Sunday, January 16, 2011

Local Action for Biodiversity

LAB Pioneers

The following local governments are the pioneer LAB participants. Click on a link for more information about each of them.

Conserving biodiversity through careful local and regional planning

Amsterdam is home to a large variety of fauna and flora and the city goes to great lengths to maintain the status quo. There are approximately 200,000 trees in the city’s open spaces, and the collage of interconnected landscapes provides a home to many wild animals, including 140 species of birds 34 mammal species, 60 fi sh species, 6 species of frog and salamanders, as well as the grass snake. Download full case description

Barcelona to initiate 5 biodiversity initiatives
Barcelona’s biodiversity efforts are rooted in the results of a comprehensive Local Agenda 21 process of several years ago which indicated the population’s interest in strong biodiver- sity protection. The City of Barcelona, which is known for innovative environmental policies, has transformed this interest into a series of concrete on-the-ground projects. The city is already working on the implementation of the 5 new biodiversity initiatives, forming step 5 of the ICLEI’s Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) Project. Download full case description

Local action & global interaction for biodiversity
Adopting the guiding principle of the 17 UN organisations seated in Bonn, the city is working towards sustainable development worldwide. Local biodiversity has long been highly regarded in Bonn – some 51 % of the city area is under  protection, with visible impacts on land use and spatial planning. Awareness- raising and education are key-activities – these help foster a global focus. As host city to UNCBD COP 9 in May 2008, Bonn has liaised with other cities and their networks to establish the Bonn Call for Action and to provide substantial local level con- tributions to national and global strategies. Download full case description

World heritage within a city border
The City of Cape Town encompasses world class biodiversity and is one of only three cities in the world ranked as an urban biodiversity hotspot. It is located within the Cape Floral Kingdom (CFK), the smallest and most diverse of only six floral kingdoms in the world. It is also home to two UNESCO world heritage sites, provincial reserves, a national park and overlaps with two UNESCO biosphere reserves. The City is playing an active role in conjunction with local, national and international partners to protect and preserve this unique and priceless natural heritage. Download full case description

BioCity Programme: mainstreaming biodiversity
Curitiba’s BioCity Programme combines public and private initiatives in an effort to contribute to the global target to reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010. The  BioCity Program aims to halt the rapid rate at which cities develop, which can affect natural areas, destroy ecosystems, fragment natural spaces and often drives species to extinction. Download full case description

Socio-economic values of ecosystems
eThekwini Municipality is one of the first cities in the world to recognise the economic contribution of open spaces and ecosystems services. To document the important life-sustaining environmental services of ecosystems, the municipality conducted an economic valuation of those services, which has helped inform appropriate management and resourcing of Durban’s open space system. With an estimated replacement value of US$ 400 million per year in 2003, excluding the contribution to annual tourism-related turn-over, eThekwini Municipality has made a strong economic argument for conserving its biodiversity. Download full case description

Planning for a functional ecological network
The City of Edmonton, home to North America’s largest municipally-owned urban park, has used innovative approaches to protect and manage its urban biodiversity. The City’s ecological network approach is increasingly supported in new plans and policy, and has driven recent efforts to incorporate ecological design into new neighbourhoods. Edmonton is well-supported by an active conservation community, and much of the work done to date has been accomplished through partnerships with citizen groups, conservation organizations, the academic community and local developers. Download full case description

Rehabilitation of an important ecological system
Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is home to important hydrological systems and endangered grassland biomes. In terms of the Ekurhuleni Biodiversity and Open Space Strategy, the Elsburgspruit Project has been identifi ed for priority conservation action. The project, which will rehabilitate the ecosystem and restore the ecological services provided by the site while creating a high quality public open space, is accompanied by a host of socio-economic and environmental benefits. Download full case description

Regional support for municipal biodiversity management
When it comes to biodiversity management, regional authorities can play a key role as initiators and facilitators of processes. Île-de-France is an example of a region which has been actively coordinating efforts to manage and protect biodiversity within its area by means of driving the process, involving all stakeholders and financing activities. Download full case description

Public Participation to preserve biological heritage
The urbanisation of the City of Joondalup is relatively recent, with intense urban development only occurring in the last 30 years. The City of Joondalup is committed to preserving its huge natural heritage and is doing so through extensive public participation and education initiatives. Joondalup’s Public Participation Policy and Strategy together with its biodiversity initiatives have led to successful biodiversity projects including Adopt a Coastline, Water Wise Gardens and the Green Frog Stencilling Project. Download full case description

Mainstreaming biodiversity management into local governance
King County has a forum for integrating biodiversity into its management goals and decisionmaking. However, it has experienced various challenges associated with mainstreaming biodiversity into its governance and as a result has compiled a list of lessons learned that may be helpful to the other cities. With respect to coordinated biodiversity conservation eff orts with other local governments (cities) in King County, the most progress has been made in the area of salmon conservation and the recovery of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Multi-jurisdictional forums have been established at the watershed scale to develop and implement salmon conservation plans, and a similar inter-jurisdictional effort supports the recovery of Puget Sound. Download full case description.

Innovative measures to maintain social well-being through biodiversity
Leicester is a compact and densely populated city, with most of its open space serving the recreational and communal needs of the city’s residents. Wildlife here must survive alongside human inhabitants in this managed open space. People benefi t both mentally and physically from green outdoor surroundings and most importantly contact with wildlife helps to improve the general quality of life in the city. Download full case desciption.

Incentives for Wise Management of Biodiversity
Liverpool City Council uses various conservation incentives to encourage conservation action and the protection and enhancement of its rich and threatened biodiversity. Examples include recognition and awards for its environmental volunteers and  involvement in the state BioBanking scheme. Download full case description.

Biodiversity for well-being and sustainable livelihoods
The City of Nagoya, with a population of 2.2 million, faces many pressures and threats to its urban biodiversity. However, Nagoya is proudly championing initiatives to ensure the well-being and sustainable lifestyles of its citizens. Informed by its basic environment targets, the City of Nagoya has implemented large scale reduction of city waste and encourages re-use, reduction and recycling of waste. Nagoya has also initiated eco-life activities to reduce CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions. Download full case description

Urban contribution to protecting the rain forests
As the largest metropolis in the Southern hemisphere and major financial and commercial centre, São Paulo is an important consumer of natural resources and has therefore adopted a series of measures to protect biodiversity. Download full case description

Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration
Rapid urbanization in Seoul since the 1970’s, caused either fragmentation or a complete loss of green spaces such as forests, streams, and wetlands within the city. This resulted in a reduction of natural habitat and a sharp decrease in the city’s biodiversity. Many species of animals and plants which were once readily found, such as swallows, frogs, and aquatic plants, are now rare. However, the advent of the popularly-elected local government in 1996 has led to eff orts to conserve the remaining ecosystems and attempts have been made to enhance biodiversity by restoring damaged habitats. Download full case description.

Tilburg’s Green Template and Ecological Map protect & conserve biodiversity
Tilburg is the sixth largest city in the Netherlands and one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world. This results in pressures on natural areas in the city. The City of Tilburg’s Green Template and Ecological Map show its commitment and innovation in protecting and conserving its natural environment and its biodiversity. Tilburg was also the first city to sign the Countdown 2010 Declaration. Download full case description.

Citizens engage in conserving native species
Waitakere’s biodiversity has undergone considerable modification particularly during the past 160 years. Now the City of Waitakere is encouraging the public to take part in actions aimed at bringing back native species and restoring existing ecosystems, such as streams. Waitakere also intensively involves the local Maori population in biodiversity management and decision making through structures like the Te Taumata Runanga Standing Committee to the Waitakere City Council. Download full description

Biodiversity: an asset for future development
Walvis Bay is blessed with a rich biodiversity and very special but fragile ecosystems. Its ecosystems comprise the Namib Desert dunes and associated gravel plains, the Walvis Bay coastline and lagoon, the ephemeral Kuiseb River Delta and other ecosystems. This presents various development opportunities (e.g. tourism), which simultaneously poses a threat to these local assets. The Municipality of Walvis Bay meets the challenges in controlling human activities impacting on the fragile ecosystems through various environmental management policies, strategies and programs. Download full case description

Management and conservation through public education
Despite fast and dynamic urban development and land-use changes, among different city landscapes that still enable rich biodiversity, some present the last vestiges of habitat for species that are endangered and threatened with extinction throughout Europe. Through educating the public from a very young age, as one of the measures, the City of Zagreb hopes to ensure the survival, enhancement and continued  management of these areas. Download full case description.

Abu Dhabi Municipality, United Arab Emirates

Mexico City, Mexico