The Convention on Biological Diversity
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was conceived as a practical tool for translating the principles of Agenda 21 into reality. Adopted at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, it was signed then by 150 government leaders aiming at promoting sustainable development. Today, it amounts 196 signatories and recognizes that biological diversity is not only about plants, animals and micro-organisms and their ecosystems – but also about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.
Involvement of subnational governments
Subnational governments develop and implement laws, policies, strategies, standards, programs, and fiscal mechanisms in areas that directly influence the condition and preservation of the biodiversity in territories. In addition, they stay tuned with citizens’ expectations, raise awareness and trigger behavioral change. Also, subnational governments promote policy coordination, coherence, and vertical integration. Subnational governments are, in sum, an essential nexus between the national and the local levels. Indeed, their privileged position enables the collaboration with national and local governments, businesses and financial institutions, civil society and NGOs, universities and academia, tailoring their actions to the particular circumstances of populations and territories.
In acknowledgement of all the above, the CBD officially recognized and included subnational governments by means of the Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity. The Partnership was established in 2008 with the goal of bringing together all the relevant networks and initiatives involved, directly or indirectly, in implementing the CBD. Within the Global Partnership, the advisory committees of cities and of subnational governments provide specific direction based on hands-on experience, while a group of urban biodiversity researchers adds scientific expertise.
The Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments and nrg4SD
The AC SNG aims at representing the different realities of subnational governments from around the world, as well as to promoting the implementation of biodiversity policies at subnational level and contributing to the fulfilment of the Aichi Targets.
The Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments (AC SNG) to the Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity consists of the representatives of subnational governments that have hosted recent meetings of the biennial Conference of the Parties to the CBD, the host subnational government of the Secretariat, and other subnational governments that have been particularly active in the area of subnational implementation. Members to date are: Quebec, Catalonia, Sao Paolo, Rhône Alpes, Gangwon, Andra Pradesh, Aichi and Western Australia. In addition, nrg4SD acts as Co-Chair to the AC SNG. Membership is open to all. Interested subnational governments are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To date, the AC SNG has shown initiative not only in its advisory capacity, but also through example: led by Catalonia and Quebec, an action plan of projects was compiled as a model for other subnational governments to follow. In addition Catalonia, Gangwon Province and Paraná State hosted meetings of the Global Partnership. Besides, Quebec created a case-study compilation for the Working Group on the Aichi Objectives. Last, a working program ruling from 2012 to 2015 has led the AC SNG life over the past years.
At present, the AC SNG is focused on the run-up to the COP 13 and the contributions to deliver there, specifically to the Summit on Sub-nationals that the CBD will organize together with CONABIO, ANAAE (supported by nrg4SD) and ICLEI on 10-11 December.
On the run-up to the COP 13, nrg4SD held alongside to its annual General Assembly meeting, the International Conference “Subnational Governments for Biodiversity: Achieving the Aichi Targets”. The meetings took place in Barcelona, Spain, 29-30 June and 1 July 2016. The Conference counted with the participation of some AC SNG members and served as to create the common position of nrg4SD to the COP 13.