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

Image of the week | Stakeholders discussing tackling future priorities for chemicals and waste issues of concern, in follow-up to a resolution adopted at the last session of the UN Environment Assembly, at the International Environment House, on Thursday 15 June 2023. The discussion highlighted that solutions exist and action is possible with an international governance framework. Stakeholders highlighted the Beyond 2020 instrument as a good opportunity, as well as the important role of the upcoming new science-policy panel on chemicals, waste and pollution prevention, and the future Plastics Treaty. Clear opportunities also include the implementation of existing treaties such as the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, and the support to countries to set up chemicals management systems or national legislation on chemicals management. More engagement from all stakeholders is needed. © Patrick de Pinho, UNEP/GEN.

Environment @ 53rd session of the Human Rights Council

The 53rd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC53) starts this week in Geneva, and will consider various topics related to the environment over four weeks of deliberations. The June session is particularly relevant as the Special Rapporteur on climate change and human rights presents its annual report to the Council, focusing this year on the human rights implications of climate change displacement including the provision of legal protection for people displaced across international borders.

This session will also address other human rights issues that also tackle the environment including Sustainable development and freedom of expression: why voice matters, Advancing accountability for serious human rights violations related to the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and a panel discussion on the Adverse impact of climate change on the full realization of the right to food for all people.

Events of particular interest this week include:

Regular updates on key environmental issues at HRC53, side events, and further resources will be made available on our HRC53 and the environment dedicated webpage.

International Trade in Wild and Captive-bred Animals

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Animals Committee will convene in Geneva for its 32nd meeting (CITES AC32) from 19 to 23 June 2023. Issues on the agenda include review under both the Review of Significant Trade Resolution (for the review of wild species which may be subject to unsustainable levels of international trade and recommendations) and the Captive Breeding Resolution (for the review of trade in animal specimens reported as produced in captivity). Members and observers are reviewing emerging operational matters of the committees, alignment between the CITES Strategic Vision 2021-2030 and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, sustainability criteria, known as non-detriment findings (NDFs), and the scientific aspects of the IPBES report on the Assessment of the Sustainable Use of Wild Species. → Learn more about the Meeting on the press release issued on 15 June 2023.

Moving “Slowly” Towards the UN Climate Change Conference

The 2023 Bonn Climate Change Conference concluded last Thursday after two weeks of intense work that made progress on issues of critical importance, including the global stocktake, climate finance, loss and damage, and adaptation, helping lay the groundwork for the political decisions required at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) at the end of the year. Media reported that the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell was dissatisfied as the two-week conference moved too slowly given the urgency of the climate crisis, but highlighted that there are bridges that can be built to realize the common ground we know exists. →  Find out more in the Draft conclusions proposed by the Chair (FCCC/SBI/2023/L.10), the UN Climate Change Press Release, and the ENB Summary

Various stakeholders highlighted that the Conference failed to reflect the urgent need to tackle the key drivers of the climate crisis. In their closing statements, many speakers lamented the weak outcome of the consideration of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Additional resources include:

Not addressing fossil fuel as one of the root causes of climate change and its phase-out has been lamented as the main failure of the Bonn Conference. Calls for timely action on fossil fuel came from UN representatives:

  • After the conference concluded, UN Secretary-General António Guterres met with a group of civil society climate leaders from around the world, followed by a press conference on climate at the UN Headquarters in New York. Urging countries to phase out coal and other fossil fuels to avert climate “catastrophe”, the SG stressed the responsibility played the fossil fuel industry, which should apply its massive resources “to drive, not obstruct” the global transition to renewable energy.  →  Read the full statement of the press conference.
    Oil Change International responded to UN Secretary General António Guterres speech
  • UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council that with an estimated 3.5 billion people living in “climate hot spots”, related peace and security risks are only set to heighten, warning that action must be taken to avert ever-worsening effects.

Relevant news on climate change and fossil fuels include:

Celebrating the Solstice and a Green Summer in Geneva

The June solstice, when the sun travels the longest path through the sky, marks the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and is widely celebrated around the world. Indeed, mindful that the solstices and equinoxes symbolize the fertility of the land, agricultural and food production systems, cultural heritage and their millenary traditions, the UN General Assembly acknowledged that the celebration of those events is an embodiment of the unity of the cultural heritage and centuries-long traditions, and further play a significant role in strengthening the ties among peoples on the basis of mutual respect and the ideals of peace and good-neighborliness. It, therefore, recognized 21 June as the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice.

As days get warmer and longer, Geneva offers various activities to enjoy the season. From exhibitions to outdoor visits, from festivals to tips to stay healthy and safe during the summer heat, the Geneva Environment Network Secretariat has prepared a list of suggestions of environmental and nature-themed activities to enjoy this summer in Geneva.  The list is regularly updated, and for this week includes:

  • Summer Solstice in Music | A musical event to celebrate the solstice and the arrival of summer at MEG. Foyer on Wednesday, 21 June from 18:00 – 19:00 CEST.
  • Closing of museum exhibitions | This is the last week to visit two exhibitions at the Natural History Museum: Trésors: 200 years of natural history an exhibition on the relationships between animal species and the conditions under which minerals are formed; and Tout contre la Terre an exhibition that takes an emotional approach to climate change and the erosion of biodiversity.
  • Fête De La Musique | From 23 to 25 June 2023, the 32nd edition of Geneva’s Fête de la Musique will offer three days of concerts, workshops and encounters.

Happening Abroad

IGC on BBNJ | The Further resumed 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on BBNJ (IGC-5.3) will meet from 19 to 20 June 2023 at the UN Headquarters in New York. At IGC-5.2, held in March 2023, delegates agreed on the text and in preparation for the formal adoption of the new treaty, the IGC established an open-ended informal working group to undertake technical edits to ensure uniformity of the text and harmonize the wording in all six UN official languages, and requested the working group to report at IGC-5.3. At this session, UN Member States are expected to formally adopt a new treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. → Follow the live coverage of the ENB.

WMO State of the Climate in Europe 2022 | The launch of the report will be organized on Monday 19 June 2023 at 14:00 – 16:00 (Irish Standard Time) in Dublin City Hall, Dame St, Dublin, Ireland, and online via Zoom in connection to the 6th European Climate Change Adaptation Conference 2023 (ECCA2023).

What (Else) to Read Next?

See all
See all


Program Associate

23 Jun 2023



Operations Coordinator

25 Jun 2023

Catalytic Finance Foundation

See all