After a year of delay, due to COVID-19, the 3rd meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (OEWG-3) took place online from 23 August – 3 September 2021. The two weeks of intense dialogue amongst Parties and the CBD Secretariat allowed the Working Group to approve a first draft report, which includes important statements from the discussions held in contact groups.

Though the discussions were not formally a negotiation, the statements shared by the Parties and Observer organizations will become the basis of an in-person discussion that will take place in January 2022, in Geneva (Switzerland).

As partners of the Edinburgh Process, Regions4 and many other ally organizations such as ICLEI, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and leading subnational governments such as Québec, co-coordinator of the Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments (AC SNG), Scotland, Aichi and São Paulo, actively participated in the discussions and received explicit support from Parties including the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Colombia and Singapore, among others.

Québec took the floor on behalf of the subnational and local constituency to share three key messages: firstly, the importance of clarifying the role of our constituency in the “enabling conditions” section of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; secondly, to recall that as said in the Edinburgh Declaration, there needs to be an explicit reference to the “One Health approach” to clearly specify the linkages between biodiversity, health and future pandemic risks; and, thirdly, to highlight the potential of biodiversity to provide solutions to urban and regional challenges, including through green and blue infrastructures.

The Edinburgh Declaration, which now gathers over 170 local and subnational governments, continues to be open for signature. Regions interested in supporting it can find out more here or by contacting Regions4 Programme Manager at

As for the next steps, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) announced that after extensive consultations a decision has been made to convene COP15 and its associated meetings in two parts. The first part of the Meetings will take place virtually from 11 to 15 October 2021, with limited onsite presence in Kunming (China) for accredited delegates from embassies and organizations already located and based in the country. The second part will reconvene in a face-to-face meeting in Kunming from 25 April to 8 May 2022.

A Regions4 delegation will attend the first segment of CBD COP 15 and will follow the initial parts of the negotiation process. As the second part of COP15 approaches and we become more certain of the means of participation allowed to our constituency we will share more news, in the meantime consider joining the AC SNG and directly participate in its efforts to strengthen the voice of subnational governments at the core of global biodiversity dialogues!

Further information

Regions4 and AC SNG Report – Mainstreaming Biodiversity: The Subnational Government Experience

Regions4 Biodiversity Learning Platform (R4BLP)

Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments and Biodiversity (AC SNG)