We are Regions4

We are the global voice of regional governments (states, regions and provinces) before UN negotiations, European Union initiatives and global discussions in the fields of climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development. Regions4 was established in 2002 at the World Summit in Johannesburg as the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development – nrg4SD. In 2019, it became Regions4, and now represents 42 regional governments from 20 countries in 4 continents.

Our History

2002

  • June - Bali Preparatory meeting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development: regional governments from across the world highlight the lack of visibility and representation of their realities. The Rio 1992 outcomes, such as the Agenda 21 are not targeting regional governments (RGs), but only national and local governments, when sustainable development is an inclusive concept that has to be endorsed by all public and private actors.
  • August 2002 - World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg: Parallel meeting with 23 RGs and 4 associations of RGs resulting in the signature of the Gauteng Declaration. This is the first time RGs are ready to endorse collectively sustainable development.

2003

  • Conference of regional governments and associations of regional governments in San Sebastian, Basque Country.
  • Formal creation of the nrg4SD and its Statutes, as well as election of Chairs and Steering Committee members. nrg4SD becomes the first global network focusing on sustainable development and representing only RGs or associations of RGs.
  • Basque Country becomes Chair for the North and Secretariat, and Western Cape becomes Chair for the South.

2004 – 2006

  • Establishment of task forces and bilateral cooperation projects among nrg4SD members.
  • First General Assembly meeting in Lake Toba, hosted by North Sumatra.
  • The UNFCCC COP11 offers the opportunity to connect nrg4SD with the Climate Group with the signing of the Declaration of the Federated States and Regional Governments on Climate Change.

2008

  • Saint-Malo Conference with the participation of 650 delegates representing 99 regions and 30 decentralised governments - Strategic forum for the exchange of regional experiences in tackling climate change and for the planning of the Network’s future.
  • Brittany becomes Chair for the North and Sao Paulo becomes Chair for the South.
  • Catalonia, with the support of nrg4SD, presents at UNFCCC COP14 an amendment with the inclusion of the term “subnational governments” for the first time in the negotiating text.

2009

  • Active participation of the nrg4SD at the 2nd Conference of Governors in Los Angeles.
    Important visibility of nrg4SD at UNFCCC COP15 in Copenhagen.
  • nrg4SD becomes an accredited organisation to UNEP.
  • Wales becomes Chair for the North and Secretariat.
  • Second amendment presented by several regional networks to the Bonn UNFCCC preparatory meeting for the inclusion and recognition of subnational governments in the shared vision.

2010

  • The Chairs lead nrg4SD participation in Bonn at the first formal meeting of subnational governments with the working group of UNFCCC.
  • UNFCCC COP16 recognises for the first time the need to engage local and subnational governments as governmental stakeholders, and key participants in the climate process (Decision 1/CP.16 par. 7).
  • Establishment of nrg4SD headquarters in Brussels.
  • Engagement of subnational governments in the UN Rio +20 preparations.
  • nrg4SD becomes organising partner of the Local Authorities Major Group within ECOSOC and UN-DESA.
  • CBD COP10 Nagoya adopts the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Decision X/22 establishes a Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity, creating the Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments, and recognising the role of nrg4SD.
  • General Assembly meeting in Montevideo: the tandem Aragon-Catalonia becomes Chair for the North and an independent Secretariat is consolidated.

2011

  • General Assembly meeting in Quebec: Declaration of Quebec, consolidating nrg4SD as voice of the regions in sustainable development.
  • MoU between nrg4SD and The Climate Group for climate change cooperation.
  • First AC SNG meeting, consolidating strong projects and engagement of regions with CBD.

2012

  • Rio+20 Conference and World Summit of States and Regions in Rio de Janeiro: Recognition of the role of subnational governments in implementing sustainable development alongside being included in the “Future We Want” declaration (par. 42).
  • General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro: Declaration of Rio, establishing an expert group to work on indicators for Sustainable Development in regional governments, which later fed into the UN SDGs negotiations.

2013

  • UNFCCC COP19 addressed the important engagement of subnational authorities in sharing and implementing climate actions (Decision 1/ CP.19 par. 5b).
  • Active contribution to the UN Open Working Group on SDGs. Engagement in the Communitas Coalition to advocate for a territorial perspective.
  • General Assembly meeting in Sao Paulo alongside the International Conference on “Climate Change and Biodiversity: Federal Dialogue and Paradiplomacy”, emphasizing the integration of different thematic global agendas. Catalonia is re-elected as Chair for the North.

2014

  • nrg4SD launches the Visiting Expert and Call4Projects Programs aimed at co-funding technical exchanges and projects among members.
  • General Assembly meeting in Cartagena de Indias in the framework of the 6th World Summit of Subnational Governments with contributions from nrg4SD members.
  • Western Province becomes Chair for the South.
  • Joint partnership with The Climate Group for the launch of the Compact of States and Regions at the UN Climate Summit in New York.

2015

  • nrg4SD launches the RegionsAdapt initiative, focused on climate adaptation during the UNFCCC COP21.
  • COP21 outcome, the Paris Agreement, affirms the importance of engagement of all levels of governments and non-Party stakeholders, including cities and subnational governments (Paris Agreement Preamble par. 15, par. 7.2, 11.2, 8.4.h; Decision 1/ CP.21 Preamble par. 15, par.74.d&g, 106, 109, 124, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120.d, 121.b, 134-137) . Accordingly, supporting implementation becomes part of nrg4SD core strategies.
  • UN Sustainable Development Summit adopts 2030 Agenda and SDGs, with special recognition to the role of subnational governments on implementation and follow-up, as well as a stand-alone SDG for cities and regions: SDG 11.
  • nrg4SD develops a pilot project for mutual learning on biodiversity strategies at subnational level and is appointed by the CBD as coordinator to the AC SNG.

2016

  • Important visibility of nrg4SD at UNFCCC COP22 in Marrakech around the first results of RegionsAdapt.
  • nrg4SD becomes part of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MP-GCA), launched at COP22.
  • At CBD COP13, nrg4SD launches the Regions for Biodiversity Learning Platform: a long-term project to support the implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity at the subnational level, with a special focus on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011- 2020 and the Aichi Targets.
  • General Assembly meeting in Barcelona, Catalonia, alongside the international conference Regions for Biodiversity- Achieving the Aichi Targets.
  • General Assembly meeting in Barcelona, Catalonia, alongside the international conference Regions for Biodiversity- Achieving the Aichi Targets.
  • Flanders becomes Chair for the North.

2017

  • The CBD Executive Secretary endorses the nrg4SD Regions for Biodiversity Learning Platform.
  • HLPF Ministerial Declaration emphasizes the need to localise the SDGs and to collaborate with subnational governments (E/HLS/2017/1, §28).
  • nrg4SD joins the UNEP BreatheLife Campaign and becomes representative of the initiative before regional governments.
  • nrg4SD celebrates its 15th anniversary in the General Assembly meeting in Saint Denis, La Réunion, with the approval of La Reunion Island Declaration- an updated vision of the Gauteng Declaration.
  • Azuay is appointed as Chair for the South.
  • UNFCCC COP23 launches the Talanoa Dialogue process, seeking active engagement of non-Party stakeholders (Decisions 1/ CP.23 Annex II).

2018

  • nrg4SD launched the Subnational Coalition for Biodiversity Action through the Advisory Committee of Subnational Governments during COP14 with the support of CBD ES Pasça Palmer.
  • • nrg4SD contributes to the HLPF with the report “Localising the SDGs: regional governments paving the way”.
  • • nrg4SD appointed as co-focal point of the human settlements group of the MP-GCA.
  • • Active contribution of nrg4SD to the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue.
  • • UNFCCC COP24 invites Parties to consider the outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue when preparing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) (Decision 1/ CP.24 par.37).

2019

  • nrg4SD changes its brand to Regions4.
  • The Basque Country is appointed as Chair for the North

Our mission

To empower regional governments by enabling the strongest connections inside and outside the network and translating them into impactful action.

Our values

Taking care of our relationships is our way of strengthening our ties and honouring our interdependence. To us, the quality of our connections is what builds community and common purpose. After all, organisations are made of people, and only people can drive change.

Our network is made for regions and by regions. Every step we take is the result of a collaborative process. We believe that co-accountability leads to meaningful action, close to real needs and real impact targeted.

To us, each territory is unique and indispensable for the valorisation and protection of life. All background is valid, and all knowledge counts. We believe everyone has something to share and learn in our global community and no one should be left behind.

The diversity of our parts is the wealth of our whole. Through strong connections inside and outside our network, we enable pathways to cooperation, learning, and innovation. Every connection is an opportunity to be inspired and to inspire.

Our passion drives our constant quest for improvement. Every challenge is an opportunity to enhance quality and excellence in the preservation of life in all its manifestations. We are ambitious; we go beyond.

Why are Regional Governments important for sustainable development?

1

Closeness to citizens:

understanding of social demands, capacity to engage stakeholders and strategic position to trigger behaviours.

2

Strategic link between the local & the national levels:

vertical integration of policies, as well as coordination and coherence of actions.

3

Strategic competences

that amplify the capacity of national governments towards the achievement of global goals.

4

Proximity to the territory:

better understanding of issues and position to act, collection of bottom-up information for global decisions.

5

Holistic understanding of jurisdictions:

comprehensive ecosystem approach ensuring rural-urban linkages and localisation of global goals.

Want to know how we empower regional level?

Learn about our work