The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how interconnected and interdependent people are with the ecosystems that surround us, and it has also shone a light on the growing urgency for collective and ambitious action required to protect nature in our territories to prevent irreversible loss and future crisis like the one we are experiencing now.

The 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity was celebrated on 22 May under the theme “Our solutions are in nature”, a theme which reminds us now more than ever that biodiversity is the basis of life on earth, as it provides us with services and resources that are essential for humankind.

To celebrate this key date, Regions4 launched the #RegionsVoice campaign, calling on its members to showcase their leading actions to halt biodiversity loss among their territories and send a message to the Parties of the Convention with their expectations and commitments for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and COP15.

The governments of Aichi, Azuay, Basque Country, Campeche and Catalonia have raised #RegionsVoice sharing their commitment as subnational governments to keep leading the way for biodiversity protection.

The Prefect of Azuay and Regions4 President for the South, Mr Yaku Pérez, stressed the importance of preserving and incorporating traditional knowledge from indigenous peoples into biodiversity protection policies, as they are “the world’s first ecologists”.

On the other hand, Ms Elena Moreno, Deputy Minister for the Environment of Basque Country and Regions4 President for the North, highlighted the role of Regions4 as coordinator of the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments to the CBD, a permanent platform that serves to channel the perspectives of subnational governments into the CBD processes to enhance their collaboration: “The Committee is a celebration of the diversity of leadership that, despite the differences, unites northern and southern subnational governments to ensure that the new global biodiversity framework beyond 2020 includes a decision that allows the implementation of the new targets at the subnational level.”

Mr Damià Calvet, Minister of Territory and Sustainability of Catalonia, underlined the need to enhance the synergies between the global agendas, calling on the Parties to conclude the ongoing international negotiations with an ambitious, yet realistic, achievable and flexible framework aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

The state of Campeche, declared as Mixed World Heritage site by the UNESCO, joined the campaign sharing a message by Ms Ileana Herrera, Minister of the Environment, Biodiversity and Climate Change in which she reiterates Campeche’s commitment to work collectively with other Mexican regions and National Government for the effective implementation of the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. She also underscored the value of being part of a Network like Regions4, which enables subnational governments to cooperate and collaborate to implement the global agendas.

Also joining the campaign is Mr Hideaki Ohmura, Governor of Aichi Prefecture, member of the AC SNG and Regions4Biodiversity Learning Platform, who stated that the post-2020 framework must ensure cooperation between national and subnational governments and maximize each one’s strengths to achieve “transformative change”.

Finally, Regions4 Biodiversity Programme Manager, Ms Renata Gomez, underscored how the theme “Our solutions are in nature” highlights two of the Network’s core values, cooperation and solidarity, which are key to achieve the vision of living in harmony with nature, and called on all levels of government to work together to stop biodiversity loss.

We would like to congratulate and thank the leading subnational governments that have participated in the campaign so far and invite all those interested to join us. The world is currently fighting an unprecedented global crisis. It is a difficult time, but we must continue our effort to unite #RegionsVoice on the way to COP15 and beyond.

Watch the full videos and spread the word here.

Further information:

Check out our latest report “Mainstreaming Biodiversity: The Subnational Government Experience“.

Subnational governments interested in joining the Advisory Committee to the CBD and the Regions4 Biodiversity Learning Platform can do so by clicking here.