Cities rally around nature in the quest to become more resilient

In Montreal, they’re building Canada’s largest urban park. Once complete, the 8,000-hectare nature sanctuary will be eight times as large as New York’s Central Park.  In Bonn, green roofs are now mandatory for any surface larger than 200 square metres.  And 100 cities across Europe are currently involved in over 1,000 nature-based best practice solutions 

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Collaboration cultivates innovation: How ICLEI Africa and the City of Cape Town have been pioneering local sustainability action for two decades

In its 30 years of urban sustainability work, ICLEI has partnered closely with many of the world’s cities to form long-standing, mutually supportive relationships. The relationship between the City of Cape Town and ICLEI Africa is a key example. The City’s Executive Director of Spatial Planning and Environment, Mr Osman Asmal, reflects. The City of 

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Pictorial book celebrates wild edibles of Goa

Wild edible plants play an important role in the food of the communities living in Goa. While they form a significant portion of the cuisine in different seasons, they often remain undocumented. These biological resources are vanishing fast due to rapid urbanisation, and with them the associated traditional ecological knowledge. To counter this trend and 

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Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony is uniting artists and local governments to act for nature

Imagine being in nineteenth century Europe. Imagine walking on a city street and hearing people complain about the smell and dirty drinking water. Imagine coughing because of the dusty air. While we can only imagine that experience, German classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven saw the reality of pollution and environmental degradation by living, working and 

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Three stories for local governments to watch in 2020

As we kick off a new decade, environment takes center stage. For the first time, the top five global threats in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report are all environmental. Climate action failure and biodiversity loss make the top five both in terms of likelihood and level of impact.

Mainstreaming nature in Malawi: Bringing local-level knowledge to national decision-making

In a time when cities are bursting at the seams, policy reform is vital to protect ecosystems and build climate resilient cities that preserve urban nature. This three-part series will share three policy victories in Malawi where nature is being conserved and considered  in Lilongwe City, the country’s capital, and beyond. Lilongwe City is often 

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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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The case of Toluca, Mexico: Integrating ecosystems services in urban planning

In the central-eastern region of Mexico, it is expected that by 2020 eighty-six percent of the population will live in cities. As the capital of the fifth largest Metropolitan Zone in Mexico, Toluca is working to improve livability in the face of this rapid urbanization, and nature is a key part of their approach. The 

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9 cities that lead on nature-based development

The health of natural ecosystems is crucial to the health of cities and urban populations. From essential services like water purification, flood control and climate regulation to a range of physical and mental health benefits, societies thrive by building a strong connection to nature. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem changes are a reality in our urban 

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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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