Subnational and local governments worldwide have released the Edinburgh Declaration to call on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Parties to take strong and bold action to effectively halt biodiversity loss.

Led by the Scottish Government, the Edinburgh Declaration is the result of the Edinburgh Process, which brought together delegates and decision-makers from the subnational and local levels of government from across the globe to update them on the progress in developing the post-2020 global biodiversity framework;  seek views and feed these back into the CBD internal processes on the way to COP15; and review and request a new, stepped-up CBD Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and other Local Authorities to be adopted at COP-15.

Subnational governments and local authorities are key agents in delivering actions to address global biodiversity loss and help national governments achieve the objectives of the CBD. As key actors in helping to achieve the commitments and targets of the Convention, the Declaration urges for greater recognition of the role these levels of government play in delivering on a new global framework of targets set to be agreed on the second quarter of 2021 at COP15 (Kunming, China).

Signatories are committed to continue supporting the 2050 vision of “living in harmony with nature”, recognising that subnational governments actions in implementing and mainstreaming biodiversity must be accompanied by supporting mechanisms and enabling conditions at all levels of government with a vertically integrated and cross-cutting governance approach. Furthermore, signatories stress the need for immediate and increased efforts to mobilise financial resources to enhance and implement these efforts.

Scotland’s Environment Secretary, Ms. Roseanna Cunningham said:

“It is my firm belief – one shared by all signatories of the Edinburgh Declaration – that State-led action alone is not sufficient to put us on a path to recovery, achieving what is required to protect biodiversity across the globe. The Edinburgh Declaration makes it clear that subnational governments, cities and local authorities across the world, stand ready to meet the challenge of delivering the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and play a stronger role in its implementation.”

The Edinburgh Declaration is the result of a one-year collaboration across international governments and organisations committed to making the most of their expertise and resources to mainstream biodiversity across public, private and business sectors to achieve greater environmental, societal and economic resilience.

Regions4 and the Government of Quebec, on behalf of the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments to the CBD join the Scottish Government, the Government of Wales, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs of the UK,  ICLEI, the European Committee of the Regions, Scottish Natural Heritage, UNEP-WCMC, and the Group of Leading Subnational governments toward Aichi Biodiversity Targets (GoLS) in the call for action to address the biodiversity crisis with greater ambition to deliver transformative actions.

Regions4 Secretary General, Mr. Iñaki Susaeta, highlighted:

We at Regions4 are proud to share the Edinburgh Declaration, a document that led by the Scottish Government, gathers the ambitions of leading local and subnational governments and their networks for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The Declaration is also a call for action to join us and our partners in our commitment to work together with the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and do our best to play a stronger role in the implementation of the post-2020 action targets.” 

Further information

Subnational governments and interested stakeholders can access the Edinburgh Declaration at the Scottish Governtment’s website.

To know more about the work of the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments we invite you to read the report Mainstreaming Biodiversity: The subnational government experience.

About Regions4

Regions4 is a global network that solely represents regional governments (states, regions and provinces) before UN processes, 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 and currently represents over 40 members from 22 countries in 4 continents. Through advocacy, cooperation and capacity building, Regions4 empowers regional governments to accelerate global action. For more information, visit:

For more information, please contact:

Mayra García-Blásquez
Regions4 Division of Communications  /