Bringing nature back into cities

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The INTERACT-Bio project aims to provide expanding urban communities in the Global South with nature-based solutions to deal with a number of growth-related challenges and produce long-term benefits. The project will be implemented in Brazil in the cities of Campinas, Londrina, and Belo Horizonte. The city regions selected in India are Kochi, Manguluru and Panaji, and in Tanzania they are Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi.

Over the next four years, the project will support these city regions in understanding and unlocking the potential of nature to provide essential services, such as clean air, water purification and climate regulation, and create new economic opportunities or enhance those that already exist. The project aims to develop investment cases for nature-based solutions that align socio-economic and ecological development. By supporting selected local governments in developing their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), the project will help to identify appropriate nature-based solutions that address the challenges that city regions face, while improving biodiversity management and climate resilience.

INTERACT-Bio also intends to bring together decision-makers from national and sub-national governments to work on integrating biodiversity considerations across different sectors and levels of government, and thus make nature-based solutions in these city regions more effective. Although Brazil, India and Tanzania each have their own unique biodiversity, they also face complex development challenges in their fast-growing cities and the surrounding regions. The project is an opportunity for these three countries to increase the commitment of sub-national governments with regard to implementing and shaping their NBSAPs, as required by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

These efforts will benefit urban communities and the surrounding regions, strengthen and protect local biodiversity and set the participating city regions on a more resilient and sustainable development path. The outcomes vary depending on the local context. Examples include project interventions that focus on finding new livelihood options based on the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services; developing policy instruments to strengthen the management and protection of vital ecosystems such as wetlands and floodplains in the city regions, allowing them to provide effective flood attenuation; and/or raising awareness among decision-makers and communities about the role of ecosystem services in ensuring that cities function efficiently and the importance of these services for local economic development.

The INTERACT-Bio project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) and is implemented by Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) e.V.