The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main eventsjob vacancies, learning opportunities, as well as other useful resources and updates. Stay tuned and follow us also on X (Twitter), Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Image of the week | A Briefing on the 6th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, took place on 6 December, at the International Environment House. Leading experts highlighted the importance of integrating the environment across the entire multilateral system and linking with various processes led in Geneva that are contributing to addressing the triple planetary crisis.

The Future of Human Rights, the Environment and Climate | 75 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights culminates in a two-day high-level event on 11 and 12 December 2023 at Palais des Nations. With participants from all over the world, including Member States, civil society organizations, cities and local governments, human rights defenders, parliamentary representatives, United Nations entities, academics, experts, Indigenous Peoples, young people and artists, the gathering serves as an opportunity to commemorate this landmark achievement, as well as to encourage pledges towards achieving freedom, equality and justice for all.

In the face of the triple planetary crisis, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights serves as a beacon to advance the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In this light, a roundtable entitled “The Future of Human Rights, the Environment and Climate” will be convened on 12 December, from 15:00 – 17:00 CET, in Room XIX. The roundtable will look to the next 25 years and consider concrete recommendations to address the triple planetary crisis through the lens of human rights and through steps to uphold these rights as a path to solutions. → Follow this roundtable and other events taking place during the two-day gathering through the Human Rights 75 Virtual Conference Centre.

→ As International Geneva takes urgent action to respect, protect and fulfil human rights for the protection of both people and the planet, learn more about human rights, the environment, and the role of Geneva in our dedicated update.

A Science-Policy Panel to Contribute Further to the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste and to Prevent Pollution

The Second session of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on the Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution (OEWG 2) takes place this week in Nairobi. Pre-session discussions took place last weekend including informal consultations and regional and stakeholder meetings

With a dense schedule of plenaries, bureau meetings, regional meetings, and contact groups, OEWG 2 will discuss the way forward for the establishment of the science-policy panel on chemicals, waste and pollution prevention. Various delegations support the use of the Draft text for proposals to establish a science-policy panel (UNEP/SPP-CWP/OEWG.2/INF/10) — developed on the basis of the Proposed Skeleton Outline document (UNEP/SPP-CWP/OEWG.2/2) — as a starting point for developing proposals to establish a science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. 

To better prepare for the OEWG 2 meeting, access all documents on the OEWG-2 Website under the “Pre-Session Documents” tab and rewatch the latest session of the Road to OEWG 2 webinar and events series→ Follow the negotiations through the Earth Negotiations Bulletin live coverage. 

International Geneva @ COP28

At the UN Climate Conference (COP28), expected to conclude on 12 December 2023, actors from Geneva have led and contributed to the various thematic days and the tabling of important declarations.

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) informed COP28 negotiations on the accelerated rate of climate change and its impacts in the past decade with its Decadal State of Climate 2011-2020 Report. Read WMO Press Release
    • 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record for both land and ocean
    • Glaciers around the world thinned by approximately 1m per year on average
    • Sea level rose at an annual rate of 4.5mm/yr
    • Ocean warmed at an increasing rate and became more acidic
    • Approximately 60% of the surface of the ocean experienced a heatwave
    • The decadal global average CO2 rose to 402.0 ppm
    • Greenland and Antarctica lost 38% more ice in last decade than previous
    • Arctic sea ice extent seasonal mean minimum was 30% below average

Important reports and initiatives launched at COP28 include:

Other news related to COP28 and climate change include:

Want to dive into COP28 negotiations?  Follow the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, watch the public webcast, check UNEP’s Spotlight on Climate Action, or read the Climate Action Network International (CAN) ECO daily newsletter.

Last Fish Week Pushes to Speed Up Fisheries Agreement

Last week, WTO convened the final ‘Fish Week of the year, a key moment to unfold the necessary groundwork for delivering the second wave of negotiations to further strengthen the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies disciplines at the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), taking place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi. A new document drafted by the Chair — H.E. Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson of Iceland — aimed to find consensus on provisions prohibiting subsidies contributing to overcapacity and overfishing and the provisions for unique and differential treatment for developing members and least-developed country members. 

Other important documents on IUU and overfishing recently released include: 

  • The Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Risk Index | Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management and Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime | 6 December 2023
    The IUU Fishing Risk Index reports synthesize and analyse the Index scores for countries, regions and ocean basins for different types of state responsibilities.  The global score was slightly worse than in 2021, indicating that there has been no notable shift or improvement in overall global IUU fishing risk.
  • The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries 2023 | FAO | 5 December 2023
    While overfishing remains a concern, The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries 2023 report records a drop of 15 percent in this figure over the last year, consistent with a continuous reduction in fishing pressure, which has fallen by 31 percent since 2012.

What (Else) to Read Next?

  • Governments continue discussions on pandemic agreement negotiating text | WHO | 7 December 2023
    To accelerate its progress, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) established four drafting subgroups led by the INB Bureau Vice Chairs and co-facilitated by Member States, to consider the proposed articles on each topic. The INB recommended subgroups continue holding informal discussions with Member States and propose text for their respective articles by 15 January 2024 for consideration at the eighth INB meeting to be held from 19 February–1 March 2024. The ninth will take place from 18–28 March 2024.
  • The Climate Myth of Deep Sea Mining | Planet Tracker | 6 December 2023
    Deep-sea mining companies claim that mining polymetallic nodules could provide a low-carbon alternative to terrestrially mined metals. However, it has also attracted significant and growing opposition, with companies, investors, national governments, scientists and civil society organizations calling for a moratorium on deep-sea mining.
  • Two-week protest at sea against deep sea mining comes to an end with activists undeterred | Greenpeace Aotearoa | 6 December 2023
    Greenpeace International activists have carried out the first-ever occupation against deep sea mining as part of a nearly 2-week protest in the Pacific Ocean. With a range of peaceful actions, Greenpeace protested during almost half of The Metals Company’s (TMC) scheduled expedition alongside winning a landmark judgement for peaceful protest.
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Body Meeting

Global Refugee Forum 2023

13 – 15 Dec 2023

Palexpo

UNHCR

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ITC

Professional

Programme Officer | P3

13 Dec 2023

ITC

Intern

Intern

13 Dec 2023

Aarhus Convention

JEU

Consultant

NEAT+ and EHA project

14 Dec 2023

UNEP/OCHA JEU

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17 Apr 2024

Ongoing Contests