International Environmental Negotiations Agenda 2021-2022
UN Environment Assembly (UNEA)
The 5th session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) took place in two-parts. The first session (UNEA-5.1) was conducted virtually on 22-23 February 2021. Substantive matters that require in-depth negotiations were deferred to a physical session of UNEA-5 (UNEA-5.2), that took place from 28 February to 2 March 2022. → More information on UNEA-5.2.
End Plastic Pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument
In February 2022, at UNEA-5.2, a historic resolution (5/14) was adopted to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution with the ambition to complete the negotiations by end of 2024.
The first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-1) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 28 November to 2 December 2022.
A multi-stakeholder forum took place on 26 November, and regional consultations and a bureau meeting was held on 27 November.
Ad-hoc OEWG Outcome Summary
Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution
Following UNEA resolution 5/8 entitled “Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution”, a science-policy panel is to be established to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution.
An ad hoc open-ended working group, mandated to prepare proposals for the science-policy panel, began work in 2022, with the ambition of completing it by the end of 2024. The first part of OEWG-1 took place as a one-day hybrid meeting held in Nairobi on 6 October 2022. The second part will be held in person in Bangkok from 30 January to 3 February 2023.
UNEP webinar series: Scope and functions of the Science-policy panel | 24 January 2023
Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS MEAs)
BRS COPs 2021-2022
The 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-15), the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-10) and the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-10) meetings in two segments: online on 26-30 July 2021 and face-to-face held over two weeks in 6-17 June 2022.
The theme of the meetings and the high-level segment was “Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet: Sound management of chemicals and waste“. Attended by over 1500 delegates from around the world, the BRS COPs produced 23 specific decisions agreed upon under the Basel Convention, 9 under the Rotterdam Convention, 16 under the Stockholm Convention, and 7 joint decisions, adding up to a total of 55 decisions.
BRS MEAs Press Release | 17 June 2022
BRS MEAs Note
Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions | GEN Update
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The 15th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-15), originally scheduled for October 2020, is taking place in two parts. The first part of the meetings took place virtually from 11 to 15 October 2021. Due to the continued uncertainties related to COVID-19 pandemic, the second part of the meetings is taking place in Montreal, Canada from 3 to 19 December 2022.
The Conference included: 15th meeting of the COP to the Convention; 10th meeting of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol; and 4th meeting of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol. Critical areas of work were addressed with the Conference adopting an interim integrated budget for 2022. Progress reports from the Co-Chairs of the Open-ended Working Group on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and from the chairs of the Convention’s subsidiary bodies were also delivered.
One of the outcomes is that Parties to the Convention endorsed the Kunming Ministerial Declaration committing to negotiate a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that is effective in bending the curve of biodiversity loss – and matched by the necessary resources, and with an effective mechanism to monitor and review progress, in line with the Convention and its two protocols.
CBD Notification | 21 July 2022
CBD COP15 Website
Geneva Executive Briefing on the UN Biodiversity Conference | 30 November 2022
Information on the CBD meetings in Geneva | 4-29 March 2022
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
The ninth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES 9) was held in Bonn, Germany, from 3 to 9 July 2022.
At its sixth session (IPBES-6) in Medellin, Colombia in 2018, the IPBES Plenary approved the undertaking of a methodological assessment on values. The assessment report was presented for the Plenary’s acceptance, and its summary for policymakers for its approval, at the Plenary’s ninth session (IPBES 9) in Bonn, Germany.
Sustainable Use Assessment
With 50,000 wild species meeting needs of billions worldwide, a new report by the IPBES offers insights, analysis and tools to establish more sustainable use of wild species of plants, animals, fungi and algae around the world. The summary of the report was approved by representatives of the 139 member States during IPBES 9.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Conference of the Parties
The 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP19) was held in Panama City, Panama on 14 – 25 November 2022.
CITES Notification | 15 September 2021
COP19 Dedicated Page
A briefing focusing on the preparations for the upcoming CITES CoP19, or World Wildlife Conference, took place at the International Environment House and online, on Tuesday 18 October 2022. → More information available on the event page.
Animal and Plants Committee
The 31st Meeting of the Animals Committee (AC31) and the 25th Meeting of the Plants Committee (PC25) took place virtually on 31 May – 23 June 2021.
CITES Notification | 15 March 2021
Intersessional Work of the Animals Committee 2020-2021
Summary Record of AC31 | 16 November 2021
Summary Record of PC25 | 16 November 2021
The 76th meeting of the Standing Committee took place in Panama City, Panama on 25 November 2022.
Agenda and documents
Draft summary record
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress
The IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020 took place on 3-11 September 2021 in Marseille.
- Forum | 4-7 September
- Exhibition | 4-9 September
- IUCN Members’ Assembly | 8-10 September with a first sitting at the beginning of the Congress
- Nature Generation Areas or “Espaces Générations Nature” | 4-11 September
Minamata Convention on Mercury
Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4)
The 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention took place in two segments. The first segment was held online on 1-5 November 2021 and while the second part was held in-person in the 21-25 March 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.
The intersessional work towards COP4 was slightly adapted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. An overview of the calendar of the meetings is available here.
Summary of in-person segment of COP4: Minamata COP-4 closes with global commitment to evaluate, expand and strengthen the efforts against toxic mercury | 25 March 2022
Summary of first segment of COP4: Parties to the Minamata Convention reinforce their commitment to stopping mercury pollution in a fully online session | 5 November 2021
Communication from the Bureau | 30 April 2021
Geneva Executive Briefing
Two executive briefing were organized ahead of COP-4 within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network:
- Executive Briefing on the online segment of the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4) | 19 October 2021
- Executive Briefing on the Second Segment of the Fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4.2) | 2 March 2022
Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention)
Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP14)
The fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties took placefrom 5-13 November 2022 in a hybrid manner in Wuhan (China) at East Lake International Conference Center (ELICC) and Geneva (Switzerland) at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG). The theme of COP14 was “Wetland Actions for People and Nature“. The opening and high-level segment will be in hybrid modality in Wuhan, China. Negotiations and all other aspects of COP14 will take place face to face in Geneva.
The 60th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention took place on 5 November 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland. The 61st Meeting of the Standing Committee also took place on 13 November 2022 in the same venue in Geneva.
Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
The first part of the fourth meeting of the intersessional process (IP4) took place in Bucharest, Romania on 29 August – 2 September 2022, and will be adjourned in Nairobi, Kenya on 27 February-3 March 2023.
These and previous meetings support stakeholders in their efforts to elaborate the future arrangements of the Strategic Approach and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 for consideration and adoption at the next session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5).
IP4.1 Summary | Earth Negotiations Bulletin
UN Convention on Climate Change
UNFCCC Conference of the Parties
The 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCCC took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 7 to 18 November 2022.
Coverage of the conference through the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and UN News special coverage
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) COP 26 was held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, from 1 to 13 November 2021.
Coverage of the conference through the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and UN News special coverage
Geneva Briefing on COP26 Preparations | 21 October 2021
Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Implementation (SBI)
SBSTA-58 / SBI-58
The 58th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) are scheduled to take place in June 2023 in Bonn, Germany.
The 57th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) took place from 6 to 12 November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
6th Assessment Cycle
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has rescheduled the approval sessions for the Working Group II and Working Group III contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and for the Synthesis Report.
Press Release | 28 May 2021
Working Group I
The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, finalized on 6 August 2021 during the 14th Session of Working Group I and 54th Session of the IPCC, is the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations.
Working Group II
The Working Group II report, which assesses climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability was released on 28 February 2022. The United Kingdom Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva organized a COP26-COP27 Briefing on the IPCC Climate Change 2022 Report: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability on 7 March 2022, with the support of the Geneva Environment Network.
Working Group III
The Working Group III report, which assesses the mitigation of climate change, was published on 4 April 2022. A Briefing on the IPCC Climate Change 2022 Report: Mitigation of Climate Change was hosted on 8 April 2022.
The Synthesis Report, which will integrate the findings of the three Working Groups and the three Special Reports already released in this assessment cycle, originally scheduled to be released on 3 October 2022, is rescheduled for release in March 2023 in Interlaken, Bern, Switzerland.
UN Convention to Combat Desertification
UN Convention to Combat Desertification Conference of the Parties
The 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP-15) took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 9 to 20 May 2022. The UNCCD COP-15 adopted 38 decisions, including on tenure, migration and gender, that highlight the role of land in addressing multiple crises.
UNCCD COP-15 Summary: United global call to act on land degradation and drought concludes major UN meeting in Côte d’Ivoire | 20 May 2022
UNCCD News | 23 April 2021
Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention
The 21st session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC21) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), will be held from 9 to 13 October 2023 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
UN Food Systems Summit
Serving as the a historic opportunity to empower all people to leverage the power of food systems to drive our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and get us back on track to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the Food Systems Summit took place on 23 September 2021 alongside the UN General Assembly in New York.
The Pre-Summit gathering for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit was held in Rome, Italy, on 19-21 July 2021.
UN Ocean Conference
2022 UN Ocean Conference
The 2022 UN Ocean Conference took place from 27 June to 1 July 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal.
2022 UN Ocean Conference Website
Towards the UN Ocean Conference | From Geneva to Lisbon | GEN Update
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
UN Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea
The 22nd meeting of the United Nations Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-22), on the topic of “Ocean observing”, took place from 6 to 10 June 2022.
UN Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea Website
IGC-5 on Biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction
UN Member States gathered in New York for the 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), from 15-26 August 2022. Following the adoption of UNGA resolution 72/249, these negotiations aim to establish a legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine BBNJ. IISD ENB coverage
On the last day of that session, the Conference, in considering the way forward, decided to suspend the fifth session and resume it at a later date to be determined. In this connection, in its forthcoming resolution on “Oceans and the law of the sea” (draft resolution is contained in document A/77/L.36), the General Assembly is expected to request the Secretary-General to convene the resumed fifth session of the Conference at United Nations Headquarters from 20 February to 3 March 2023.
Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference
The 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference took place in Cyprus from 5 to 7 October 2022. The Conference was organized by the Republic of Cyprus with the support of UNECE.
Nicosia EfE website
WTO Ministerial Conference
The 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) took place during the week of 13 June 2022 in Geneva, as agreed by Members in February 2022. MC12 was due to take place in December 2021 but was postponed due to the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which led to the imposition of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in Switzerland and many other European countries. The Conference was chaired by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Trade and Integration, Bakhyt Sultanov, as approved by WTO members in December 2019. More information and updates can be found on the WTO website.
An additional ministerial meeting was hosted by the head of the World Trade Organization on 15 July 2021, with a focus on fisheries subsidies.
The General Assembly, acting without a vote, adopted a draft resolution on International Meeting “Stockholm+50: A healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity” (A/75/L.88), to convene an international meeting in Stockholm on 2-3 June 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm that gave birth to the United Nations Environment Programme.
Stockholm+50 Press Release: Stockholm+50 closes with call for urgent environmental, economic transformation | 24 May 2021
Stockholm+50 & Geneva
Global Environment Facility
3rd Meeting for the 8th Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund
The 3rd meeting for the 8th Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-8) took place online on 2-4 February 2022.
As the negotiations in the GEF-8 proceed, a High-Level Panel was organized in order for leading experts to present the status of the replenishment negotiations. Discussions focused on the GEF support to the implementation of the obligations stemming from the chemicals and waste MEAs, the need to increase the chemicals and waste portfolio, and other thematics under this cluster, such as links with the climate and biodiversity portfolios.
63rd GEF Council Meeting
The 63rd GEF Council meeting took place virtually from 28 November to 2 December 2022. The Council, which meets twice annually, develops, adopts and evaluates the operational policies and programs for GEF-financed activities. It also reviews and approves the work program (projects submitted for approval), making decisions by consensus.
Antimicrobial Resistance Ministerial Conference
3rd Global High-Level Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance
The 3rd High-level Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) took place in Muscat, Oman on 24-25 November 2022 to accelerate tackling AMR at the national, regional, and global levels and to enhance international cooperation. It built on the success of the two previous High-level Ministerial Conferences held in the Netherlands in 2014 and 2019. The quadripartite alliance on AMR (FAO, OIE, WHO and UNEP) is providing support in the preparations.