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

Image of the weekAutumn Evening, 1892, by Ferdinand Hodler, one of the well-known Swiss painters of the nineteenth century, buried in Saint Georges Cemetery in Geneva. The painting is included in the Collection of the Musée d’art et d’histoire of Neuchatel.

Minamata Film Screening to Mark a Decade of Making Mercury History

Member States and stakeholders will join the regional meetings and other preparatory briefings and events this weekend on the eve of the Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5), which will be convening from 30 October to 3 November 2023, at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG). →  For further information to prepare for Minamata COP-5, you may consult our update Towards the Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) or rewatch the session and read the summary of the Briefing on the 5th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury held on 5 October 2023.

Celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the Convention continue this week with a special event screening the film Minamata, directed by Andrew Levitas, premiered at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival. The event, open to all, is organized by the Minamata Convention Secretariat and the Geneva Environment Network and will be preceded by a light reception and a short panel discussion. The free screening will take place on Sunday 29 October 2023 at CICG from 18:15 to 21:00 CET. → Register to participate using this form.

Countdown to the Next Plastics Treaty Negotiation Session

In less than a month, the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-3) will gather almost 2,000 representatives from Member States, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, UN entities, and media. Various events are taking place this week in preparation of the session, including:

  • WHO Health and Plastics Dialogues 2: Health risks of plastics | The second dialogue of the WHO series will focus on the increasing concern of the impact of plastics on health. → Register on Zoom to attend the webinar taking place on 23 October 2023 from 13:30 CEST.
  • Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty Zero Draft Assessment Webinars | The Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty will share a detailed response to the ‘Zero draft text of the international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment at the two events scheduled this week. → Register on Zoom to attend on 23 October 2023 from 18:00 to 19:30 CEST and on  24 October 2023  from 08:00 to 9:30 CEST
  • IPEN Webinar | The new IPEN study “Are Your Children’s Toys Hazardous Waste” on Chlorinated Paraffins shows that toys from 10 countries contain highly toxic plastic chemicals, and chlorinated paraffins. The authors of the study, IPEN Science and Technical Advisor Therese Karlsson and IPEN Co-chair Pamela Miller will discuss the findings and implications for global policies. → Register to attend on Zoom on 24 October at 16:00 CEST.
  • Plastic Pollution Coalition Webinar | Policy Matters: The UN Global Plastics Treaty | The Plastic Pollution Coalition will host a webinar to discuss the latest developments in the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations on 26 October 2023 from 23:00 to 24:00 CEST. → Find more information and register
  • FAO Regional Multi-Stakeholder Consultation for Europe and Central Asia on the development of a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCoC) on the sustainable use of plastics in Agriculture | FAO is carrying out inclusive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the VCoC. This consultation will bring together representatives from FAO Members and regional experts on plastics used in agriculture from academia, private sector, and NGOs and aims to ensure that the development process of the VCoC is inclusive of regional perspectives and experiences. → Find more information on the background note and register on Zoom to attend on 27 October 2023 from 10:30 to 13:00 CEST

→ Find information, resources and upcoming preparatory events through our page Towards Plastic Pollution INC-3

Additional relevant information on plastics released recently include:

  • Global Plastics Laws Database | Plastic Pollution Coalition | 16 October 2023
    Global Plastic Laws is an extensive database and resource library focused on plastic legislation that has been passed around the world.
  • To ban or not to ban: Fixing the EU’s global plastic waste mess | Politico | 19 October 2023
    The EU has vowed to clean up its act and cut back on dumping its waste elsewhere. For communities in low-income countries bearing the brunt of Europe’s trash, that can’t come fast enough.
  • Bridging the Basel Convention Gaps with the Future Plastics Treaty | EIA | 18 October 2023
    The growing momentum to address plastic pollution through global governance has seen the emergence of new international regulations on the management of plastic waste under the Basel Convention. However, to date, they only partially address the continued threat the trade and management of plastic waste poses to workers, communities, ecosystems and planetary boundaries.
  • The Architecture of a Global Plastics Treaty: Deconstructing the Zero Draft | American Society of International Law | 18 October 2023
    The draft text already reproduces many legal patterns, structures, and techniques common in other environmental treaties, such as the Paris Climate Agreement’s flexible approach to NAPs and targets, and the Minamata Convention’s approach to implementation and compliance. Yet, the treaty’s content remains infinitely open and malleable. Its durability will depend on the INC’s ability to balance several key factors. 
  • Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing plastic pellet losses to reduce microplastic pollution | 16 October 2023
    On 25 September, the European Commission adopted a Regulation restricting microplastics intentionally added to products. This proposal on preventing plastic pellet losses to the environment and its accompanying Impact Assessment (IA) stems from the Commission’s commitments on unintentional releases of microplastics.
  • Global Plastics Treaty: Initial Considerations for INC-3 | Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) | 13 October 2023
    This briefing contains the EIA key considerations for negotiators going into INC-3 and reflections on the zero draft. 

Call for Applications and Registrations

19th Annual General Meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) | IGF 2023 will take place from 7 to 9 November 2023 at Palais des Nations, under the theme Sharing Mining Benefits in the Energy Transition. Participants will include government officials working on mining governance and decision-makers from industry, civil society, non-governmental, and international organizations. Consult the registration modalities for the IGF’s 19th Annual General Meeting and Government Forum.

Sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) | UNEA-6 will take place from 26 February to 1 March 2024 in Nairobi, under the themeEffective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Official side events will be convened in-person (16 slots) and virtually (16 slots) over the five days of UNEA-6, during lunch breaks and in the evenings. →  Applications can be submitted through the online portal by 24 October 2023. The announcement of selected official side events will be made in December 2023.

Mandate holders to be appointed at the 55th session of the Human Rights Council | In view of the resignation of a mandate holder and the establishment of a new mandate by the Human Rights Council at its fifty-fourth session, the secretariat of the Human Rights Council is currently accepting applications for additional vacancies of independent United Nations experts of the Council to be appointed at the fifty-fifth session of the Council (deadline 30 November 2023 at 12:00 CET), including:

  • Special Rapporteur on the issue of the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
  • Working Group on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, members from African States, Asia-Pacific States, Eastern European States, Latin American and Caribbean States, and Western European and other States.

Green Suggestions for the Autumn Break

As the colder weather settles in, and Geneva and neighboring France public schools are closed for holidays, we invite you to take this time in the autumn as an opportunity to learn about, discover, and explore the environment in Geneva. →  Find a diverse range of cultural activities and outdoor excursions on our “Green Autumn in Geneva” resource page. Whether you are working, studying, or enjoying the school break, let it be a source of ideas for your free time!

Happening Abroad

Thirty-fifth Meeting of the Parties of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP 35) | Parties to the Montreal Protocol are convening in Nairobi, from 23 to 27 October. MOP 35 will consider and take decisions on budget and financial matters, stratospheric aerosol injection, and protection of the ozone layers, strengthening the Montreal Protocol institutions, among others. A report issued last week by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report — Securing the Montreal Protocol’s Legacy in this Decisive Decade for Climate Action — highlights how decisions to be taken at MOP35 could shape the Montreal Protocol’s legacy in delivering emission reductions during this decisive decade for climate action. → Follow the live coverage of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

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