Kunming joins the ICLEI City Network

Kunming city has joined the ICLEI network, officially becoming a part of the ICLEI family.


Known as the “Spring City” and “Flower City”, Kunming, Yunnan Province, located in southwest China, as the host city of the Part I of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), fully demonstrated itself to the world with its openness and inclusiveness, ecological livability and the beauty of its biodiversity.


During the COP15 Part II, Kunming, together with ICLEI, the Secretariat of the UN CBD, Regions4, the Province of Quebec, and the City of Montreal, actively prepared and participated in the 7th Summit for Subnational Governments & Cities (the “Summit”), as one of the official parallel events of COP15. As one of the major partners of the 7th Summit and the host city of COP15 Part I, Kunming was invited to speak at the opening and the closing ceremony of both the high-level segment and the 7th Summit, and many other important occasions at COP15 Part II, further demonstrating its biodiversity conservation achievements to the world and greatly enhancing the international visibility, attractiveness and influence of Kunming.

Group photo at the opening ceremony of Cities Summit

Group photo at the opening ceremony of Cities Summit (image: ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center)


Furthered on the good collaboration, Kunming recently has officially joined the ICLEI network. ICLEI is a global network of more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125+ countries, with 25 secretariats and offices worldwide, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient, and circular development. Through its extensive global network and technical knowledge and other resources, ICLEI will continue to support and collaborate with Kunming in the areas of urban biodiversity conservation, sustainable city, and the related international exchange, promotion and technical cooperation etc.


Key Events Review


Kunming signed the Edinburgh Declaration ahead of UN CBD COP15

The Edinburgh Process for subnational and local governments on the development of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (“Edinburgh Process”) is a global initiative for local governments at all levels to contribute to the development of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. It is led by the Scottish Government, on behalf of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with key partners including Welsh Government, Government of Quebec, the European Commission of the Regions, Regions4 Sustainable Development, ICLEI and Group of Leading Subnational Governments toward the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Kunming joined the Edinburgh Process and signed the Edinburgh Declaration in June 2022. As the first Chinese city who joined the process, Kunming aims to be a pioneer in protecting nature and advocating for local government involvement in the global biodiversity conservation actions.


COP15the 7th Summit for Subnational Governments & Cities

the 7th Summit Opening Ceremony

the 7th Summit Opening Ceremony (image: Chinadaily)

The COP15 Conference adopted the milestone document “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework”, and the local governments will be the key players in implementing the goals of the new framework. The 7th Summit and its associated pavilion, including the “China Day” event was held successfully and surpassed its historic scale and impact with 1208 offline participants from 70 countries, including 130 mayors, 6 governors, 237 cities, and 456 international organizations. More than 80 high-level delegates, including Huang Runqiu, COP15 President and Minister of Ecology and Environment of China, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the UN CBD Secretariat, Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment, PRC, Steven Guilbeaultl, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and many others, attended and spoke at the events. 12 Chinese local governments, including Kunming, participated in the Summit, actively promoting local biodiversity conservation achievements and best practices in china.


On behalf of Kunming, Mayor Liu Jiachen delivered speeches at the Summit and China Day. As an important partner of the Summit, he called on local governments around the world to take actions to promote the implementation of the goals under the new global framework. He also expressed the enthusiasm of Kunming’s cooperation with the global cities in order to achieve ecological civilization and the shared mission of harmony between humanity and nature for the 2050 vision. It significantly showcased Kunming’s global perspective and duty, as a frontrunner city in the biodiversity conservation field.


Kunming signed up to the CitiesWithNature and won the title of Biodiversity Charming City

Certificate of ” Biodiversity Charming Cities” awarded at the “China Day”

Certificate of” Biodiversity Charming Cities” awarded at the “China Day” (image: ICLEI East Asia Secretariat)

CitiesWithNature is a platform endorsed and supported by the Secretariat of the UN CBD for the management of sustainable cities and aims to be an important vehicle for local governments around the world to share, showcase and report on their progress and achievements. At the 7th Summit, 36 new cities including 6 Chinese cities (Kunming, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Jiaxing, Huzhou, and Nanyang) signed up to the CitieswithNatire. These cities will capture their commitments to take concrete actions for biodiversity and therefore be a benchmark for the local biodiversity conservation. Meanwhile, the 6 cities were also awarded the title of ” Biodiversity Charming Cities” at the China Day by ICLEI and China Environment News for their remarkable progress and best practices in biodiversity conservation at the local level in China. Their actions and stories will also be showcased on CitiesWithNature.


Kunming and ICLEI signed the framework agreement on the“ICLEI–Kunming International Center of Excellence for CitiesWithNature”

Kunming City and ICLEI signing the framework agreement on the ” ICLEI-Kunming International Center of Excellence for CitiesWithNature ”

Kunming City and ICLEI signing the framework agreement on the ” ICLEI-Kunming International Center of Excellence for CitiesWithNature ” (image: Kunming Municipal Ecology and Environment Bureau)

On December 12, 2022, at the 7th Summit for Subnational Governments & Cities, Mayor Liu Jiachen, on behalf of the city of Kunming, signed the framework agreement with ICLEI to set up the ” The ICLEI-Kunming International Center of Excellence for CitiesWithNature ” (the Center). The Center will be a part of CitiesWithNature and is committed to be an important platform to support long-term exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and international cities on biodiversity conservation, inspiring local governments to improve their biodiversity management and related technology, and building international examples of urban biodiversity conservation.


ICLEI is delighted to greet Kunming as a new member of the network and is excited to build and deepen the partnership with Kunming.

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