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, Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Due to the developments in the sanitary situation, most institutions in Geneva continue 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.

The Road to Bern via Geneva

In preparation of the UN World Data Forum 2021, that will take place in Bern in October 2021 and as a way to enhance the role of International Geneva in digital cooperation, a series of Cross-sectoral Dialogues on Digital Cooperation are being organized. By addressing data issues through different angles and combining the experience of different sectors, the dialogues aim at enhancing the added value of data to ultimately accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

On 19 May 2021, the sixth dialogue of the Road to Bern via Geneva on Environmental Data, co-convened by UNEP, WTO, the Geneva Environment Network, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland and the Geneva Internet Platform will showcase the latest digital sustainable trade and environment transparency concepts and tools, with an emphasis on the digital product passport concept. It will bring in the perspectives of governments, businesses and other stakeholders on the potential use cases, challenges, opportunities and enabling policies. Register by 17 May and join at 10.00 CEST.

Celebrating Biodiversity

The International Day for Biological Diversity will be celebrated on 22 May under the slogan: “We’re part of the solution #ForNature“. From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better. Celebrating Biodiversity Day is part of building momentum toward ambitious global action to preserve nature and halt biodiversity loss, especially as we are headed toward an important year for nature. In October 2021, world leaders will gather in Kunming, China to adopt a post-2020 biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  • In Geneva, local authorities and associations will be celebrating nocturnal biodiversity through the “La nuit est belle” campaign. More than 150 municipalities in the region – both in Switzerland and France – will keep their lights off during the night of 21 – 22 May. This initiative is developed in collaboration with the “Fête de la Nature“, offering activities throughout the week to celebrate the rich biodiversity of Geneva and beyond.
  • Several experts from the Geneva community will participate in the Global Biodiversity Festival, a virtual weekend shining a spotlight on biodiversity loss, taking place from 20-23 May.
  • For Biodiversity Day, UNEP and CBD are launching a new report on nature restoration Measuring Progress: Nature and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on 22 May. This report is part of a series on nature restoration; among which the Protected Planet Report from UNEP and IUCN to be released on 19 May.
  • On 20 May, the world will celebrate World Bee Day, raising awareness among the international public about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humanity in the light of ensuring global food security, eliminating hunger and caring for the environment and biodiversity. FAO is hosting a global virtual celebration on the day, at 13:00 CEST.

Friday Strike for Future

On Friday 21 May 2021, the nation-wide Strike for Future (Grève pour l’Avenir) will call for more action for a sustainable, just and inclusive future. At 11.59 CEST, concerned citizen all around the country will sound the alarm with as much noise as possible, raising their voices, ringing bells and whistling trains, to symbolize the climate emergency. Ahead of this day of action, several climate action groups joined voices with Henri Dès to release a song about the climate emergency, featuring various local celebrities.

In Geneva, the main demonstration will start at 16.00 in Plaine de Plainpalais. Other activities are planned throughout the day. Follow Strike for Future Geneva on social media for more information.

The Fish on my Plate | Wednesdays for the Planet

Join the next episode of Wednesdays for the Planet – our series of movie screenings and expert presentations – to take a deep dive into the fishing industry. The documentary “The Fish on my Plate” follows the journey of best-selling author and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg as he spends a year eating fish at breakfast, lunch and dinner to help answer the question: “What fish should I eat that’s good for me and good for the planet?”

David Vivas from UNCTAD and colleagues from the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention will share their expert views on the issue of overfishing, aquaculture, as well as nutrition and health aspects of fish consumption. Discover the presentations from 19 May, 13.30 CEST.

Connect with GENvironment

Join us on Friday mornings for Connect with GENvironment, an opportunity to have an informal conversation with experts that make Geneva a global hub for environmental governance. Our guest this week is David Azoulay, Managing Attorney of the Center for International Environmental Law’s (CIEL) Geneva Office and the Director of CIEL’s Environmental Health Program. Join Friday 21 May at 9:00 CEST.

What (Else) Should I Read / Listen Next?

  • Fishing subsidies negotiations chair introduces new text in run-up to July ministerial | WTO | 11 May 2021
    The chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, introduced a new draft text aimed at bringing members closer to agreement ahead of the 15 July meeting of ministers. The text is based on members’ collective work and proposes landing zones to curb harmful fisheries subsidies and ensure the sustainability of the world’s oceans.
  • From Lines to Loops for a Circular Economy | UN PAGE | 12 May 2021
    The latest episode of the Green Renaissance podcast explores how we can embrace the switch from a linear to a circular economy as part of a green recovery, featuring experts from UNIDO, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and CTplas – Plastics Technology Centre.
  • Natural climate change solutions highly effective in the long term | University of Oxford | 13 May 2021
    Scientists from Oxford have gathered new evidence in support of Nature-based Solutions to fight climate change. The analysis suggests that, to limit global temperature rise, we must slash emissions and increase NbS investment to protect, manage and restore ecosystems and land for the future.
  • Guest Contributor Towards Better Protecting the Environment in Armed Conflict | Richard Pearshouse (Amnesty International) | Who We AreNew Security Beat | 10 May 2021
    In 2019, the International Law Commission (ILC) proposed 28 draft principles for the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts. States and other parties can make comments to improve the draft principles until June 2021. Afterwards, the ILC will proceed with a second reading on the principles before they are considered by the UN General Assembly in 2022.
  • Switzerland follows European ban on the food additive E171 | Le News | 12 May 2021
    Switzerland’s Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office has announced its plan to ban titanium dioxide (E171) use in food, following existing regulations in the EU. The latest report from the European agency EFSA concluded that genotoxicity problems cannot be excluded, meaning that the substance has ability to damage cell DNA and thus is unsafe for consumption.
  • 24th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24) | Earth Negotiation Bulletin | 3 May – 9 June 2021
    After a year’s delay due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convenes virtually to advance the preparations for the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15).
  • 3rd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) | Earth Negotiations Bulletin | 16 May – 3 June 2021
    The Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convenes virtually to advance the preparations for the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
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Fête de la Nature

21 – 30 May 2021

Association de la Fête de la Nature

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20 Feb 2024

Ongoing Contests