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.

This newsletter will exceptionally cover the upcoming two weeks. Due to the Swiss national holiday, the UN Office in Geneva will be closed on Monday, 1 August.

Earth Overshoot Day 2022

On Thursday 28 July, humanity is reaching its overshoot day, the date when its demand for ecological resources and services exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in that year. Earth Overshoot Day 2022 is a strong reminder that our way of using natural resources is not sustainable: humanity currently uses 75% more than what the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.

While we are facing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution, the need for action to protect the planet and #MoveTheDate is now more important than ever. Find resources about the day, learn new tips for a more sustainable living, and discover various initiatives on sustainable production and consumption in our update.

Towards Ending Plastic Pollution

As the summer unfolds, governments and stakeholders are preparing for the upcoming negotiations on plastic pollution. Following the meeting of the ad hoc open-ended working group (OEWG) to prepare for the work of the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC), that concluded in Dakar on 1 June, Member States, members of Specialized Agencies and other relevant stakeholders are invited to make submissions on the sequencing and organization of the INC, substantive issues which would contribute to preparation of documentation for its first meeting, and the forum preparation. Many actors from Geneva and beyond have already submitted insightful contributions. Consult here the INC submissions.

Plastic pollution and potential measures to end continue to make the headlines with growing public and media attention. Find below a snapshot of key news on the topic:

Find out the latest news and more information about plastic pollution in our Plastics and the Environment series, now with more dedicated pages to dive in specific issues around plastics, including biodiversity, climate change, health, human rights, and more.

Towards a Science-Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Pollution Prevention

Following the resolution adopted at the last session of the UN Environment Assembly, UNEP is convening a series of webinars in preparation of the establishment of the new science-policy panel (SPP) to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and prevent pollution. The resolution requests to convene an ad hoc OEWG that will begin work in 2022, with the ambition of completing it by the end of 2024. The UNEP webinars will provide a background on the SPP process, and discuss its possible scope and structure. The first webinar will take place on Monday 25 July at 14.30 CEST.

H.E. Amb. Franz Perrez highlighted at the UNEA-5.2 Debriefing in March 2022, the core functions of the SPP will be to undertake horizon scanning to identify issues of relevance to policy makers and propose evidence-based options, conduct assessments of current issues and identify potential evidence-based options, in particular those relevant to developing countries, provide up-to-date and relevant information and identify key gaps in scientific research, and finally facilitate information sharing, in particular with developing countries seeking relevant scientific information.

This is a major development that will fill a gap, as such panels already exist for climate change — IPCC — and biodiversity — IPBES. Now each planetary crisis will have its dedicated scientific body.

The Right to a Healthy Environment for Everyone

In the coming days, the UN General Assembly is expected to vote on the draft resolution recognizing the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, submitted by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland. The resolution recognizes indeed, that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right essential for the full enjoyment of all human rights, and, among others, calls upon States and international organizations to adopt policies and scale up efforts to ensure a clean, healthy and sustainable environment for all. Latest resources on this important negotiation include:

Aid for Trade and the Environmental Agenda

The 8th edition of the Aid for Trade Global Review, taking place from 27 to 29 July will also address environmental issues, including how trade is an integral part of the transition to low-carbon models of growth and a just climate transition. Thursday 28 July is packed with sessions making links with the global environmental agenda, including:

Connecting with Swiss Youth

From 23 July to 6 August, more than 30,000 Swiss scouts will camp in the Goms Valley, experiencing two weeks of outdoor activities, sharing of experience and learning. The Swiss National Jamboree 2022 “mova” camp is targeted at youth from 7 to 18 years old, with many more volunteer staff to make it all happen. The UN office in Geneva will take part in the camp, allowing children and teenagers to discover the importance of the SDGs through various activities.

The Geneva Environment Network will spend a few days at the camp to dive into environmental issues addressed by the United Nations and other stakeholders in Geneva. With a focus on plastic pollution, climate change, endangered species and the right to a healthy environment, the team will be providing young people a better understanding of some key environmental challenges and how they can contribute to a society that lives in harmony with nature.

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