and transformative actions for biodiversity, therefore subnational participation in this process was critical.

13. A series of four thematic webinars were also held across May and June 2020 with presentations from national and sub-national perspective, to allow participants to discuss in more detail specific topics of interest to subnational and local governments. The thematic webinars were convened by Edinburgh Process partners and collaborating organisations and covered the following topics: Monitoring and Reporting (Organiser: ICLEI); Linkage between Climate change and Biodiversity (Organiser: IDDRI); Nature Based Solutions (Organiser: ICELI); and, Resource Mobilisation (Organiser: European Committee of the Regions). Details on the key outcomes of these webinars can be found here; and the webinars are available to view on the Edinburgh Process YouTube channel. Key messages are set out in figure 1 below:

Figure 1 Thematic webinar key messages

Monitoring and Reporting

  • A strong layered framework for all levels of government should be developed to capture the collective actions of cities and regions in implementing the GBF;
  • There is a strong willingness at local and subnational levels to engage and monitor progress, and for strong multi-level governance and vertical integration to monitor at various scales;
  • The post-2020 GBF should be explicit on the role of local and subnational governments in its goals and action targets, and that within the accompanying monitoring framework monitoring and reporting of progress at the local and subnational level is considered;
  • Greater involvement of local and subnational levels in monitoring progress is a key element of the framework and should be captured within a renewed Plan of Action for the next decade.

Linkage between Climate change and biodiversity

  • Subnational authorities would contribute strongly from the bottom-up to a greater convergence of climate and biodiversity policies, having established regional and global networks to share lessons on the challenges, best practices, multi-level interactions, and increased mobilisation to deliver enabling conditions and means of implementation for local action;
  • They face diverse realities, especially on growing land-use conflicts, which need to be taken into account by the international community;
  • It is crucial for States to implement highly coordinated climate and biodiversity ambitions; to properly consult with the subnational level when formulating and implementing national climate and biodiversity strategies and policies; and explore multi-level interactions to help delineate clearer roles for each governance level;
  • It is imperative that subnational governments are better integrated into the implementation process and that States, global and regional networks reflect subnational voices.

Nature Based Solutions

  • Subnational and local governments (SNLG) play a crucial role in delivering NBS - adopting adequate local environmental legislation, providing guidance for implementation at landscape and local scales, financial and technical support within their jurisdictions, working in partnership with various authorities, private, academic, and non-profit sectors, and creating new economic and R&D sectors through NBS planning and implementation;
  • SNLG networks ensure alignment for dedicated biodiversity action and synergies across jurisdictions, creating the enabling conditions needed to implement NBS at local levels, and ensuring capacity building with input and engagement across the whole of society;
  • A convergence of the biodiversity agenda with other international agenda, e.g. SDG and Climate, would strengthen the position and importance of both the biodiversity agenda and NBS simultaneously addressing multiple challenges;
  • SNLG can highlight the importance of NBS for quality of life and human health (especially in the context of a global pandemic such as COVID-19) and help to build the public support needed for NBS implementation.

Resource Mobilisation

  • Subnational governments are on the front line in taking action on biodiversity, and national governments are often unaware of the scale of investment required at local level. The inclusion of investments into reporting structures, would allow assessment of investments made at different levels of government;
  • While some finance opportunities exist, such opportunities are not enough to meet the investment needs of subnational governments. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, national governments should support subnational governments in the leveraging of finance from additional sources, such as the private sector;
  • The ecosystem approach is a wide and well-structured system that should be applied in resource implementation to create efficiencies across all levels of governance;
  • The post-2020 framework must improve the readiness and capacity of local and subnational governments to access and harness financial resources in support of the implementation of the post-2020 framework.

14. During a six week consultation period the subnational constituency submitted written, online responses to their views on the Zero Draft document of the post-2020 GBF. The key outcomes and issues were collated and presented to participants at a second online regional information session:

  • Asia/Pacific (Chairs: Togo Uchida, ICLEI Japan; Teru Kisuna, Aichi Prefecture);
  • Americas/Africa/Europe (Chair: Prof Sir Ian Boyd, Scottish Government).

15. The OEWG Co-chairs again attended these sessions, updating participants on the progress of the post-2020 process and participating in discussions on the role of the subnational constituency in implementing the post-2020 framework. The results of the online consultation are set out below – for clarity this is on the first version of the Zero Draft version, which was presented at OEWG-2 and not the updated version published on 17 August 2020.



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