The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies, 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.

Photo of the week: Lithography by F. Baumann, “Jardin anglais à Genève pris de l’hôtel de la Metropole” (before 1863).

Supporting the Global Biodiversity Agenda

The international community continues building momentum toward ambitious global action to preserve nature and halt biodiversity loss, as world leaders are expected to adopt a post-2020 biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity, in October 2021. Consult the list of events of the newsletter and stay tuned in the run-up to World Environment Day and the launch of the UN Decade on Restoration.

High-Level Virtual Dialogue on the UN System’s Contribution to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Agenda

The UN Environment Management Group is convening a High-Level Virtual Dialogue on the UN System’s Contribution to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Agenda, on Tuesday, 25 May at 15:00 CEST. As countries commit to develop an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework, the UN stands ready to support bold leadership and urgent action across the whole of government and society, which is required to address biodiversity loss while putting nature on a path to recovery by 2030.

Reports Launched Last Week

Migration, Environment & Climate Change

The 20th edition of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) will convene virtually on 25 – 27 May, on the topic of migration, the environment and climate change. The session will highlight good practices, lessons learned and recommendations that can support governments and other stakeholders to develop and implement inclusive policies and programmes to address issues linked to the migration, environment and climate change nexus and maximize opportunities. These recommendations will feed into upcoming events and fora, including the UNFCCC COP26 and the International Migration Review Forum.

Health & the Environment

The 74th World Health Assembly will convene virtually from 24 May – 1 June under the theme “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world“.  The WHO will update its Members on issues at the nexus of health and environment, including the WHO global strategy on health, environment and climate change and the role of the health sector in relation to SAICM.

Last week, WHO, UNEP, FAO and OIE launched the One Health High-Level Expert Panel – a multidisciplinary body of experts who will advise the organisations on the development of a long-term global plan of action to avert outbreaks of zoonotic diseases.

Global Chemicals and Waste Agenda

On 27 May, the Chemicals and Waste Briefing, organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, will offer an overview of the work and key activities to advance the sound chemicals and waste management globally, and present the latest information on the important conferences scheduled in 2021 and 2022:

  • The 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), to be held in two segments, an online segment in July 2021, and a face-to-face segment held tentatively in June 2022, in Geneva.
  • The 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, to be held in two segments, a first online segment within the period of 1 to 5 November 2021 and a second segment to be conducted in-person in the first quarter of 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.
  • The 5th Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5),

Register and join us online at 9.30 CEST.

Wednesdays for the Planet | The Digital Globe

Discover how earth observation changed our world in our next Wednesdays for the Planet on 26 May. This episode features the documentary “The Digital Globe” which explores the role of satellites in our daily lives. Experts from Group on Earth Observations and UNEP Crisis Management Branch will share their insight on the topic, as we take a deeper dive into how we understand our planet. All presentations will be available from 13.30 CEST.

Connect with GENvironment

Our series of Friday conversations with environmental experts continue on 28 May with Sara Venturini, Climate Coordinator at the Group on Earth Observations. A development economist by training, specializing in climate change science and management, Sara Venturini has more 10 years of experience supporting governments and international organizations in developing policy and building governance to address climate change. Register and join at 9.00 CEST for a virtual coffee.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • Carbon and Controversy: Why we need global cooperation on border carbon adjustment | IISD | Nathalie Bernasconi & Aaron Cosbey | 18 May 2021
    Ambitious climate action and concerns about economic competitiveness and fair burden sharing require a collaborative discussion, not trade wars.
  • Achieving a Fossil-Free Recovery | IISD | 17 May 2021
    Governments worldwide are announcing their net-zero pledges while supporting their economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. This new publication highlights how critical is it that both go in the same direction to achieve a fossil-free recovery.
  • Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) 2021 | IDMC | 20 May 2021
    This year’s GRID discusses the relationship between climate change, disasters and displacement, and presents good practices from across the globe in advancing policy, displacement risk reduction and effective response. 
  • The Stockholm Convention: Twenty Years of Reducing the Levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Humans and the Environment | BRS MEAs | 22 May 2021
    Twenty years ago, over 120 countries from around the world came together to adopt the Stockholm Convention, in order to protect human health and the environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants. Today, the Convention with 184 Parties, is legally binding and enjoys almost universal coverage.
  • Arctic assessment report shows faster rate of warming | WMO | 20 May 2021 
    New observations show that the increase in Arctic average surface temperature between 1979 and 2019 was three times higher than the global average during this period according to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP).
  • A call for strengthening cooperation | Laurence Boisson de Chazournes | Pathway to the 2022 Declaration | 24 May 2021
    Ahead of negotiations on the 2022 Declaration, Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Professor of international law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva shares her insight on cooperation obligations in international environmental law to ensure better environmental protection.
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Fête de la Nature

21 – 30 May 2021

Association de la Fête de la Nature


Inaugural Geneva Debate

26 May 2021 18:00 – 20:00

Online & Maison de la Paix


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