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6. Why should cities play a bigger role in conservation? (Debra Roberts)

January 2021


Since about 2007 most of the world's population has been living in cities and, if there's one thing we're learning about conservation, it's that people matter. But why do people in cities matter? Why do cities themselves matter? And why are cities not playing a more prominent role in conservation globally?

I ask Debra Roberts, whose experience and skills range from academia to policy to implementation; across local, national and international levels; and in both biodiversity conservation and climate change action. Among many accolades, Debra was recently named one of Apolitico's 100 most influential people in climate policy, alongside the likes of Al Gore and David Attenborough. Despite a high profile at the international level, she continues a long career primarily dedicated to the sustainability of her home city, Durban (eThekwini) in South Africa.

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