Partners and Links

The Countdown 2010 Secretariat is leading and coordinating the efforts to communicate the 2010 biodiversity targets to local governments and support in the adoption and implementation of their commitments. The Countdown 2010 Secretariat is supported in its work by two key partners:

  • European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC) – An independent organization working for the conservation and sustainable use of Europe’s nature, biodiversity and landscapes. Since its establishment in 1993 ECNC has developed a working partnership with an extensive network of organizations and institutes from all over Europe. ECNC provides its expertise to national and regional governments, intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Environment Agency and the Council of Europe, and to institutions working in financing, land use and research. It works closely together with the NGO community.
  • ICLEI – Local governments for Sustainability – An international association of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development. More than 700 cities, towns, counties, and their associations worldwide comprise ICLEI’s growing membership. ICLEI works with these and hundreds of other local governments through international performance-based, results-oriented campaigns and programs.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about the main actors in this field and look at what they are currently working on, please follow the links below:

  • LAB – Local Action for Biodiversity – The Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) Project is a global urban biodiversity initiative coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, which was initiated by the City of Cape Town and supported by the City of eThekwini (Durban). The Project forms the first step in a broader ICLEI Biodiversity Programme. LAB aims to profile and promote the importance of urban biodiversity through coordinating the sharing of experiences, successes and challenges from a diverse group of participant cities from around the world.
  • URBIS - Urban Biosphere Network. The Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC) and UNESCO Urban Biosphere Network launched URBIS at the “Urban Biodiversity and Design Conference URBIO”, Erfurt 24-26 May, and the “1st Mayors Conference on Local Action for Biodiversity”, at the 9th Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Bonn, 26-28 May 2008. URBIS is a global network of innovators integrating research, practice and policy and acting as a “pressure group” at all levels from the local to the intergovernmental for adaptive governance of the urban landscape in times of uncertainty and change. The network is a collaboration among sites but also a strategic partnership between SRC and UNESCO with the goals of 1) bridging the gap between science and practice, 2) developing innovative and adaptive systems of governance of the urban landscape at the appropriate scale and 3) create platforms for public interest that foster equity and resilience. For more information, please contact: Christine Alfsen, Senior Programme Specialist for Sciences, UNESCO at alfesen-norodom at or Thomas Elmqvist Dept of Systems Ecology, Stockholm Resilience Center at thomase at
  • UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme – Urban Environment Unit – The Urban Environment Unit aims to integrate the urban dimension in UNEP’s work, with a focus on environmental issues that both have a local and an international dimension. These include air pollution, coastal areas, waste, biodiversity, and climate change. The Urban environment unit works on several programmes with a special focus on cities, like for example, the Cities Alliance project and the Cities for Sustainability programme, often in cooperation with UN-HABITAT
  • UN – HABITAT –United Nations Human Settlement Program – The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It works closely with UNEP and is responsible for producing a yearly publication on the status of the World’s Cities as well as engaging in several programs to promote sustainable cities.
  • The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity – The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. It is the first global agreement to cover all aspects of biological diversity: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), based in Montreal, Canada, was established to support the goals of the Convention. The CBD recognizes that biodiversity and first and foremost a local issue and its Secretariat is actively working with local authorities.
  • IUCN World Commission on Protected AreasIUCN has long been aware of the need to highlight the importance of urban protected areas and urban biodiversity management and of the need to research the topic and exchange information. A Cities and Biodiversity Task Force was therefore established in 2003. The goals of this task force are to strengthen the ability of the protected areas community to serve the needs of cities and inform urban residents about the benefits of protected areas.