The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies, learning opportunities, as well as other useful resources and updates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some live events organized by organizations around the world, contributing to the global environmental agenda, have also been included. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

The Geneva Environment Network Secretariat will be closed from 21 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.

Due to the developments in the sanitary situation, most institutions in Geneva are operating virtually. Our update on COVID-19 and the environment lists relevant information, research, data and press releases on the environmental origins and impacts of the pandemic.

Preparing for the First Part of UNEA-5

Tuesday 15 December, at 9:00 CET, join a briefing discussing the preparations for the 5th Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), which first part is scheduled to take place virtually in February 2021. UNEA is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. Register on Webex

Chemicals & Waste: Year in Review and Priorities for 2021

Wednesday 16 December, at 9:00 CET, join our Chemicals and Waste Briefing, which will review the outcomes of the work and key activities in 2020 to advance the sound chemicals and waste management globally. It will also present the latest information on the important conferences scheduled in 2021. Next year, the 5th Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) and the back-to-back 15th Meeting of the COP to the Basel Convention, the 10th meeting of the COP to the Rotterdam Convention and the 10th Meeting of the COP to the Stockholm Convention (BRS COPs) will convene in July. The 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury in November. Register on Webex

Building Forward Better: Prospects for Green Recovery Efforts

Thursday 17 December, 9:00 CET, join a special session co-organized with the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Secretariat, to discuss how green deal strategies are instrumental in national and global recovery plans for the future of our planet. Register on Webex

Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogue

The Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues were launched last month, with a first session on Plastics and Waste, and a second session last week on Plastics, Climate and Air Pollution. The dialogues address the plastic crisis and support coordinated approaches that can lead to more efficient decision making. They aim to facilitate further engagement and discussion among the stakeholders in International Geneva and beyond. The third session will focus on Plastics and Human Rights and will take place on 14 January 2020 from 14:00 CET. Register on Webex

Walking the Talk

The United Nations launched last week the latest Greening the Blue Report showcasing the efforts of the UN family to reduce its environmental footprint. Case studies in the report highlight how UN entities are working together and finding new ways to fund projects that reduce the UN System’s environmental footprint. Find out in our update about efforts made by the international community in Geneva to walk the talk.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • Plasticenta: First evidence of microplastics in human placenta | Antonio Ragusa, Alessandro Svelato, Criselda Santacroce, et al. | Environment International, Volume 146, 2021
    For the first time microplastics were detected by Raman microspectroscopy in human placentas. Microplastics were found in all placental portions: maternal, fetal and amniochorial membranes.
  • New study reveals dramatic rise in global pesticide poisonings | PAN Asia Pacific | 9 December 2020
    The global study, published by BMC Public Health, revealed that about 44% of the worldwide farming population (total 860 million) are poisoned by pesticides every year.
  • Key actors unite to support finance action ahead of COP26 | The Finance Coalition Coordination Mechanism (FCCM) | 12 December 2020
    Key finance coalitions and NGOs focused on mobilizing public and private financial institutions for climate action have agreed to coordinate and to align their efforts with the COP26 Presidency and the Race to Zero to secure high ambition commitments from across the global financial sector.
  • Emissions Gap Report 2020 | UNEP | 9 December 2020
    Despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals. However, a low-carbon pandemic recovery could cut 25 per cent off the greenhouse emissions expected in 2030
  • European bison recovering, 31 species declared Extinct – IUCN Red List | IUCN | 10 December 2020
    The European bison, Europe’s largest land mammal, has moved from Vulnerable to Near Threatened thanks to continued conservation efforts, according to an update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.  31 species also move into the Extinct category, and all of the world’s freshwater dolphin species are now threatened with extinction.
  • Climate Change and Human Rights: The Contributions of National Human Rights Institutions | CIEL | December 2020
    National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can play a critical role in responding to the climate crisis by working to ensure that human rights are protected from the impacts of climate change.
  • CoP-11 to the Industrial Accidents Convention steering the industrial safety community into the next decade, prepared towards achieving Agenda 2030 | UNECE | 9 December 2020
    A decision on strengthening mine tailing safety in the UNECE region and beyond acknowledges the key role for the Convention to play in future in reducing risks of failures at Tailings Management Facilities and increasing the safety of persistent hot spots.
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