The next Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) shall be held in 2021 in China, to adopt a new global biodiversity framework which should be implemented at all levels of governance. Non State Actors (NSAs) are not entitled to negotiate it but remain involved through the Global Partnership on Local and Subnational Action for Biodiversity and are actively mobilised to translate global targets into local realities. A conference of these actors was held from 4 to 6 February 2020 in São Paulo, hosted by the Secretary for Infrastructure and Environmental affairs of the State of São Paulo and co-organised by ICLEI South America, the “Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support” initiative and Region. Over 200 of their Brazilian representatives formulated their contributions at the BIO2020 conference in São Paulo. The outcome of the proceedings - the “São Paulo letter - outlines their ambition and makes the case for their voices to be heard in the negotiations underway.

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Key Messages

The recommendations arising from the São Paulo Conference can be summarised as follows:

  • Ensure that the goals, targets and mechanisms adopted at the COP15 are the most “actionable” possible, i.e. drafted in the form that corresponds most closely to their execution modalities.
  • Recognise the centrality of partnership arrangements between public players, the private sector and social organizations, adapted to local needs, as in the case of ecosystem service payments, as well as that of the socio-economic functions fulfilled by NSAs.
  • Take due account of the role played by environmental restoration measures in achieving final goals, define acceptable criteria to leverage their position as allies in ensuring the restoration of biodiversity, and build on the scientific research and technological means necessary for their implementation.
  • Adopt guidelines for the integration of public biodiversity policies at different levels of governance, as for financial and technical assistance mechanisms and reporting by NSAs on their respective contributions, in both the upcoming convention framework and in national biodiversity action programmes.
  • Recognise the essential function fulfilled by protected areas and other land use management tools in the implementation of goals.