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.

Launch of the International Congress of Ecology | INTECOL 2022

INTECOL 2022, the 13th International Congress of Ecology, is taking place from 28 August to 2 September in Geneva and online. As we are collectively facing new limits, ecologists from around the world are gathering at the Geneva International Conference Center to explore fundamental and applied questions to understand better what is going wrong and how we can create a new paradigm to live in harmony with nature. This world-renowned congress gathers experts from all over the world to discuss environmental issues, global climate challenges, energy and territorial development. The Geneva Environment Network is a partner organization of the Congress.

The “Grand Genève” region is an important center for international environmental policy, where many international organizations, forums, federations and non-governmental organizations have their headquarters. The Geneva Environment Network and the University of Geneva are pleased to build bridge between the Geneva ecosystem and the international scientific community through the Geneva Environment Networking Bars.

The Value of Nature: Finance for Biodiversity

On Tuesday, a special event will shed light on “The Value of Nature: Finance for Biodiversity” against the backdrop of the need to increase investment in nature in order to successfully tackle the interlinked climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crises. This session will involve key Geneva-based institutions looking at private nature-finance approaches to bring nature to the heart of financial decision-making and redirect financial flows across the global economy towards nature-positive solutions. The event will provide key insights ahead of the UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2022, the Geneva-based initiative Building Bridges 2022, the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) and the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP27). Speakers:

  • Ivo MULDER | Head, Climate Finance Unit, UNEP
  • Jessica SMITH | Nature Lead, UNEP Finance Initiative
  • Thomas HÖHNE-SPARBORTH | Head of Sustainability Research, Lombard Odier
  • Sandrine SALERNO | Managing Director, Sustainable Finance Geneva & Building Bridges
  • Anthony LEHMANN | Professor at the Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE), University of Geneva | Moderator

As new diplomats and civil servants join international Geneva in this time of year, this session is the occasion for an overview of how the international community is looking at private nature-finance approaches. Register and join us in person at CICG or online, on Tuesday 30 August from 17:30 to 19:00.

The Triple Planetary Crisis: Breaking Silos

An additional special event on Wednesday, “The Triple Planetary Crisis: Breaking Silos” will be held in partnership with Alternatiba Festival (see below). With the contribution of key institutions in the region, the event will highlight the opportunities to tackle the intertwined environmental challenges we face today, namely pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss. Indeed, looking at these challenges and their solutions in a synergistic way is essential in order to address them effectively. Some lessons from a number of international initiatives already underway with integrated approaches across the biodiversity, climate, and chemicals and waste communities to ensure cooperative action, will be presented by the speakers:

  • David BOYD, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment (through video message)
  • Sandra AVEROUS-MONNERY, Programme Management Officer, Knowledge and Risk Unit, Chemicals and Health Branch, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Dina IONESCO, Manager at the United Nations Climate Secretariat
  • Dorsa SHEIKHOLESLAMI, Nature-based Solutions Programme Officer, IUCN
  • Yves LADOR, Representative of Earthjustice to the United Nations in Geneva

As new diplomats and civil servants join international Geneva in this time of year, this session is the occasion for an overview of how the international community is looking at private nature-finance approaches. Register and join us in person at CICG or online, on Wednesday 31 August from 13:00 to 15:00.

Alternatiba 2022: 8th Edition of Local Climate Initiatives Festival

From 28 August to 3 September, the 8th edition of the Festival Alternatiba Léman will showcase concrete means and solutions for reducing emissions, through conferences, exhibits, stands, workshops and practical demonstrations, among others, with the participation of numerous local actors. The Geneva Environment Network will contribute through a session in collaboration with INTECOL. Among the many sessions, several sessions will involve international organizations from Geneva and our partners, including:

Happening Abroad

Experts from international Geneva have been actively involved with the following negotiations and meetings.

BBJN IGC-5

Last week, the 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC-5) on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) took place in New York. In accordance with resolution 72/249, the meeting was set to adopt an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Delegates decided that IGC-5 is to be resumed with a second part, following a request to the UN General Assembly, on dates to be determined. Read the full coverage of the meeting in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and WWF news release.

SAICM IP4

This week, the 4th meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (SAICM IP4)  will take place in Bucharest. The meeting will support stakeholders in their efforts to elaborate the future arrangements for consideration and adoption at the next session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), to be held in Germany, in September 2023. Regional consultations were held ahead of IP4; key take-aways were compiled by the IISD (read more on LCA, CEE, EU, Asia-Pacific, and Africa). Read also IPEN information page on IP4 and follow the negotiations through the Earth Negotiation Bulletin

World Water Week 2022

After 3 days of online meetings last week, the World Water Week 2022 continues this week in Stockholm under the theme “Seeing the Unseen: The Value of Water. With more than 300 sessions, the conference will provide insights and foster discussions on the value of water for people and development, the financial and economic value of water, and the value of water for nature and climate.

New Appointments

New appointments in leadership positions have been announced in environmental international Geneva including:

  • Following the move of Steven Stone to Paris, Elisa Tonda was appointed as Chief of the UN Environment Programme Resources and Markets Branch, effective 1 September 2022. Prior to that, Elisa has been the Head of the Consumption and Production Unit in UN Environment Programme’s Economy Division, in Paris. Elisa Tonda has 20+ years of experience in the field of environmental management, business sustainability, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production, and sustainable development.
  • As Monika MacDevette is about to retire, Jacqueline Alvarez was appointed as Chief of the UN Environment Programme Chemicals and Health Branch, effective 1 October 2022. Jacqueline brings to this position 25+ years of political, management and technical expertise, spanning national, regional and international levels. At the national level, she worked for a number of years with the Government of Uruguay. Regionally, she has served as Director of the Basel and Stockholm Coordinating Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean for Capacity Building and Transfer of Technology. During the past year, she has served as the UN Environment Programme Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Following the retirement from the United Nations of Scott Foster, Dario Liguti was appointed Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Sustainable Energy Division, effective 3 October 2022. Since March 2018, he is the Chief Underwriting and Business Innovation Officer at SACE, a group specialized specialize in supporting Italian companies, especially SMEs, who want to grow in Italy and in the global market. Before joining SACE, Dario was with General Electric, where he was responsible for project financing activities, corporate strategy & business development, corporate finance and investment banking, later serving as global head of government and export finance, managing the company’s relations with the export credit agencies and international financial institutions. He previously worked at Council of Europe Development Bank and with the European Commission.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • Countries aim to end plastic pollution by 2040 | High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution | 22 August 2022
    Last week, the Governments of Rwanda and Norway launched the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution together with Canada, Peru, Germany, Senegal, Georgia, Republic of Korea, UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Costa Rica, Iceland, Ecuador, France and the Dominican Republic. More countries have joined since. While plastic consumption is projected to skyrocket in the coming decades, the coalitions aims to contribute to a ambitious treaty to end plastic pollution. Members of the coalition will meet in New York in September, during the UN General Assembly, to discuss next steps in the coalition’s work. Several civil society organizations have welcomed the announcement of the coalition: read the statement from EIA, IPEN, and Greenpeace Africa.
  • Press conference by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet | OHCHR | 25 August 2022
    In the last week before the end of her mandate, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights look back on the significant changes and achievements over the course of the past four years. She highlighted the importance of the recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and emphasized the need to fully implement this right to address triple planetary crisis of pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.
  • Violence against women and girls in the context of the climate crisis, including environmental degradation and related disaster risk mitigation and response | Reem Alsalem | 11 July 2022
    The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls explores the nexus between the climate crisis, environmental degradation and related displacement, and violence against women and girls. She assesses the intersecting vulnerabilities experienced by groups of women most at risk of the adverse impacts of climate change and introduces good practices and challenges in integrating a gender-responsive approach for addressing the climate crisis. The report will be presented at the 77th session of UNGA.
  • France plans new climate and energy policies after summer of environmental disasters | Le Monde | 23 August 2022
    At the end of a summer marked by climatic disasters – heat wave, drought, fires and violent storms – the French government will launch a consultation in September to formulate new energy and climate policies, which should be presented to the Parliament in October. According to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the new bill provide radical responses to the climate emergency.
  • Outrage as Italy ordered to pay out millions to oil investor over Energy Charter Treaty claim | Climate Action Network Europe | 24 August 2022
    A tribunal under the under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) ordered the Italian state to pay over 250 million euros to the oil and gas company Rockhopper Explorations. The company had used the multilateral trade agreement to claim compensation for loss of future profits following the ban new oil and gas projects along the Italian coast in 2015. The decision is stirring uproar by scientists and civil society organizations, as it proved the controversial power that fossil fuel companies have over countries adopting climate protecting measures.
  • Microplastics: What Do We Know About This Emerging Contaminant? | Technology Networks | 24 August 2022
    Scanning existing data and research, this article provides an overview of the status of knowledge on the sources of microplastic pollution and its impact on ecological health. The author calls for developing standardized method for analyzing microplastics, in order to allow for research comparability and to provide a basis for future regulation.
  • Green transition post war Ukraine | Alexander Kasterine | 24 August 2022
    In response to the publication of the OECD report on the environmental impacts of the conflict in Ukraine, the expert from the International Trade Center shares insights on the opportunities to support a green transition post-conflict.
  • Indigenous-Led Solutions Essential to Reversing Plastic Pollution, Researchers Say | Cristen Hemingway Jaynes | EcoWatch | 17 August 2022
    The study, “Plastic pollution as waste colonialism in Te Moananuiwas published in the Journal of Political Ecology. The researchers found that the plastics pollution in Te Moananui was waste colonization. Colonialism has had an adverse impact on the spiritual, cultural, social and economic connection the people of Te Moananui have with their ocean homeland.
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Elisa Tonda

UNEP Resources and Markets Branch