Boulder attends global COP15, among first cities to join new sustainability initiative

Jan. 5—Boulder last month was one of 15 U.S. cities to attend the 15th United Nations Biodiversity Conference or COP15 in Montreal aimed at helping governments agree on a roadmap to preserve and protect nature.

This was the first agreement to recognize the importance of empowering local governments to protect nature by giving them adequate resources and a seat at the table during global negotiations, according to a news release from the city. Two new platforms Cities with Nature and Regions with Nature were started to help local governments better advocate for stronger national and international protections for biodiversity. Boulder is among the first cities to join Cities with Nature.

Discussions led to a new set of targets aimed at halting and reversing biodiversity loss, the release said. These included protecting 30% of the planet by 2030, restoring damaged ecosystems, halving the risks associated with pesticides and doubling global funding to protect the natural world.

"This is a historic moment for local governments to shape federal and global policy, as they will have to deal with the full impacts of biodiversity collapse," said Rella Abernathy, Boulder's senior ecologist and representative at the conference, in the news release.