Global Policy

SDG 11

IUCN's SDG brochure image - SDG11

Natural areas in and around cities provide important benefits and services to society, including climate regulation, disaster risk reduction, and food and water supply. They also support the mental and physical health of urban and rural inhabitants. As cities continue to expand into natural areas, there is an urgent need to secure the continued delivery of these benefits through appropriate urban planning and management approaches.

IUCN works with governments, the private sector and the scientific community to develop and implement cost-effective ‘nature-based solutions’ to urban challenges – actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore ecosystems.


  • provides technical advice to cities and subnational governments on integrating nature-based solutions in urban and regional planning, and improving air and water quality in cities;
  • develops knowledge and guidelines for urban and regional planners on ways of including biodiversity and ecosystems in cities;
  • designs and coordinates landscape restoration programmes to conserve and manage ecosystems in and around cities, and increase local resilience to disasters;
  • assesses the state of the planet’s natural heritage, and advises business, governments and local authorities on appropriate measures to value and conserve it.
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