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Webinar – Join us in making the critical link between city biodiversity and global conservation

Butterfly on a white flower

Cities are gaining recognition as identifiable ecosystems. The role they play in global conservation is gathering attention, particularly as urban populations grow.

The next City of London Green City Briefing, by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) in collaboration with the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, looks at ‘The Critical Dynamics of City Biodiversity and Global Conservation’.

Moderated by Dr Heather Barrett-Mold, Immediate Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, the briefing will explore how cities can contribute to global conservation. Heather is also Vice Chair of Pollinating London Together. “This initiative aims to promote pollinator friendly planting, to enable the monitoring of pollinators through Citizen Science and to raise awareness through events, videos and blogs. The Lady Mayoress has been a great support in this project which is based in the City of London but connecting to other initiatives beyond the City.

Lady Mayoress Mrs Hilary Russell is married to Alderman William Russell, who took office as the 692nd Lord Mayor of London in 2019. Hilary read Natural Sciences at Durham University and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers. The Lady Mayoress will share her insights and experiences in promoting biodiversity in cities.

Taking place free-of-charge on Wednesday 20 October 2021 from 1-2 pm BST, the webinar considers local action to enhance biodiversity, links with city-wide ecological corridors, and interactions with the wider landscape that direct city planning and growth.

During the briefing, Dr. Barrett-Mold who is primarily an ecologist will introduce:

  • Mrs Hilary Russell, The Lady Mayoress, City of London
  • Dr Mike Maunder, Executive Director, Cambridge Conservation Initiative, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, with co-author Russell Galt, Head of Urban Alliance, IUCN-World Conservation Union
  • Marina Ruta, Lead of the BiodiverCities by 2030 Initiative by the World Economic Forum

Dr. Maunder with co-author Russell Galt will present ‘Building biodiverse cities where people and nature thrive. Mike comments: “Cities, hubs that consume vast amounts of global resources, are transforming into hubs for ecological and social regeneration. As high energy concentrations of wealth, diversity, and creativity, cities can drive the global regeneration of nature and, importantly, enrich the lives of all their residents.

This presentation looks at how novel ecologies can define and future proof cities. Urban ecological regeneration delights the citizen and is at the heart of the UN Decade for Ecological Restoration; while nature, as outlined in the Dasgupta Report, is essential for business sustainability. We argue that we have the knowledge and the creativity, but we need to act quickly and at scale.”

Dr. Maunder is a leading expert in the fields of plant conservation and biodiversity. He is currently the Executive Director of Cambridge Conservation Initiative. Dr. Maunder is devoted to facilitating the development of the conservation field and has made great contributions to research and education. Co-author Russell Galt, through his work as Head of Urban Alliance, IUCN-World Conservation Union, supports the value of nature for a sustainable urban future.

Marina Ruta will present on the ‘BiodiverCities by 2030’ Initiative. Marina leads the initiative which is spearheaded by the World Economic Forum in partnership with the Government of Colombia, the second most biodiverse country in the world.

Marina comments: “This initiative supports city governments, businesses and citizens to reimagine urban development with nature and people at its core by challenging assumptions, producing strategic insights, and leveraging multistakeholder action.

It convenes a Global Commission of experts and practitioners to develop a global framework for BiodiverCities combining the latest research with practical solutions to promote sustainable, inclusive and nature-positive urban development.”

It’s clear that city-wide green infrastructure planning will broaden our green horizons. Opportunities await in city parks, playgrounds, street trees, plazas, shared paths and rainwater drainage systems, nature reserves, community gardens, greenbelts, and pedestrian and cycling networks. Also, in green roofs and walls, courtyards, balconies and private gardens.

The sustainability of urban biodiversity is enhanced by city-wide visions that connect these individual sections and create nature networks. Global organisations must now mobilise city leaders to make urban biodiversity a priority.

Please join us for this webinar on ‘The Critical Dynamics of City Biodiversity and Global Conservation’ at aiph.org/event/green-city-briefings-biodiversity-and-conservation.