Moscow Urban Forum

ICLEI was represented at the Moscow Urban Forum, which was held between 6th to 12th of July. A presentation entitled 'Ecology in Metropolises- Making cities sustainable & resilient: Initiatives of ICLEI' was given in a session on 'Ecology as a trend or a non-alterative reality of metropolises?’

Over the past decades, the large scale replacement of natural ecosystems with built-up areas has put cities under increasing pressure in terms of resource scarcity, degraded air, water quality and reduced availability of green space. In addition, rising global temperatures have led to an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters such as floods, droughts and heat waves leaving densely-populated areas particularly vulnerable.

Addressing these issues, Mr. Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, spoke on the need for developing nature-based solutions in order to develop sustainable and resilient cities. He highlighted the Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) program, one of the pioneering initiatives of ICLEI which offers local governments the opportunity to take part in a range of unique global biodiversity projects to enhance biodiversity management at the local level.

Established in 2006, the LAB programme is a partnership between ICLEI and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is accepted globally as the leading action-oriented initiative dealing with biodiversity and local authorities. The program helps to strengthen biodiversity management (including links with climate change protection and communication, education and public awareness) in the participating cities and has been implemented in over 25 cities globally.

He further presented another toolkit developed by ICLEI, known as ICLEI ACCCRN Process which aims to support local governments develop climate resilience. The toolkit is being used in around 40 city regions across four different countries to help city regions become climate resilient through the development of city resilience strategies. A recently initiated project entitled 'INTERACT-Bio: Integrated sub-national action for Biodiversity- Supporting implementation of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)' which aims at mainstreaming of biodiversity objectives across City-Regions in three countries- Brazil, India and Tanzania was also showcased.

The talk also highlighted a project on integrated rural-urban water management, being implemented in two Indian cities - Solapur and Vijayawada, through a landscape approach to watershed management, across rural, urban and peri-urban boundaries. Cities were also invited to join the ICLEI-RUAF City-Food Network which aims to accelerate local and regional government action on sustainable and resilient city-region food systems by combining networking with training, policy guidance and technical expertise.

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