Event title: Second UNEA Cities and Regions Summit: Flip the Script: Cities and Nature

Event time: 23 February 2022 (12:30-18:30 EAT)  - Check your timezone

Cities are key drivers of climate change and environmental degradation: they consume two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for 70% of global greenhouse emissions. At the same time, cities are at the forefront of climate impacts. By the end of this century, cities worldwide could warm as much as 4°C. Twenty-one of the world’s 33 megacities are in low-lying coastal areas, with almost 700 million people living in urban or peri-urban areas that are less than 10 meters above sea level. Cities are also highly vulnerable to disruption in critical supplies, including food, energy and mobility. Urban food consumption is already one of the largest sources of urban material flows, urban carbon and local footprints. By 2050, 80% of all food produced is estimated to be consumed in cities.

For years the story of cities has been a tale of attempting to carve a place for humans outside of nature, but we are increasingly realizing that smart, sustainable and resilient cities need to harness the power of nature. Integrating nature-based solutions (NbS) into urban planning becomes critical and requires efforts at subnational and national levels. Nature can deliver important ecosystem services to urban dwellers, from building resilience and reducing disaster and extreme heat related risks, to contributing to climate adaptation and mitigation, and sustainable food production. For cities to make peace with nature, we need to design and redesign cities and urban infrastructure with nature in mind.


The Summit will be organized in a virtual format, with four core sessions:

  • Opening  (10:30-11:00 CET)

  • Thematic Session 1 (11:00-12:30 CET): Urban Nature-Based Solutions to Counter Climate Risks and Limit Global Warming

  • Thematic Session 2 (14:00-15:30 CET): Leveraging Sustainable Food Systems for Nature-Positive Cities

  • Closing (15:30-16:30 CET): How to scale up solutions to harness the power of nature in cities and closing of the Summit

During the second thematic session, the International Resource Panel will launch its Think Piece 'The Potential for Urban Agriculture to Advance Multiple Sustainability Goals' and the accompanied 'Guide for Policymakers'.

The think piece provides insights on the contribution of urban agriculture to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It highlights the differences in natural resource use implications, environmental impacts and socio-economic benefits of urban agriculture typologies being promoted in cities within different economic development contexts.

Register for the event here