Regions4 key initiatives on climate action, RegionsAdapt; biodiversity, Regions4 Biodiversity Learning Platform and, sustainable development, the Community of Practice Regions4SDGs organized a joint, internal, workshop to explore two of the most pressing issues of our time, biodiversity loss and climate change and how can we find solutions to protect development gains and expedite the move towards a more sustainable, healthy, and equitable future for our regions.

Connecting the climate and biodiversity spheres is especially crucial at this moment when the world is preparing to take stronger actions on both Conventions. The 15th meeting of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (COP-15) and the 26th meeting of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-26) are schedule to take place before the end of the year 2021 with major milestones to attain, in particular COP-15 will adopt a new global biodiversity framework.

The workshop featured a presentation from R4BLP and Advisory Committee on Subnational Governments (AC SNG) member, Basque Country, who shared their own experience on the integration of agendas by presenting the case of the Udalsarea 2030, a network of municipal authorities that work together with their regional government to develop innovative solutions at the local level. The network was founded nearly 20 years ago with the objective of accelerating local action with a multi-level governance approach.

In the words of Dr. Ainhize Butron, Climate Action Directorate at the Basque Environment Agency, it is “indeed possible to address climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development through an integrative perspective, the mobilization of agents and stakeholders, building partnerships, bridging gaps for knowledge and resources, and fostering a collaborative approach by celebrating institutional diversity.

The session was also a space in which representatives from Lombardy and Gossas were able to share their own challenges and successes when implementing a transversal approach. As for Gossas, Mr. Mamadou Toure, shared that the interlinkages between the three agendas have been addressed through both their sustainable development and resilience plan, as the 2030 Agenda is, by definition, an agenda of integration.

In Lombardy, sustainable development is mainstreamed in all sectorial plans and policies through legislation, cohesion, competitiveness, and resilience. In addition, the financial and governance tools that the region have put in place, such as the Regional Fund for Biodiversity and Climate, allow the region to move from strategy to action, shared Mr. Fabrizio Piccarolo, Director of the Foundation Lombardy for Environment.

All Regions4 members are invited to continue to be engaged in the topic by following up this conversation with the Regions4 programme leaders and by participating in the R4BLP, RegionsAdapt and the Community of Practice Regions4SDGs.

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