This article was originally published on The World Bank.


“Municipal leaders face hundreds of difficult choices every day. With so many needs and worthy programs, how does one choose where to invest limited funding? In the face of pressing human needs, cities too often decide that funding for environmental programs will have to wait. But pitting people against nature in this way offers a false choice.

We need not decide between supporting people in cities and protecting the natural systems that we all need to survive. Rather, by bringing more nature to cities and managing our collective resources well, we can help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and meet The Nature Conservancy’s ambition to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” It is not only engineered solutions urban development that will help the world achieve this goal – natural systems have a critical role to play. In fact, by protecting and enhancing biodiversity, we can actually better serve the needs of the billions of people around the world who live in cities.

Nature has a clear and significant role to play in SDG11, and a path to success is laid out in the New Urban Agenda, a global declaration of “cities for all,” which was codified at the 2016 Habitat III conference in Ecuador. The New Urban Agenda acknowledges and articulates the connections between greener cities and healthier, more resilient cities, and calls for the benefits of nature to be equally accessible to all residents…”

Read on at: The World Bank.