Today: Halifax to consider signing The Montréal Pledge – Cities United in Action for Biodiversity 12Dec2023

It’s item No 15.1.4 on the Agenda for today (Dec 12, 2023)

That Halifax Regional Council:

1. Suspend the rules of procedure under Schedule 5, the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee Terms of Reference, of Administrative Order One, the Procedures of the Council Administrative Order;

2. Direct the Mayor to write a letter of support to the City of Montreal for Halifax Regional Municipality to become a signatory of The Montréal Pledge.

View Details.

Some Extracts:

As host city to COP15 (Fifteenth meeting of the COP to the CBD), the mayor of Montréal issued a challenge to cities across the world to make a commitment to protecting biodiversity, known as The Montréal Pledge. Specifically, the challenge invites cities to commit to 15 tangible actions towards pursuing and accelerating their efforts to preserve ecosystems and biodiversity in their region. Signatory cities of the Montréal Pledge are expected to demonstrate leadership and to act swiftly in order to protect biodiversity.

Currently, 61 major cities from across the world have already committed to the Montréal Pledge, including Paris, France; London, United Kingdom; Berlin, Germany; Sydney, Australia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Boston, USA, among many others. Many Canadian cities have also signed the pledge including Windsor, Ontario; Vancouver, British Columbia; Toronto, Ontario; and, of course, Montréal, Québec.

As of yet, there are no cities in Nova Scotia that are signatories to The Montréal Pledge.

Becoming a Signatory to The Montréal Pledge To become a signatory to The Montréal Pledge requires either an official letter from the Mayor or the adoption of a city council resolution to this effect. Signatories are asked to commit to the following 15 tangible actions:

Reducing Threats to Biodiversity
1. Integrate biodiversity into territorial and regulatory planning.
2. Restore and rehabilitate ecosystems and their connectivity.
3. Conserve existing natural environments through protected areas and other effective and equitable measures.
4. Ensure the conservation and recovery of vulnerable species, both wild and domestic, and effectively manage their interactions with humans.
5. Control or eradicate invasive alien species to eliminate or reduce their impacts.
6. Reduce pollution from all sources to levels that do not adversely affect biodiversity, ecosystem functions or human health.
7. Aim to eliminate plastic waste.
8. Aim to reduce pesticide use by at least two-thirds.
9. Contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation measures through ecosystem-based approaches.

Sharing the Benefits of Biodiversity
10. Aim to ensure that urban agriculture, aquaculture and forestry zones are accessible, sustainably managed and contribute to food security.
11. Prioritize nature-based solutions to protect against extreme weather events and hazards and to regulate air and water quality.
12. Increase the amount of green and blue spaces and improve equitable access to them.

Solutions, Governance, Management and Education
13. Integrate biodiversity into governance frameworks and public policies, and increase financial resources allocated to its conservations and sustainable use.
14. Through citizen education and participation, help ensure that people and businesses are encouraged to make responsible choices toward biodiversity and have the resources and knowledge to do so.
15. Ensure the equitable and effective participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making and in the process of knowledge acquisition and transmission.

After becoming signatories, cities are invited to voluntarily track their progress towards the 15 Pledge commitments by registering and using the ‘CitiesWithNature’ Action Platform.2 ‘CitiesWithNature’ is recognized by the CBD in its Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2021-2030)3 as the place where cities should monitor and report on their voluntary commitments.

Currently, there are 20 participating cities worldwide who are registered on ‘CitiesWithNature’ Action Platform, compared to the 61 signatories of the Montréal Pledge.

Staff do not intend to register for this platform as it would be redundant to HRM’s current tracking requirements for HalifACT and the Halifax Green Network plan.

Attachment 1 in the Details Document provides a summary of existing HRM initiatives that address one or more of the 15 Montréal Pledge commitments.

The Halifax Green Network Plan figures prominently in that listing. Let’s hope our provincial government is fully supportive!

UPDATE. Tuesday pm: Motion passed unanimously

This entry was posted in Community, Conservation, Halifax Green Network Plan, HRM Greenbelt. Bookmark the permalink.