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 on X (Twitter)FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Image of the week | Diplomatic briefing on the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion proceedings related to States’ obligations in the context of climate change, convened last week by the Permanent Mission of Vanuatu and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), with the support of the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica and Portugal. With the deadline for initial written submissions approaching soon (22 March 2024), the briefing highlighted the importance for States and stakeholders to meaningfully engage in the process. © UNEP/GEN, 21 February 2024

International Geneva @ the UN Environment Assembly | UNEA-6

The United Nations Environment Assembly — the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment — is convening this week in Nairobi for its 6th session. Numerous stakeholders from international Geneva are among the over 5,000 participants attending this year’s assembly marking its 10th anniversary. → Follow the highlights in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s daily coverage. Follow the live feed. Watch the Opening Plenary on Monday 26 February on UNWebTV and the opening of the high-level segment be held on Thursday, 29 February, on UNWebTV.

After last week’s negotiations on draft resolutions and other important topics at the Sixth Open-Ended Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-6) and discussions during associated events and informal meetings, UNEA-6 is now the opportunity for the world to “lay the foundation for a more sustainable future”, as stated by the Assembly’s President, H.E. Leila Benali. With a dense schedule of leadership and multi-stakeholder dialogues, side events, the first Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) day alongside its side events and exhibitions, UNEA will bring forward discussions of interest for International Geneva. → Learn more about Geneva’s engagement in UNEA-6.

Additional news on UNEA-6 include:

Side events involving Geneva stakeholders that can be joined online include:

Environment @ 55th Session of the Human Rights Council | HRC55

The 55th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC55) starts this week in Geneva and will consider various topics related to the environment over six weeks of deliberations, from 26 February to 5 April 2024. Contributions to the global environmental agenda will include:

Events of particular interest this week include:

 Regular updates on key environmental issues at HRC55, side events, and further resources will be made available on our dedicated HRC55 and the environment update.

Trade and Environment @ WTO MC13

The World Trade Organization’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) takes place this week in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Two years after MC12 in Geneva which rejuvenated the WTO negotiating arm and demonstrated the environment can and should be included in trade discussions, MC13 will tackle important issues, and include as environmental related priorities:

In the margins of MC13, the Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate convened its second annual ministerial meeting on 25 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi. A key outcome of the meeting was the endorsement of a communiqué, accompanied by a Menu of Voluntary Actions, with a clear message for the WTO to pursue ambitious commitments in support of the global response to the climate crisis. It also calls upon all WTO Members to accept the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. 

Available resources to help you unpack the environmental agenda of MC13 include:

United for Zero Emissions: The 2050Today Charter Explained

Home to the world’s highest concentration of international organizations and diplomatic missions, along with the hundreds of non-governmental organizations headquartered in the region, International Geneva contributed greatly in terms of policy to develop ambitious actions to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. With the support of 2050Today, the host country and local authorities, and also from UN Greening the Blue, various actions are being taken to reduce the ecological footprint of these institutions and walk the talk.

This week, an event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland, the World Meteorological Organization, and 2050Today, with the support of the Geneva Environment Network, will present the 2050Today Charter, developed to strengthen the joint impact of international Geneva, and to provide a common framework for action. → Register to join the event in person at Room Obasi at the World Meteorological Organization or online via Webex on 27 February 2024, from 10:00 to 12:00 CET. Registration and welcome coffee are available from 9:30 CET.

Plastics Treaty | Tracking Progress Two Years After UNEA Historic Resolution 

This week marks two years since the historic resolution to end plastic pollution that was adopted at the fifth UN Environment Assembly. At UNEA-6, various moments and events will be dedicated to reflecting on the status of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee process. As mandated by the resolution, the UNEP Executive Director will report on the progress of the work of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to UNEA-6.  → Find further information in our INC-4 update.

Deadlines related to INC-4 expiring soon:

  • Registration to participate in INC-4 will close on 26 February 2024. → Check out registration modalities on the dedicated webpage.
  • The call for Members and observer organizations registered to INC-4 to participate in thematic side events will close on 1 March 2024 and should be done through the online form. INC-4 side events will be held on  24 and 25 April 2024 in-person only and will address thematics such as Plastic Pollution in the Marine Environment; Approaches to Capacity Building, Financing and Financial Mechanisms; and Enabling Just Transition. 

Online events related to plastics this week include: 

Last week, the eleventh session of IMO’s Pollution Prevention and Response Sub-Committee (PPR-11) discussed the advancement of regulatory measures to address pollution of the natural environment by plastic pellets and fishing gear, finalizing draft recommendations for the carriage of plastic pellets by sea in freight containers, which is a significant step in achieving our common aim of eliminating ship-source pellet spills.

Water and Drought Management in Transboundary Basins

This week, the UN Water Convention will hold a Global Workshop on Droughts in Transboundary Basins back-to-back with the fourteenth meeting of the Task Force on Water and Climate.

The global workshop,  organized by the Water Convention, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, in cooperation with UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR),  the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and the International Network of Basin Organisations (INBO), will bring together water, agriculture, climate and environment communities as well as drought experts to jointly discuss best practices and lessons learned in addressing droughts in transboundary basins. Considering the impact of droughts and water scarcity on food insecurity, cooperation on shared waters can help to improve preparedness for climate-related extremes and, particularly, for droughts, for example through the development of shared information systems or data exchange across sectors, enlarging the range and location of available measures, and sharing costs and benefits. → Check the programme of the workshop taking place on 26 – 27 February 2024 at Palais des Nations, Room XXVI.

Celebrating World Wildlife Day 2024

On 3 March 2024, we celebrate World Wildlife Day. The theme of this year’s edition “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation” aims to raise awareness about the latest applications of digital technologies in wildlife conservation and trade and about the impact of digital interventions on ecosystems and communities around the world. Numerous activities are taking place around the world to celebrate the day, including in Geneva:

  • The Geneva Bioparc is offering free capsule visits every hour throughout the day on Sunday 3 March 2024 to learn more about threatened species and species frequently illegally traded housed at the park. → Visit the Bioparc Geneva premises, from 9:30 to 16:00 CET.
  • In line with the Global Event taking place in New York, the CITES Secretariat, the International Telecommunication Union, and the Geneva Environment Network are organizing a Geneva Celebration that will highlight the role of Geneva in making advances in the field that bridges conservation and digital technology, in engaging with the advancement of digital innovation in the field of conservation and trade. → Register and join the celebration in person on Monday 4 March 2023 from 14:00 to 15:30 CET.

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17 Apr 2024

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