Following that, it was the turn of the invited speakers. The first talk was presented by Dr. Kouakou Bernard DJE, National Focal Point of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Dr. Yro Hyacinthe TIE, National Focal Point of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in Côte d'Ivoire. Their joint talk discussed the potential of ecosystem-based services and their practical implementation on the local level in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. They also reported on a workshop conducted jointly by IPBES and IPCC in December 2020 on the interactions of the science on biodiversity and climate change, which dramatically highlight the importance and the urgent necessity of an integrated perspective on the two crises.
Next, Russell Galt explained the holistic approach of nature-based solutions for reconciling cities with nature. Galt, who is active for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and as head of the Urban Alliance, sees his task as facilitating the debate and the exchange of knowledge, catalysing projects and partnerships and developing tools and knowledge products. This also includes development of the IUCN Urban Nature Index, an instrument for measuring the ecological performance of municipalities.
The third speaker, Sabine Lachenicht, explained the link between biodiversity and climate protection and adapting to climate impact from the perspective of German municipalities. Sabine Lachenicht is head of the Office for Environmental Protection, Trade Inspection and Energy of the City of Heidelberg as well as Chair of the urban biodiversity alliance “Kommunen für biologische Vielfalt”. Among other aspects, her talk focused on the issue of reconciling conflicts of interest in the context of municipal planning as well as intermunicipal collaboration on the national and international level.
With this latter point, she handed over directly to Valerie Kapos, Director of the Climate Change and Biodiversity programme at the World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP-WCMC), who illuminated the issue from the international perspective.