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The Cities Biodiversity Outlook

In Nagoya, Japan, 2011, the Convention on Biological Diversity COP10 decided to launch a global assessment “Urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services” to be presented at COP11 in October 2012. The assessment is coordinated by Thomas Elmqvist (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden) in collaboration with the DIVERSITAS project bioSUSTAINABILITY, which will contribute by providing many of the reviews and state of the art analyses to be included in the assessment.

This assessment is the main document guiding further development of the plan of action of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and is also important in the emerging development of the International Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

In COP11 (Hyderabad, India, 2012), Thomas Elmqvist, Chair of the DIVERSITAS bioSUSTAINABILITY Scientific Committee released the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO) as well as the recommendations from the "Urbanization, ecosystems and biodiversity: assessments of India and Bangalore", in which members of DIVERSITAS are involved.

  • Read the CBO Action and Policy
  • Read the CBO India and Bangalore
  • See the press release
  • More on the CBD website


In addition, DIVERSITAS through its project bioSUSTAINABILITY coordinated the publication of the open access book of the full assessment “Urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services” (Elmqvist et al. 2013. Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities - A Global Assessment. Springer. New York. 755p.). This books is a scientific analysis and assessment on cities, the Cities Biodiversity Outlook (CBO). This release is a follow up activity of the launch of the Summary for policy makers of the CBO at CBD COP11 in 2012 in Hyderabad, India.

The book represents the first assessment ever conducted that addresses global urbanisation and the multiple impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. It demonstrates that there are strong incentives for cities, local governments, the business sector and other interested parties, to invest in natural solutions and to maintain vital ecosystem services. Today, cities are increasingly recognised for their role in conserving biodiversity, and are providing exciting opportunities for making the transition to an inclusive green economy in both the developing and developed world.

This book was officially launched on October 4th in New York during the World Habitat Day celebration by Thomas Elmqvist (Chair, SC-bioSUSTAINABILITY) and Harini Nagendra (SC-DIVERSITAS Member); and on October 10th in Brussels during the European Week of Cities and Regions.

Read this book here.

See the video presenting this work.

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