Urban biodiversity encompasses the variety of living organisms that have adapted and are surviving in
densely human-populated built-up environments. Cities and Biodiversity, a scientific study by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), and the ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability, highlights the following key messages on the issue:
• Urbanization is both a challenge and an opportunity to manage ecosystem services.
• Rich biodiversity can exist in cities.
• Biodiversity and ecosystem services are critical natural capital.
• Maintaining functioning urban ecosystems can significantly enhance human health and well-being.
• Urban ecosystem services and biodiversity can help contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
• Increasing the biodiversity of urban food systems can enhance food and nutrition security.
• Ecosystem services must be integrated in urban policy and planning.
• Successful management of biodiversity and ecosystem services must be based on multi-scale, multi-sectoral, and multi-stakeholder involvement.
• Cities offer unique opportunities for learning and education about a resilient and sustainable future.
• Cities have a large potential to generate innovation and governance tools and therefore can and must take the lead in sustainable development.