Nature-Positive Cities Initiative Releases Inaugural Report

On the occasion of the International Day for Biodiversity

The World Economic Forum’s Global Commission on Nature-Positive Cities, of which Impact One is a member, releases the Nature Positive: Guidelines for the Transition in Cities report. It forms part of the WEF’s Nature-Positive Transitions report series that outlines the different pathways to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.

In celebration of the International Day for Biodiversity, the report highlights cities’ dependencies on nature and provides a framework for cities to understand and discuss how to rehabilitate nature in the urban context. The report is the first outcome of the Nature-Positive Cities Initiative and was written in collaboration with Oliver Wyman.

The report aims to provide clarity on the strides of the global biodiversity agenda and support local governments and businesses in understanding their role as positive agents of change. Designed to help local decision-makers discern the role of cities in the global commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, it lays out a roadmap for developing and implementing comprehensive strategies for integrating nature considerations into urban planning, regulation, incentives, cost-benefit analyses and economic values.

Key takeaways include:

  • 44% of global GDP generated in cities – $31 trillion – is at risk from nature loss
  • Despite this, only 37% of the world’s 500 most populous cities have a strategy dedicated to nature or biodiversity conservation

As epicentres of human activity and the steam of global GDP, cities account for over 75% of global CO2 emissions, 39% of which from built environment, 33% from material consumption and waste and 25% from land system change. Such a dramatic environmental impact requires urban leaders and decision-makers to prioritise nature in their investment decisions. Doing so not only improves the resilience and liveability of their cities, but secures a sustainable future for humanity.

The Nature-Positive Cities Initiative aims to create a pathway for more resilient, equitable and prosperous cities. It is an ambitious undertaking by two international communities convened by the World Economic Forum: the Global Commission on Nature-Positive Cities and the Expert Taskforce for Nature-Positive Cities. There are 15 members of its global commission, made up of mayors, business leaders and heads of civil society organizations from across different sectors and regions – all committed to become global champions for nature in cities.

“This report is such an important step in developing the methodology for cities to become nature-positive and to transform conventional urban development into complex ecosystem design and regeneration.”

– Mikolaj Sekutowicz, CEO of Impact One & Member of the WEF Global Commission for Nature-Positive Cities

Nature Positive: Guidelines for the Transition in Cities marks the beginning of a collection of reports promoting public-private collaboration in cities for the regeneration of nature and the integration of nature’s valuable contributions to our society into macro- and microeconomic decisions.

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22 May 2024
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