The Geneva Environment Network weekly newsletter includes updates on global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies expiring soon, learning opportunities, as well as other useful news 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.

Due to the recent developments in the sanitary situation, many institutions of international Geneva are now operating again fully virtually.

Advancing the Mercury Agenda

A special online Briefing on the fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-4), organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network and the Minamata Online series, will take place on Tuesday 3 November, at 14:00 CET. The briefing will start with a panel discussion to mark the third anniversary of the Convention. The panelists will outline their vision on advancing the mercury agenda in the run up to COP-4 and on strengthening collaboration among MEAs and UNEP, in particular in the context of climate change. #MakeMercuryHistory #MinamataOnline

Register to join the COP-4 President, the Swiss Ambassador for the Environment, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN in Geneva online and the Minamata Convention team on the webex platform and contribute to the discussion.

As part of the Minamata Online series, an additional session on Mercury emissions: Estimation and projection will take place on Thursday 5 November, at 14:00 CET. #MinamataOnline

Geneva Peace Week & Environmental Peacebuilding

The Geneva Peace Week – a leading annual forum in the international peacebuilding calendar and the flagship event of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform – is taking place this week, under the thematic “Rebuilding trust after disruption: Pathways to reset international cooperation”. #GPW20

The final day of Geneva Peace Week 2020, held on the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, Friday 6 November, will be devoted to innovations, conversations, and solutions in environmental peacebuilding. Among the various sessions discussing environmental-related issues (click to access full list), we will particularly follow:

  • Reaching environmental defenders in peace-building | Earthjustice and University of Geneva – Institute for Environmental Science | 6 November 9:00 – 10:00 CET
  • Intergenerational Dialogue on the Role of Water in Environmental Peacebuilding | Geneva Water Hub/University of Geneva, the International Secretariat for Water, the Environmental Peacebuilding Association and the World Youth Parliament for Water | 6 November 12:45 – 13:45 CET
  • Conservation and peacebuilding: Towards greater collaboration | PeaceNexus Foundation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Conservation International | 6 November 12:45 – 13:45 CET
  • Geneva Peace Week Closing Ceremony | Geneva Peacebuilding Platform | 6 November 15:30 – 17:00 CET

Forest Week

The Forest Week, hosted by the UNECE/FAO Joint Forestry and Timber Section, is taking place this week. It features a series of meetings focusing on the contribution of forests to the Sustainable Development Goals:

Launching Wednesdays for the Planet

Join us on Wednesday afternoons for virtual discussions with experts and screenings highlighting the natural world and other environmental challenges our planet faces. The virtual screenings are a continuation of our Ciné Environment House series and are for educational purposes, non-profit and non-commercial. #Wednesday4Planet

This week, as part of the European Forest Week, and in partnership with WWF and the joint UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section, we are hosting a virtual discussion on the Forests episode from the award-winning docuseries Our Planet, from 13:30 to 14:30 CET.

COVID-19 and the Environment

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. #COVID19

Future pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, do more damage to the world economy and kill more people than COVID-19 unless there is a transformative change in the global approach to dealing with infectious diseases, warns a major new report on biodiversity and pandemics by 22 leading experts from around the world, issued on 29 October 2020. The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • The Mediterranean: Mare plasticum | IUCN | 27 October 2020
    New IUCN report finds that an estimated 229,000 tonnes of plastic is leaking into the Mediterranean Sea every year, equivalent to over 500 shipping containers each day. Unless significant measures are taken to address mismanaged waste, the main source of the leakage, this will at least double by 2040.
  • Human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment | UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment | 27 October 2020
    The report discusses the need for urgent action to conserve, protect and restore the biosphere on which all species depend, including Homo sapiens. It illustrates the devastating effects of coronavirus disease and the global nature emergency on the enjoyment of human rights, and the crucial role of human rights in catalysing action to safeguard nature.
  • La Niña has developed | WMO | 29 October 2020
    According to WMO, La Niña is back in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, after nearly a decade’s absence. This is expected to result in sea surface temperatures between 2-3°C cooler than average.
  • Multi-agency report highlights the current and future state of the climate in Africa | WMO | 26 November 2020
    Increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa.
  • Operation DEMETER VI thwarts transboundary shipments of illegal waste and ozone depleting substances | WCO | 29 October 2020
    During Operation DEMETER VI, focus fell on illegal shipments of hazardous waste, with an emphasis on plastic waste, as well as on substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol, including hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which contribute to global warming and climate change.
  • Launch | ILO Environmental Sustainability Action Plans 2018-21 | Geneva Environment Network & ILO | 29 October 2020
    The report highlights the ILO ambition, commitment, and far-reaching achievements across the Office in integrating environmental sustainability in ILO policy outcomes, Decent Work Country Programmes, and development cooperation projects, as well as the organization results in greening its operations.
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Forest Week

02 – 06 Nov 2020

Palais des Nations & Online



GEO Week 2020

02 – 06 Nov 2020


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