Sharing know-how and putting biodiversity at the centre of decentralised cooperation

10 September 2021

Mayors, regional leaders and local government associations met on Wednesday afternoon (8 September) at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille (France) to affirm the essential role that local and regional governments play to preserve biodiversity, especially through decentralised cooperation projects and partnerships.

This session on decentralised cooperation’s role in protecting biodiversity was organised by CEMR’s French Association (AFCCRE), together with the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (DAECT), the French Committee of IUCN and Eco-Mayors. It was moderated by Frédéric Vallier, CEMR Secretary General. This session was the second part of a “local government day” organised by AFCCRE ahead of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) which will take place on 11 October 2021, in Kunming, China. 

During the session, participants shared expertise on the causes of biodiversity loss and best practices for finding nature-based solutions. Several concrete examples of international cooperation partnerships were presented by the Ile-de-France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur regions, as well as the Isère County Council. Bush meet, chimpanzee, water, bees or national parcs were among the projects presented with Senegal, Morocco, Brazil or Benin.

Education, information and communication

Céline Burlet, Vice-president in charge of Sensitive Natural Areas and Biodiversity at Isère County Council and Abdou Diouf, curator of the Boundou Community Nature Reserve in Senegal, especially insisted on the need to educate and inform local communities about biodiversity issues and communicate about the projects and partnerships.

Marlene Hölzner, Head of local authorities, civil society organsiations, at DG INTPA, European Commission, presented the financing instruments and funding opportunities for decentralised cooperation at EU level, when Xavier d’Argoeuves from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (DAECT) focused on national support.

“The different examples presented in this session show that concrete actions have real impacts,” concluded Valérie Dumontet, Vice-President of the Department of Aude and President of the SDG Group of Cités Unies France.



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