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ACSF topical lunch -- URBIS and Rio +20: Developing a global research & policy agenda for urban sustainability and biodiversity
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ACSF topical lunch -- URBIS and Rio +20: Developing a global research & policy agenda for urban sustainability and biodiversity


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  • In addition, Keith Tidball is part of the core team from ICLEI, Cornell, Stockholm Resilience Centre, and City of Jerusalem that prepared the Urban Biosphere (URBIS) designation system, which was signed on to by about 50 cities at the ICLEI side events and endorsed by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Finally, Keith organized the entire Cornell delegation’s participation.
  • On 14th June, 2012, during the ICLEI Urban Nature Forum in the City of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, a multidisciplinary group of NGOs, research institutions, international organizations and local governments convened to unveil the global Urban Biosphere (URBIS) Initiative – an open network fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration in the design and implementation of participatory, integrated, and sustainable urban development solutions.
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    • 1. URBIS and Rio +20: Developing a global research & policy agenda for urban sustainability and biodiversity Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Topical Lunch 13 Dec 2012
    • 2. OBJECTIVES• Develop an inter-disciplinary research program focusing on sustainability, biodiversity, social-ecological systems resilience, and ecosystem services in cities.• Address gap left by other global sustainability initiatives, such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which pay only minimal attention to urban ecosystems.• Build and support the URBIS global urban biosphere policy initiative.• Contribute to writing and launching the Cities Biodiversity Outlook.• Increase Cornell University visibility at Rio +20 and side events.
    • 3. ACTIVITIES• Urban Nature Forum - 2 day conference in Belo Horizonte, Brazil• ICLEI World Congress (a Rio+20 parallel event)—Belo Horizonte• Rio+20—various meetings and presentations (next slide)• official launch of the URBIS Initiative at the ICLEI World Congress in Belo Horizonte• the pre-launch of the Cities Biodiversity Outlook at the Global Town Hall in Rio De Janeiro,
    • 4. Marianne Josh Keith KathyEnvironmental Education and Facilitator, ICLEI Urban Nature Overall delegation Panelist: U.S. Side Event at Rio +20Social-ecological Systems Forum Session: Sound Science coordination.Theory. ICLEI Urban Nature for Sound Policy. Thursday, Putting Words to Action:Forum. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. June 14, 2012 Stockholm Resilience Center Implementing the Rio +20 Fisheries14 June 2012. Rio +20 Science to Policy Recommendations Interdisciplinary collaboration Media project assistant for meeting urban ecological director. Participant: Global Oceans Day at RioResilience, Learning, and goals. ICLEI World Congress. +20 (sponsored by the Global OceansEnvironmental Education. ICLEI Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 15 June History of the Urban Forum and IOC-UNESCO) (a parallelWorld Congress. Belo 2012. Biosphere initiative. ICLEI event)Horizonte, Brazil. 16 June 2012. Urban Nature Forum. Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 14 June Participant: Advancing SustainabilityUrban landscapes as learning 2012. through Communication andarenas for sustainable Collaboration, (an official UN sidemanagement of biodiversity Greening in the Red Zone: event hosted by the University ofand ecosystem services. Cities Urban Biodiversity as Colorado)and Biodiversity Outlook Opportunity in Post-disasterLaunch. Rio+20 meetings. Rio and Post-conflict Contexts. Participant. Oceans at Rio+20: Towardde Janeiro, Brazil. 18 June Cities and Biodiversity Implementation of the Rio Ocean2012. Outlook Launch. Rio+20 Commitments (an official UN side meetings. Rio de Janeiro, event hosted by International Coastal Brazil. 18 June 2012. and Ocean Organization, Secretariat of the Global Oceans Forum) Presentations
    • 5. Launch of Urban Biosphere InitiativeAt a signing ceremonyoverseen by Dr. BraulioFerreira de Souza Dias,Executive Secretary of theConvention on BiologicalDiversity (CBD), ProfessorThomas Elmqvist ofStockholm Resilience Center,Cllr David Cadman, Presidentof ICLEI – Local Governmentsfor Sustainability, over 30organizations joined thenetwork thereby agreeing tocontribute good-practice casestudies to a global databaseand participate in learningexchanges known as URBISDialogues.
    • 6. Launch of Cities Biodiversity Outlook• A Global Assessment of the Links between Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystems• Combines science and policy - analyzes how urbanization and urban growth impacts biodiversity and ecosystems, delivering key messages on the conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources to decision-makers.• Cities, local authorities and sub-national governments showcase their practices on sustainability and biodiversity and learn from existing experiences how to incorporate those topics in their agendas and policies.• Cornell University involved in multiple chapters of this effort. See here.
    • 7. Partnerships, Future Funding, Future Directions • URBIS funded by ICLEI, IUCN, CBD • MOU w Stockholm University/Stockholm Resilience Center • high degree of collaboration with Urban Theme • Civic Ecology exchange fellows program begun • Funding from multiple international sources • MOU with USFS NYC Urban Field Station • Joint project funded by TKF Foundation (> $500,000.00) • Multiple joint publications • Participation in response to the City of NY/NPS’s RFEI for a Jamaica Bay Science and Resilience Center • Formation of US/Japan Working Group on Nature & Human Security in peopled landscapes - Japan Society for Promotion of Science proposal • Tidball elected co-chair of Ecology & Peace Commission of International Peace Research Association • Next annual meeting in Turkey on Ecology, Resilience and Peaceful Sustainable Cities
    • 8. Results, Future Funding, Future Directions • Launch of Nature of Cities blog collaborative (w/ Sound Science LLC) • Weekly average of 800-1000 hits per week, from average of 81 cities and 19 countries • Since launching at Rio +20 --- 26000+ views, 791 cities, 95 countries • Katherine E. Bunting-Howarth leading efforts for Cornell to join the US Depart of State initiated US Water Partnership • public-private partnership that seeks to mobilize U.S.-based knowledge, expertise and resources to improve water security around the world – particularly in those countries most in need. • Marianne Krasny leading EPA’s national environmental education training program with strong emphasis on urban audiences • teaching online course on urban stewardship (civic ecology) • conducting research/outreach on participatory approaches to ecosystem services monitoring in cities