hat hmanCity Biodiversity Index, also known as the Singapore Index, is a valuable self-assessment tool for monitoring and evaluating biodiversity in cities and is the only biodiversity index for cities specifically. The City Biodiversity Index was developed by experts from around the world, including academic research institutions, experienced local government officials, as well as established organisations specialising in biodiversity and ecosystem services in a city context.


The first of the five steps in the LAB Pioneer Project, ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center’s flagship project, is the compilation of a biodiversity report. The report describes the ecology, governance, integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity, as well as public participation and awareness-raising, in each of the participating local governments.


The LAB Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (LBSAPs) are documents detailing the broad strategy, as well as the specific actions that each LAB local government implements in order to protect and enhance its biodiversity. The purpose and methodology of the LBSAP is a local-level version of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) that many countries have already created.


Local Action Project Descriptions from LAB Pioneer participant cities briefly outline a biodiversity management project implimented by each city. Covering the project background, goals, methods and results, these examples provide a useful resource pool of city strategies used in overcoming urban biodiversity challenges.


Various reports from significant events coordinated or attended by ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center are available for download.




ICLEI’s LAB Guidebook, produced in close association with IUCN and the CBD Secretariat provides practitioners with comprehensive guidelines on the multiple aspects of biodiversity management in the challenging local government context. This groundbreaking and comprehensive publication collates biodiversity good practice from around the world in a series of easily accessible modules. Read more »


The Durban Commitment was initially signed at the 2008 international LAB workshop in Durban by all cities participating in the LAB Pioneer Project. This document shows the exemplary commitment that LAB local governments are making towards the sustainable management of biodiversity. Since then many other local authorities have signed.


A series of LAB Pioneer participant City Profiles provides insight into the demographics, location, contact information and biodiversity challenges and solutions within each participating city. Browse through to see a highly varied global biodiversity arena, where a number of challenges (one of which could relate to your city) are dissected.


Follow the latest news and events from ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center with each edition of "ICLEI CBC News" and pervious editioins of the LAB Newsletter. You can subscribe to the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center Newsletter for free by emailing us at with ‘Subscribe’ in the subject line. For all previous editions, visit the Newsletters page.



ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center runs biodiversity management programmes for local authorities around the world, working closely with various international partners:


  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)
  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) 
  • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
  • The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
  • The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
  • The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA)
  • The United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)

The following tools are available for download from some of our partner websites:


The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)

Drawing attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, the TEEB study is an initiative that highlights the growing cost of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and advises practical solutions through technical expertise in the fields of science, policy and economics. ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center works closely with TEEB in bringing valuable information and practical solutions to local governments who are beginning to place an economic value upon their own ecosystems. The TEEB D2 Report for Local and Regional Policymakers is an advisory tool that gives practical guidance on how to deal with the challenge of biodiversity loss at a local and regional level. Launched in September 2010, it is now available to download at the TEEB website.



The Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity (CBI)

The CBI is a set of biodiversity indictors being developed specifically for cities. Its purpose is to provide their local governments with an internationally accredited and recognised system for measuring the status of their biodiversity and biodiversity conservation efforts, and changes over time. The CBI will be officially taken up by the SCBD and tested by volunteer cities including selected LAB cities. Co-organised by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and Singapore National Parks, the framework for the City Biodiversity Index was developed during two international expert workshops in Singapore: the first in 2009 and and the second in 2010.


Andre Mader of ICLEI's Global Biodiversity Centre was invited to join 16 other international experts on urban biodiversity and indicator development in contributing to the development of this product. The resulting discussions led to the development of the the User’s Manual for the City Biodiversity Index


Read more at the CBD's Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity (CBI) page.



Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is the world’s largest multilateral initiative for enabling free and open access to biodiversity data over the Internet.  GBIF constitutes a voluntary network of national, regional and thematic Biodiversity Information Facilities (BIFs) in different countries and regions around the world, providing the means to access credible scientific data about animal, plant and other species to underpin sustainable development and benefit science and society. ICLEI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GBIF, bringing a local government focus to the GBIF partner network and further enabling ICLEI’s member local authorities to enhance the effectiveness of urban planning, biodiversity and ecosystem management towards sustainable development at the local level.


Read more at the Global Biodiversity Information Facility website.



The Urban Biosphere Network (URBIS)

The Urban Biosphere Network (URBIS) is URBIS is a joint collaboration between UNESCO and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. This global network of scientists, educators, planners and policy makers facilitates the discussion and sharing of ideas and methods for developing more resilient urban regions.

Founded amid an international delegation, including the ICLEI CBC team, in May 2008 during the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn, the network aims to link science and practice by creating a network of urban centres that incorporates local knowledge with the sciences. It also aims to facilitate the adaption of local governance in urban areas to sustain ecosystem services, and provide a platform for urban resilience on the road to improved ecosystem function, equity and sustainable urban infrastructure.


Find out more about the Urban Biodiversity Network.




ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center has been operating since 2006 (previously as Local Action for Biodiversity), and the years have seen the creation of an abundance of highly useful tools and publications from ourselves, our partners and other organisations. Please make use of the links below which are relevant to all local centres for urban biodiversity management:




A wealth of mixed resources relevant to local authorities and biodiversity!