IUCN along with UNESCO has signed a deal to support the development of the designation process for urban areas to become urban biospheres.This followed the City Biodiversity Summit at the Tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10).
IUCN and UNESCO signed up to the partnership with ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and the United Nations University.
“With more than half the world’s population already living in cities, and consuming most of the planet’s resources, IUCN realizes that effective conservation cannot be confined to remote and pristine natural areas, but should take a holistic view and include all relevant actors, including urban authorities,” said Dr Hans Friedrich, Head of IUCN’s Europe Office.
Both UNESCO and IUCN will contribute their expertise on existing designation mechanisms, and collaborate on developing innovative activities linking policy makers, urban planners, scientists and educators for a better understanding and management of linked social and ecological systems in urban landscapes.
“During the 2008 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain, our global membership adopted a resolution that calls for the establishment of networks of urban protected areas; this agreement with UNESCO and ICLEI is a step towards the achievement of this resolution,” added Friedrich.