The day of action creates awareness for the natural environment and species richness in Bonn and sets a new course for innovative action plans.
The United Nations has proclaimed the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. At the same time, the threat to biodiversity from climate change and habitat loss is growing rapidly.
Bonn is a city characterized by a great deal of greenery in the urban landscape and offers a wide range of opportunities for experiencing nature and recreational activities in the surrounding area. Around 50 percent of Bonn's urban area is under nature and landscape protection. In addition, there are other green areas such as parks or cemeteries. The proportion of forest in Bonn is as high as 30 percent and, under the UNECE Trees in Cities challenge, 25,000 trees have just been planted, most of them in Bonn’s city forest
Mayor Katja Dörner explains: "Intact nature and the protection of species are our basis of life and make our green city Bonn so livable. That's why we will be rethinking our Biodiversity Action Plan in the coming months - together with many stakeholders in and outside the city administration.”
The new Biodiversity Action Plan is intended to provide a strategic framework for the next and decisive decade. After all, cities and municipalities have an important role to play when it comes to nature and species conservation or sustainable land use.
Statement of Mayor Katja Dörner on the Biodiversity Day 2021
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Plenty of options for local activities in the city
"Discover, research, experience" has been the motto at Haus der Natur since its reopening in summer 2019. In and around Haus der Natur, the importance of biological diversity becomes visible. The permanent exhibition on the theme of "Big City Forest" invites visitors to experience the native diversity of animal species up close. In the adjacent newly designed nature garden, visitors can learn how to promote biodiversity in their own gardens by growing native plants, and on a walk through the forest along the "Biodiversity Trail" with its urban wildlife enclosure, they can learn about the diversity of tree species and soil organisms, among other things.
The Office for Environment and Urban Greenery has initiated a variety of projects for nature and people in Bonn. Since the summer of 2019, the project "Blossoms for Insects", which was awarded by the Decade of Biological Diversity, has been running, in which children, educators and parents work together to create flowering meadows or flowering beds in selected daycare centers in Bonn.
In close cooperation with Biostadt Bonn and the Adult Education Center, the Office for the Environment and Urban Greenery successfully runs the event series "Biological Diversity in the City". In free lectures - currently online - citizens may obtain practical information and tips on how to create small biotopes for native plants and animals in gardens and even on balconies. The "Biodiversity in the City" nature trail provides a look at very different inner-city biotopes, such as wall vegetation or facade greening, which are important habitats for urban biodiversity.
In order to promote biodiversity on Bonn's cemeteries, the Office for Environment and Urban Greenery has been working together with the Bonn/Rhein-Erft Biological Station since 2020 under the project "Lebensstätte Friedhof" (Cemetery Habitat), which is funded by the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR). Insect-friendly flowering meadows were already planted in the southern cemetery in 2018. Since then, many more areas have been added in cemeteries and parks, and more are planned.
Think globally - act locally
Bonn sees itself as a center for sustainable development with a distinctive scientific landscape and committed civil society actors and as a city with a special responsibility. In fact, Bonn can draw on a great deal of potential for action here. A good example of this is the international cities network ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, which has been based in Bonn since 2010. Bonn has been a member of ICLEI since 1999 and Mayor Katja Dörner is a member of its Global Executive Committee. ICLEI also coordinates cities and regions in the global biodiversity debate, which will bring a joint declaration to the next Conference of the Parties in Kunming, China, in October 2021. The goal is the adoption of a new global action plan for cities and regions by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Through ICLEI, Bonn is also a member of the Global Cities and Regions Action Alliance for Biodiversity and the Cities With Nature program.