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Multilevel Governance of our Natural Capital

Fotolia©Hubert Körner

Multilevel Governance of our Natural Capital


The study "Multilevel governance of our natural capital: the contribution of regional and local authorities to the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets" was carried out by Ecologic Institute and ICLEI for the EU's Committee of the Regions (CoR). It informed the CoR's contribution to the review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and contributed to the monitoring of the implementation of CBD Decision X/22 within the Member States. The reports are available for download.

The main task of the study was the collection and analysis of information from the 28 Member States and their regions and cities on the involvement of local and regional authorities in the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and CBD Decision X/22. For the study, the goals and actions outlined in the EU Biodiversity Strategy and Decision X/22 were the basis for establishing a coherent analytical framework. An online survey, desk research and targeted interviews were used to gather relevant information and develop recommendations on appropriate instruments and multilevel governance approaches to facilitate and support these processes. Both the survey and the desk research revealed many examples of biodiversity-related actions which have been taken on different levels across the EU.

While numerous best-practice examples indicate a positive starting point for achieving the outlined biodiversity goals and targets, the study also revealed shortcomings and potential areas for improvement. Substantial opportunities exist to improve the support of local and regional authorities in their efforts to design and implement regional/local biodiversity strategies or actions plans and increase their involvement in national biodiversity-related processes. Suggestions for addressing current gaps are outlined accordingly.

On the basis of the survey and desk research results as well as the indicative list of actions contained in CBD Decision X/22, a typology of multilevel governance-related biodiversity measures implemented at the national, regional and local levels has been developed. Based on the typology, desk research and questionnaire responses, 15 representative case studies were selected and presented in detail. The selected case studies cover the key arguments emerging from the survey and analysis with an emphasis on the implementation mechanisms in place between the national/regional and local levels. These case studies describe the mechanisms in place for supporting multilevel governance performance in the implementation of the CBD decisions and EU Biodiversity Strategy.

The insights gathered in the context of the study formed the basis for policy recommendations with regard to further developing the instruments in place and – more generally – the multilevel governance mechanism for implementing CBD X/22 in the EU and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

The study outputs have been compiled in two deliverables:

In addition, based on the study results, a brochure has been designed and was disseminated at the Biodiversity Summit for Cities and Sub-national Governments in the context of the CBD COP 12.


More content from this project

Project ID
biodiversity, natural capital, multilevel governance, regional policy, local policy, EU Biodiversity Strategy, Habitats Directive, Convention on Biological Diversity, Aichi targets, Committee of the Regions
European Union
desk research, online survey, interviews