Managing Urban-Rural Linkages for Nature
Launch of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework requires an integrated territorial (both urban and rural) approach for the sustainable management of biodiversity. Linkages between urban processes and rural transformation across municipalities, countries, and world regions are essential for biodiversity conservation. Urban-rural linkages are constituted by reciprocal and repetitive flows of people, goods, and financial and environmental services between specific rural, peri-urban, and urban locations. To mainstream biodiversity across the urban-rural continuum and connect nature in cities with nature in regions, these flows must respect, conserve and steward biodiversity.
Addressing processes of urbanization and rural transformation across municipalities, countries, and world regions are essential for biodiversity conservation. Managing both the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss – particularly resource use and consumption processes in urban areas – requires an integrated policy framework to guide actions at the local and subnational levels.
Such an integrated framework for mainstreaming biodiversity across the urban-rural continuum can be found in the combination of the Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles (URL-GP) and Framework for Action to Advance Integrated Territorial Development launched in 2019 by UN-Habitat and the targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) to be launched in 2022 at the UNCBD COP 15.
Managing Urban-Rural Linkages for Nature presents a policy framework for managing urban-rural linkages for biodiversity action. The framework builds from a foundation that includes:
- Recognizing the effects (actual or potential) of policy regimes and management decisions on territorial biodiversity across multiple sectors, actors, and governance levels in adjacent as well as distant locations.
- Adopting a territorial approach for biodiversity action using the principles of the URL-GP, based on the different capacities (starting with sub-national and municipal roles for biodiversity governance) and including human and financial resources within and outside territories.
- Integrating GBF targets in both territorial (insitu) and flows-based (ex-situ) approaches for the management of interactions and networks to mainstream biodiversity across the urban-rural continuum, including those interactions and networks that stretch beyond localities or bounded territories.
The ten guiding principles of the URL-GP can frame policy interventions designed to manage urban-rural linkages for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The principles can guide interventions to incorporate appropriate checks and balances, include territorial actors, promote balanced partnerships, human-rights, and do no harm to both human communities and ecosystems.