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Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos
Alexander von Humboldt

Investigación en biodiversidad y servicios ecosistémicos para la toma de decisiones
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News note | By: María Alejandra Navarrete | 10/18/2022

This Is How We Can Start Transforming the Planet with BiodiverCities

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Photo: Villavicencio, Colombia - Felipe Villegas

  • •   BiodiverCities by 2030 brings biodiversity to the center of urban life. This vision is about transformation rather than optimization. This book showcases eighteen actions to initiate, cultivate and navigate this transformation.
  • •   Over 80 contributors from 44 cities came with solutions for transforming planning, economy, governance and mindsets in urban environments with biodiversity.
  • •   Urban life would not be possible without ecosystems providing a wide range of benefits such as rainwater infiltration, local climate regulation, particulate matter absorption, recreation, among others.
  • •   The dichotomy of city-nature is a paradigm that has fostered ecological degradation. The “twin crisis” of biodiversity loss and climate change, and thus the decline in human well-being, urges cities to be reimagined as hubs of biodiversity and resilience.
  • •   Read the book in the following link http://www.humboldt.org.co/biodivercitiesby2030/ and learn more in this post.

On October 19, the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute launches “BiodiverCities by 2030: Transforming Cities with Biodiversity”, the second publication of the BiodiverCities by 2030 initiative. This book provides city officials, innovators, urban designers, grassroots communities, research groups and the community at large with solutions for improving the quality of urban life with biodiversity.

In August 2021, over 80 scholars, practitioners, and visionary individuals from 44 cities were convened to reflect on how cities can restore their relationship with nature. This book showcases conceptual approaches, case studies, and op-ed articles addressing why nature in and around cities is crucial to ensuring planetary health.

BiodiverCity is the city of the future. BiodiverCities by 2030 offers a truly transformative vision of the city in which human beings can live, work and evolve in harmony with their environment based on principles of biodiversity and co-responsibility. By 2030, BiodiverCities pledge will deliver on five commitments:

  • •   Advancing biodiversity in the built environment.
  • •   Restoring urban-rural linkages by protecting the ecosystems cities depend on.
  • •   Developing bio-economy models for economic competitiveness.
  • •   Promotion of governance schemes that value experimentation and learning and give way to changes in the distribution of resources and power.
  • •   Building a renewed mindset in which cities are seen as homes for all species, not only humans.

The achievement of these commitments will depend on tools and policy vehicles aimed at (i) Ensuring the spatial integration of nature, (ii) Making the case for nature for urban investors, and (iii) Monitoring the status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The merit of this publication is that it also tackles “how” this transformation can take place and, through in-depth analysis of case studies, the specific institutional changes required to make this happen.

"The Humboldt Institute has been generating knowledge for ten years to make biodiversity an essential component of urban-regional development. This is a fundamental relationship, but unrecognized and underappreciated. Generally, the maps of a system of cities are projected on a gray background, but cities are based on a diversity of colors, that is, on ecosystems and thanks to them life in cities is possible” explains María Angélica Mejía, leader of the BiodiverCities initiative by 2030 at the Institute and co-editor of the book.

“This book –adds Mejía– is the result of a national and international networking level and helps us to amplify the importance of cities in reacting to global environmental change. The book proposes, among others, the management of biodiversity and its ecosystem services as the best adaptation strategy that our cities have today to build a positive future with nature".

Contributors analyzed urban natures ranging from Montería and Mompox (riverside cities) to real estate practices in Milan and Villavicencio. Their analysis also included a circular green hotspot in Amsterdam, planetary health diets in Quezon City and Copenhagen, a pan-European toolbox to manage blue environments, a comprehensive methodology to value the benefits of urban trees in Medellín, a food security approach based on green roofs in Rio de Janeiro, and practical applications to advance biodiversity in the public space in the Chinese “sponge-city” of Shenzhen.

BiodiverCities by 2030: Transforming Cities with Biodiversity provides novel approaches for developing solutions to help reverse biodiversity loss while improving human well-being in cities around the world. Designed to help stakeholders build a pathway to a nature-positive future, this book:

  • •   Introduces the foundations of the BiodiverCities vision.
  • •   Offers an overview of meaningful practices, tools, and guiding principles to advance biodiversity in cities.
  • •   Provides in-depth discussion on how to move towards transformative change for biodiversity in cities. Eighteen actions are proposed to initiate, cultivate and navigate this transformation.
  • •   Highlights the role of knowledge of biodiversity to develop new economic opportunities.
  • •   Discusses how citizen action can drive a new, more meaningful way of restoring and using biodiversity in cities.
  • •   Demonstrates why platforms that help spread good ideas and practices are fundamental to trigger collaboration, advocacy, co-creation, and innovation to achieve BiodiverCities.
  • •   Identifies financial solutions for BiodiverCities.
  • •   Addresses how to move from data to indicators and describes why both top-down and bottom-up approaches to generate data are important.
  • •   Features op-ed articles from political leaders and high-level practitioners from organizations as WWF, OECD, EAT, Resilient City Network, Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc., prestigious scientific speakers and Art Curators who render critical viewpoints in this field

This book is an essential reading for those willing to start transforming the Planet with BiodiverCities by 2030.

Find here the Media Kit with pieces, key messages and information about the book and its launch.