How local governments can lead the biodiversity movement: New ICLEI Global Ambassador for Local Biodiversity will shine a spotlight on local action

Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods while 1.6 billion people, including 70 million indigenous people, depend on forests for their livelihood. Nature underpins our very existence and livelihoods and is integral to the effective functioning and well-being of urban communities. The decline of the natural world, due to 

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Asian cities act on biodiversity on the road to 2020

In the last decade, the campus of Peking University in Beijing has recorded sightings of over 200 bird species – accounting for one seventh of all bird species in China. Cities are home to extraordinary amounts of animal and plant biological diversity. As cities work to develop comprehensive approaches to protecting these natural resources, the 

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Resilient Cities 2018: Driving global conversations

Knowledge exchange and technical deep dives are always core elements of the annual Resilient Cities congress. The program is designed for a critical examination of emerging issues in urban resilience and informative exchanges around them. Sessions cover a diversity of topics, so that every participant can find his or her place in the conversation, from 

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Plotting a new course: Towards external financing for nature-based solutions in cities

By Ingrid Coetzee, Senior Manager, Biodiversity and Nature-based Solutions, ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center (CBC) and Kobie Brand, Director of the CBC   The challenge of rapid urbanization The United Nations World Cities Report 2016, Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures, predicts that by 2030 two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities. It further 

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Improving cities with nature: Introducing INTERACT-Bio

By Kobie Brand, Director of the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center — INTERACT-Bio is about working together to mainstream biodiversity and associated nature-based solutions into the way we plan and build the cities of the Global South. This ambitious new project enables ICLEI to work directly with nine biodiverse city-regions, their national governments and other stakeholders 

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Why nature matters in our new urban world: Making the case for nature in cities

For over 10,000 years people have been irresistibly drawn to urban life, where they live, work and play in close proximity. Our early settlements often rose, quite literally, from mud to irrevocably transform society, necessitating the development of new codes of behavior and laws to reorganize ourselves in a world of close coexistence. We have 

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How cities are using nature for sustainable urban development

Nature-based solutions can address urban challenges exacerbated by growing urban populations and the impacts of climate change. They are multi-functional, cost-effective and provide a wide range of benefits, from improving public health to reducing energy costs and pollution to regenerating urban spaces. Local governments can use green roofs and green infrastructure to help cities become 

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Green and blue infrastructure: a solution with multiple benefits

by David Lammers, MSc Environmental Studies and Sustainability Studies, Lund University Water systems have a crucial function in many cities. Rivers and coastlines act as veins of life as they provide cities with a plethora of ecosystem services – water supply, income generation, relaxation and many more. At the same time, however, they can be the 

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Trees make cities cooler

From Chicago to Paris, Ottawa or Montreal, cities look for solutions to cope with hotter summers and climate change adverse effects. The solutions might be simpler than one might think. Due to the high building density and surfaces of covered soils, cities have lost the ability to regulate temperature and, in fact, are creating heat 

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Cities in Action: São Paulo’s Protected Areas

São Paulo is the largest city in South America, with over 11 million inhabitants. Remarkably, 40% of its metropolitan area is still covered by forest. In the inner city, the vegetated areas are fragmented and scattered throughout the urban area. However, the scenario is completely different in the peripheral areas – especially in the South 

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