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. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates. Due to the celebration of Eid al-Fitr on 2 May 2022, this newsletter exceptionally covers the upcoming eight days. The next newsletter will be published on Tuesday 3 May 2022.

In light with the recent developments in the sanitary situation, institutions in Geneva are adjusting their response and adapting their operations. 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.

Image of the week | Flowering of the giant rosette plant Doryanthes palmeri, endemic to eastern Australia and planted in 1983 at the Geneva Conservatory and Botanical Garden. The plant, perched more than three meters high, only flowers once in its lifetime, and therefore made the news earlier this month. © UNEP /GEN, Pablo Lopez, 23 April 2022.

Sand and Sustainability Report Launch

Despite the strategic importance of sand, its extraction, sourcing, use, and management remain largely ungoverned in many regions of the world, leading to numerous environmental and social consequences that have been largely overlooked. In response to the UN Environment Assembly resolutions UNEP/EA.4/Res.19 on mineral resource governance and UNEP/EA.4/Res.5 on sustainable infrastructure, UNEP/GRID-Geneva has prepared a new report on “Sand and Sustainability : 10 strategic recommendations to avert a crisis”. This publication consolidates the expertise in sand and sustainability from different sectors.

On Tuesday, leading experts taking part in the hybrid launch of the report will bring attention to the impacts from the current state of extraction, use and (mis)management, putting forward recommendations for actions to set the global sand agenda in addressing environmental sustainability needs alongside justice, equity, technical, economic, and political considerations. Register to join us in person or online on 26 April at 15.00 CEST.

Chemicals and Waste Briefing

A new Chemicals and Waste Briefing, organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, will provide an overview of the work and key activities to advance the sound chemicals and waste management globally. It will also present the latest information on the important conferences taking place in 2022, including:

  • High-level segment and face-to-face segment of 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) | Stockholm and Geneva, June 2022
  • Outcomes of 12th Meeting of the Open-Ended working Group under the Basel Convention on the on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal | Nairobi, Kenya, 4-6 April 2022
  • Outcomes and intersessional work following 4th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury | Bali, Indonesia, 21-25 March 2022
  • 4th Meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (SAICM IP4) | Bucharest, Romania, 29 August – 2 September 2022

Register to join us in person at the International Environment House or online on Webex on 28 April at 10.00 CEST.

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day

On 26 April 1986, following a routine 20-second system shut down in Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, a surge created a chemical explosion. The accident and the fire that followed released massive amounts of radioactive material into the environment over large parts of the Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, exposing millions of people to radiations.

On 8 December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 26 April as International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day. In its resolution, the General Assembly recognized that three decades after the disaster there remains persistent serious long-term consequences and that the affected communities and territories are experiencing continuing related needs.

This day of remembrance takes on a renewed importance as recent events in the region unfold. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed concerns about the dangers of the conflict in the area. IAEA Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, will head an expert mission to Ukraine’s Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant this week to step up efforts to help prevent the danger of a nuclear accident during the current conflict in the country.

In the Run-Up to Stockholm+50

In 1972, countries from around the world gathered in Stockholm for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment around the theme, Only One Earth. Five decades later, the Stockholm will welcome the world again on 2 – 3 June 2022, for the Stockholm+50 international conference, co-hosted by Sweden and Kenya.

In preparation of this major event, various multi-stakeholder meetings and regional consultations are planned. Among these:

What (Else) Should I Read or Watch Next?

  • In Focus: A Draft WTO Agreement to Curb Harmful Fisheries Subsidies | IISD | 7 April 2022
    Ahead of the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2022, the short video provides a concise overview of the draft agreement. IISD expert Alice Tipping, Lead of Sustainable Trade and Fisheries Subsidies, provides a breakdown of the key substantive rules and explains how the draft text attempts to strike the right balance between different priorities and considerations.
  • Guidance on Policy and Legislation for Integrated Waste Management during a Pandemic | UNEP | 11 April 2022
    The latest guidance provides support to countries in their efforts to develop or revise their legislation and policies to be better prepared for and respond to health and environment risks associated with waste management in case of a future pandemic.
  • Green Customs Guide to Multilateral Environmental Agreements | UNEP | 11 April 2022
    This updated guide aims to promote sustainable trade and encourage customs and border control officers to take on a proactive role in protecting the environment. It provides customs and border control officers, as well as anyone interested, with useful information and guidance about relevant trade-related MEAs, thus facilitating legitimate trade in environmentally sensitive items while preventing illicit trade in such items and contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.
  • Trash or Recycling? Why Plastic Keeps Us Guessing | The New York Times | 21 April 2022
    This interactive and in-depth article debunks some common misunderstandings about plastic recycling, including the misleading use of the curved arrows symbols on many non-recyclable items. Highlighting that plastic pollution poses a growing threat to people and the environment, the authors warn that recycling won’t fix the problem. Alternative solutions, including extended producer responsibility and bans on single-use plastics, are proposed.
  • A Step Forward for Environmental Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean | 1st Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Escazu Agreement | Earthjustice, European Eco-Forum & Geneva Environment Network | 19 April 2022
    Outcomes of the event happening on the eve of the 1st meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Escazu Agreement.
See all

Event | Conference

Chemicals and Waste Briefing

28 Apr 2022 10:00 – 11:30

International Environment House II & Online | Webex

BRS, Minamata Convention on Mercury, UNEP Chemicals and Health Branch, SAICM, GEN

See all

Job | Consultant

Training Coordination

25 Apr 2022

UNEP FI

UNDRR

Job | Consultant

GRAF Core Trainer

26 Apr 2022

UNDRR

See all