The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies, as well as updates. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

In light with the recent developments in the sanitary situation, institutions in Geneva are operating in hybrid format. Our update on COVID-19 and the environment lists relevant information.

Image of the week | H.E. Amb. Wael Aboulmagd, Special Representative of UNFCCC COP27 President-designate presenting Egypt’s vision for the upcoming climate conference, building on the outcomes of the recent IPCC WGII Climate Report, at the special briefing on the IPCC Climate Change 2022 Report: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability, on 7 March 2022.

UN Biodiversity Negotiations Resuming in Geneva

The resumed sessions of the Convention on Biological Diversity twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24), the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) and the third meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (WG2020-3) are convening in Geneva, from 14 to 29 March 2022. These meetings are an important milestone to tackle biodiversity loss as governments prepare to finalize and adopt the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the second part of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, later this year.

Due to sanitary measures, participation to the meetings is possible only for registered participants. However, other interested parties are welcome to watch live the plenary sessions. Join the side-events virtually, or physically attend additional parallel activities organized in the margins of the conference. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin is providing daily coverage of the meetings. → Consult our update on the CBD meetings for additional information.

Call for Action from Non-State Actors

A large number of non-State actors are joining their voices to call on governments to strengthen the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The call aims to bring leaders’ attention on the critical importance of securing an equitable, nature-positive, net zero emissions world for current and future generations. Organizations can join this multi-stakeholder nature positive initiative. Signatures are accepted until COB Monday, 14 March 2022.

This call to action “Secure an Equitable and Nature Positive World” will be officially handed over to governments at the Geneva meetings (CICG, Level 1) on Thursday, 17 March at 13.30 CET.

Human Rights in Biodiversity

The shaping of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is an opportunity to enable transformational change through human rights-based approaches. Rights-based approaches to conservation, sustainable use and benefit-sharing mean that biodiversity policies, governance and management do not violate human rights and that those implementing such policies actively seek ways to support and promote human rights in their design and implementation. Such approaches are essential to stop biodiversity loss and degradation in an equitable and sustained way.

In order to promote the integration of human rights, the Human Rights in Biodiversity Working Group, established in 2020 in Chiang Mai, published a third brief with recommendations on how to integrate and strengthen a human rights-based approach in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The authors argue that, as for now, the human rights-related advancements are not sufficient and without further improvement the framework risks falling short of its ambition to achieve transformative change, they argue.

Two side-events this week will take a deeper dive into this important topic:

Gender, Health, Indigenous People, Finance, Trade, and More on the Agenda

Additional events open to stakeholders not physically at the Center, co-convened by Geneva stakeholders on topics of importance for international Geneva, with links available, include:

Environment at the Human Rights Council

The 49th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC49) continues this week in Geneva, with a number of environmental topics on the agenda. Throughout the session, running until 1 April, regular updates on key issues at HRC49, side-events and further resources will be available on our dedicated webpage.

Last week, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Toxics, presented his report on “The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment: non-toxic environment”. In his address to the council, David Boyd stated that “pollution and toxic substances affect the enjoyment of many human rights, especially the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, but also the rights to life, health, water, food, housing, and an adequate standard of living”. Emphasizing that securing a non-toxic environment is a human rights obligation, he urged States and businesses to vigorously pursue zero pollution and the elimination of toxic substances, and rehabilitate contaminated communities. Read more:

This week, events of interest include:

New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene

A new Special Report on Human SecurityNew threats to human security in the Anthropocene: Demanding greater solidaritylaunched last month by UNDP, will be presented and discussed at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, in Maison de la paix, on Thursday, 17 March at 14:00 CET. The report shows that people’s sense of safety and security is at a low in almost every country, including the richest countries, despite years of upwards development success. Despite people on average living longer, healthier, and wealthier lives, these advances have not succeeded in increasing people’s sense of security.

To tackle this disconnect between development and perceived security, the report calls for greater solidarity across borders and a new approach to development. The report examines a cluster of threats that have shifted to become more prominent in recent years including those from digital technologies, inequalities, conflicts, and the ability of healthcare systems to tackle new challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spring Officially Started in Geneva

Every year in Geneva, the administrative secretary of the State Council and Parliament announces the arrival of spring, with the hatching of the first leaf of the chestnut tree of the Promenade de la Treille, a tradition that started in 1818. This year, the first leaf appeared on 10 March.

As days are getting longer, it is not only flowers that start to bud in the parks of Geneva, but also a wide range of green activities that are flourishing in this international city. From exhibitions and film screenings to creative workshops and outdoor activities, we invite you to learn more about the environment, reencounter local wildlife, explore nature trails and spend a “green spring” in Geneva. Discover our suggested activities in our dedicated webpage, which we will regularly update as the season goes.

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20 Feb 2024

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