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

Image of the week | Meetings in Geneva 21-23 and 24 February 2023 — 13th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-13), 21-23 February, CICG — Environment House Guest Discussion | Reindeer Herders and Resilience, International Environment House — UN 2023 Water Conference | Briefing for Cities, Geneva Cities Hub. Photos © Geneva Environment Network & IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Environmental Agenda of the Human Rights Council

The 52nd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC52) starts this week in Geneva, and will consider various topics related to the environment over five and a half weeks of deliberations. The March session is particularly relevant as the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment presents its annual report to the Council, focusing this year on Women, girls and the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This session will also address other environment-related issues, including Climate crisis and the right to adequate housing, 25 years of achievements by human rights defenders, and Conflict and the Right to Food.

Events of particular interest this week include:

  • Bridging the Gap: Outcomes of multilateral environmental protection measures in 2022 and the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment | A high-level side event organized by the core group on human rights and environment (Costa Rica, Slovenia, Switzerland, Morocco and Maldives) will take place on 27 February, 17:00 – 18:00 CET at Palais des Nations, Room XXII & online.
  • High-Level Segment on the Right to Development | On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, the Human Rights Council decided to convene at HRC52 a full-day high-level meeting, on the promotion and protection of the right to development. The high-level segment will take place from 28 February to 1 March.
  • Towards COP28 | A briefing on preparations for COP28 organized by the Permanent Mission of United Arab Emirates on the sidelines of HRC52 will take place on 28 February, 13:00-14:00 CET at Palais des Nations, Room XXI.
  • Nuclear Legacy in the Pacific Exhibition | The Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Marshall Islands is holding an exhibition on the legacy of nuclear testing in the islands, at the Musée d’ethnographie de Genève from 1-2 March. The opening of the exhibit will take place on 1 March, 10:00 CET

Regular updates on key environmental issues at HRC52, side events, and further resources will be made available on our HRC52 and the environment dedicated webpage.

Toxic impacts of some climate change solutions | In preparation for his report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights is inviting all interested stakeholders working on issues related to the toxic pollution and human rights implications of climate change solutions to provide inputs by 6 March. The Special Rapporteur is also holding virtual expert consultations regarding the toxic impacts of some proposed climate change solutions:

→ More information on other calls for submissions.

Sustainability of Minerals and Metals Along Their Life Cycle

The Geneva Environment Network and the co-chairs of the intergovernmental regional consultations on minerals and metals management are co-convening this week a Briefing on the Implementation of Resolution 5/12 on Environmental Aspects of Minerals and Metal Management. The event is organized in preparation of the Global Intergovernmental Meeting on Minerals and Metals, which will take place in Geneva, on 7 and 8 September 2023, back-to-back with the 2023 edition of the World Resources Forum. →  Join the briefing in-person or online on Tuesday 28 February 2023, at 11:30 CET.

The World Resources Forum 2023 (WRF’23) will take place from 4 to 6 September 2023 in a hybrid format in Geneva and online. With the theme, “Rethinking Value – Resources for Planetary Wellbeing”, this edition’s conference tracks – Sufficiency, Value Chains and Digitalisation – will be explored through a multi-disciplinary approach able to convey together environmental, societal, technological, economic, governance and geo-political perspectives.  →  International experts are invited to submit abstracts to present their contributions during WRF’23 by 28 February 2023.

Ending Plastic Pollution | Building Momentum One Year After the Adoption of Historical Resolution

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues | To mark the first year of the adoption of an historical resolution to end plastic pollution and to build momentum in the run-up of the to the second session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution (INC-2) meeting in May in Paris, the Geneva Environment Network is co-organizing with Portuguese speaking countries an online event within the framework of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues – Diálogo sobre Plásticos (português) | A caminho do tratado internacional. The session will be held in Portuguese and aims to foster dialogue and cooperation around common challenges and opportunities among lusophone countries. Join us online, on Wednesday 1 March 2023 from 12:00 to 13:30 CET.

Nairobi Group of Friends Meeting |  On the sidelines of the preparations for INC-2, the Nairobi Group of Friends to Combat Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution (NGOs), co-chaired by Chile and Portugal, is hosting an online event The Nairobi Dialogue, One Year of Resolution, Expectations of Stakeholders” on Wednesday 1 March from 13:30-14:30 CET.

Accreditation for INC-2 (Paris, 29 May – 2 June 2023) | Registration to participate in person to the second session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution is open until 28 April 2023. Financial support for attending has been made available and applications must be sent by 17 March 2023. Find more information on preparations for INC-2 and the role of Geneva in our Towards Plastic Pollution INC-2 update. 

Other recent news of interest include:

Celebrating 50th Anniversary of CITES on World Wildlife Day

On Friday 3 March, we celebrate World Wildlife Day and the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The theme for this year’s edition, “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation”, presents an opportunity to highlight the people and organizations who are making a difference, as well as to celebrate the bridge CITES has been for these partnerships to form, making a significant contribution to sustainability, wildlife, and biodiversity conservation. In line with the Global Event taking place in Washington D.C., the CITES Secretariat and the Geneva Environment Network are organizing a ceremony and film screening at the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of Geneva, to celebrate the 50 years of the signing of the Convention. Join us in person, on Friday 3 March 2023 from 12:00 to 13:30 CET (limited places).

Pandemic Treaty and the One Health Approach

The fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB 4) to draft and negotiate a World Health Organization convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (WHO CA+) is taking place this week. WHO Member States will be negotiating on the “zero draft” prepared by the INB Bureau, which includes the recognition of the One Health Approach. According to civil society organizations that participated in a consultation on the document’s earlier draft this month, the draft pandemic accord needs more emphasis on preventing pandemics at their source.

Happening Abroad

Second part of the fourth meeting of the intersessional process (SAICM IP-4) | The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) will resume its intersessional work  in Nairobi, Kenya from 27 February to 3 March 2023. These intersessional meetings serve to support stakeholders in their efforts to elaborate the future arrangements of the Strategic Approach and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 for consideration and adoption at the next session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), in Bonn, in September 2023. → Follow the negotiations through the ENB Coverage. Additional resources include IPEN Quick View on IP4.2

5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC-5) on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBJN) | IGC-5 is resuming in New York from 20 February to 3 March 2023. The waters beyond national jurisdiction, known as the high seas, comprise nearly two-thirds of the ocean’s area, but only roughly 1% is protected. Following more than a decade of discussions held under the United Nations General Assembly, WWF highlights that the new global agreement to be adopted will be critical to achieving the global ocean conservation targets agreed in December by 196 countries at COP15 under the Global Biodiversity Framework. → Follow the negotiations through the ENB Coverage

What (Else) to Read Next?

  • Forever pollution’: Explore the map of Europe’s PFAs contamination | Le Monde | 23 February 2023  
    The Forever Pollution Map was created by Le Monde and its 17 partners from the cross-border investigation, the Forever Pollution Project. It shows the extent of Europe’s contamination by per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a family of ultra-toxic and persistent compounds used for a multitude of products and applications, expected to accompany humanity for hundreds of years – maybe even thousands.
  • ‘It is crucial that a strong and effective PFAS restriction enter into force as soon as possible’ | Group Letter | 25 February 2023
    A group of scientists from the Global PFAS Science Panel responds to Le Monde’s revelations on Europe’s widespread contamination by PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals’ because of their toxicity and persistence in the environment.
  • CITES Growing Role in International Shark Conservation | Daniel Kachelriess and John Scanlon | IISD | 22 February 2023
    After getting off to a 40-year slow start, over the past decade CITES’ 184 parties have shown an ever-growing appetite to entrust the Convention with regulating the international trade in sharks.
  • EU carbon hits 100 euros taking cost of polluting to record high | Susanna Twidale, Kate Abnett and Nina Chestney | Reuters | 21 February 2023
    The price of permits on the European Union’s carbon market hit 100 euros ($106.57) per tonne for the first time earlier this month, a milestone that reflects the increased costs that factories and power plants must pay when they pollute.
  • Hidden Harm: Exposing the methane emissions associated with EU’s fossil fuel imports | Environmental Investigation Agency | 21 February 2023
    The report assesses the impact of methane emissions that are released before being imported to the EU. Fossil fuel-related emissions have been growing for the past 20 years and are negatively affecting climate and health.
  • Key Results and Recommendations of the Agroecology Dialogue Series | FAO and Biovision | 22 February 2023
    The series consists of three thematic dialogues that aim to identify entry points, opportunities, building blocks, innovative approaches and institutional frameworks that can support the upscale of agroecology.
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28 Feb 2023


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