The leading global network of subnational governments Regions4 gathered its members and community at its annual global meeting in June to present key milestones from previous year and highlight strategy to drive the organisation towards sustainable development. The event was hosted online and centred on the theme Untapping transformative action from subnational governments for a sustainable and resilient future.
The Assembly kickstarted with welcome remarks from Regions4 President Ms. Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Country, followed by a powerful video message from UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 Ms. Razan Al Mubarak.
Afterwards, representatives from veteran as well as upcoming members present at the Zoom meeting were inspired and encouraged with the keynote address by by CBD Action Agenda Champion for Nature and People Mr. Manuel Pulgar.
Members were given the floor to make their interventions regarding their own experiences, struggles, progress on sustainable development and the achievement of goals. The organisation reiterates that the main goal of hosting the annual General Assembly is to support Regions4 members around the world in strengthening their capacity for innovative action and global advocacy.
An important, highly anticipated and festive part of the day was welcoming upcoming members of the network. Over the past year, Regions4 was joined by four new members: the Brazilian state of Paraná, the French region of Auvergne Rhone Alpes, the Mexican state of Yucatán and CREAF (Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre).
Programmes and Actions
The Regions4 Secretariat highlighted their three programmes: Biodiversity, Climate Action and SDGs, along with its respective officers and projects.
The organisation reinforced its support of a high-level dialogue on the importance of providing regions with the enabling conditions to meet the implementation of climate targets, as well as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework for the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28).
Additionally, Programme Managers highlighted the Secretariat is actively working with the European Committee of the Regions and Under2Coalition to provide input into the Global Stocktake (GST) and the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) to ensure that this global review takes into account the progress and challenges of regional governments.
As a surprise, those present at the Assembly were able to watch a tease was on the CaseStudyDatabase (CSD), which, thanks to the support of the Catalonia region, has driven the growth of the network of successful cases and initiatives.
Alongside BC3, the theme of the RegionsAdapt report and the second Community of Practice of the year was also released: Climate justice and the integration of vulnerable populations in adaptation planning.
In addition to these opportunities, the partnership with two Horizon Europe projects called MAIA and Pathways to Resilience, will allow member regions from Europe to build capacity on a resilient future and participate in RegionsAdapt and European projects.
Regions4 is officially recognised before several entities of the United Nations system such as UNFCCC and CBD, and with that is able to participate and, thus, represent its members during a myrid of important international events.
At the General Assembly, the Regions4 Secretariat praised its members efforts and outcomes during the UN Water Conference, which took place in March.
The Secretariat also presented ongoing plans to be present at key, upcoming international events, such as the the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July and the Climate COP28 in December.
Regions4 is as strong as its members. The 2023 General Assembly showed the network has been stronger than ever!
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