Hosted by LAB member, the Kaohsiung City Government and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the LAB Symposium brought together LAB cities from around the world, as well as local and international biodiversity experts to discuss how science, policy and local governance can create beautiful, biodiverse cities.
Officiating the opening, the Honourable Mayor Chen Chu welcomed local and international delegates and highlighted that symposium provided a valuable exchange of experience on urban biodiversity policy and planning that should be used to sustain natural heritage to future generations.
The first day of the symposium included a keynote speech from ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center’s Georgina Avlonitis on the Cities Biodiversity Outlook and broke into parallel sessions to discuss Urban Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Global Change; How to connect people, cities and nature and Sustainable Marine and Wetland Management. Within these sessions, LAB cities Edmonton, Montreal, Cape Town and eThekwini shared insights and experiences of biodiversity planning, resulting in discussions on applying this experience locally.
Day two looked at international and local examples of urban biodiversity conservancy and governance, both through key note speeches and a panel discussion. The afternoon’s site visit to Jhongdu Wetland Park on the city’s Love River illustrated the value of restored wetlands in the urban area, providing a refuge to local plants and animals and providing flood attenuation in a previously highly industrialised area. Accordingly, the area is now a favoured residential suburb, where house prices have increased to the highest in the city.