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Financing Greener Cities of the Future: Resource Mobilization for Nature-Based Solutions

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The world is rapidly urbanizing, putting our natural resources under increasing pressure to meet demands for infrastructure, land, water, food and other needs. Meeting these increasing demands, while protecting biodiversity, places significant strain on financial resources at both national and local government levels.

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative estimates that over US$400 billion is needed annually, to protect biodiversity. However, only a fraction of this is currently being mobilized. At the local government level, in particular, financial resources are predominantly obtained through intergovernmental transfer payments, grants, subsidies and taxes, and many of these are unsustainable over the long term. This has been further stressed under the current global COVID-19 pandemic. Resources need to be mobilized, not only to meet many of these demands, but also to ensure that the natural resources on which many of these demands depend on, are managed sustainably.

Limited financial resources are inhibiting the effectiveness of both existing and potential efforts to implement and up-scale the use of nature-based solutions at the local level. Local governments and their partners must find effective and innovative approaches to leverage and mobilize financial resources to enable implementation and practice of nature-based solutions. The session provides insights on ways that local governments have and can mobilize financial resources for the protection of biodiversity, while still meeting the expanding needs of infrastructure, energy, water and food, among others, particularly in the urban context.

The session facilitates discussion around some of the innovative approaches that have been used to mobilize resources for the local government level to up-scale the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS). Viewers will also see examples of innovative approaches at the local level.


  • Ingrid Coetzee, Senior Programme Manager, Cities Biodiversity Center, ICLEI


  • Tracey Cumming, Technical Advisor, UNDP BIOFIN, South Africa
  • Katia Karousakis, Biodiversity Team Leader, OECD Environment Directorate, Paris,
  • Mark Gough, Executive Director, Natural Capital Coalition, London, United Kingdom
  • Kimberly Pope, Community and Project Lead Nature Action Agenda, World Economic Forum (WEF)
  • Aloke Barnwal, Senior Climate Specialist, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Washington D.C.,

Viewers will learn about:

  • Existing innovative approaches can be leveraged by local governments to mobilize resources for the implementation of NBS at the local or city level
  • The different roles that government, private and public sectors play in mobilizing resources for use at the local level
  • Local governments, private sectors and other financial institutions are inspired to advance innovative finance solutions and investment for the advancement and up-scaling of NBS