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 also on TwitterFacebookLinkedInYoutube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates. Due to the Easter holidays in Geneva, this edition of the newsletter exceptionally covers two weeks.

Image of the week | Environs de Genève, le Mont-Blanc | Wolfgang Adam Töpffer, 1816 © Ville de Genève, Musées d’art et d’histoire

Environment @ 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council

This week, the 52nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC52) comes to a close in Geneva and will take decisions on Resolutions containing elements addressing human rights and the environment, including a resolution following up on the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. → Find information on key environmental issues at HRC52, side events, highlights and further resources on our HRC52 and the environment dedicated webpage.

On the Road to Paris | Towards the Plastics Treaty

In less than two months, the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution will convene in Paris. Members and observer organizations accredited to INC-2 are invited to submit their interest in being part of and co-organizing one, or a maximum of two, of the 12 thematic side events organized on the margins of INC-2 through the online form by 19 April 2023. The events will be in-person only.

Various events are taking place around the world in preparation for INC-2. Among these:

  • The Government of Uruguay in collaboration with Norway and Rwanda are hosting a webinar within the framework of the High-Ambition Coalition entitled ‘Eliminate and restrict hazardous chemicals and intentionally added microplastics’. → Registration to the event on 3 April 2023 at 14:00 CEST.
  • UNEP and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation are hosting the 4th session of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Government Workshop Series on ‘Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)’, providing knowledge and practical updates on EPR adoption, development, and implementation by governments. → Registration to the event on 4 April 2023 at 14:00 CEST.
  • The International Break Free From Plastic Youth Summit is bringing young leaders, youth organizations, and allies together to learn about the Global Plastics Treaty, to understand what it means for young people, and to learn how to campaign for ambitious treaty demands. → Registration to the virtual summit taking place from 14 to 15 April 2023.
  • The next Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogue will discuss preparations for the INC-2 Session. → More info on the session to be held on 27 April 2023 at 15:00 CEST.

Other recent news and resources include:

  • Cultivating Plastic Part 1 – Agriplastics and the UK grocery retail supply chain | EIA | March 2023
    The Environmental Investigation Agency launched last week the first of four reports on agriplastics. Focusing on the UK as a case-study, the investigation takes a step back to outline what agriplastics are and who is responsible for finding solutions to tackle the environmental and human health harm they cause.
  • Breathing Plastic: The Health Impacts of Invisible Plastics in the Air | CIEL | 27 March 2023
    The brief explores the problem of ubiquitous tiny plastic particles in the atmosphere, reveals how airborne micro- and nanoplastics are part of the larger story of plastics, and compiles evidence of the wide-ranging health impacts that result from inhaling plastics. It offers recommendations for decision makers.
  • Why Big Oil and the chemical lobby are blasting us with “advanced” recycling ads | ExxonNews | 28 March 2023
    Companies around the world shield their continued plastic production and consumption activities behind the ‘chemical recycling’ solution, which is inefficient and unproven and a way to allow plastic and petrochemical production to increase.
  • Nominations for the 2023 Cycle of UNEP Champions of the Earth Award
    This year UNEP seeks nominations of individuals, organisations, and governments working on sustainable solutions to eliminate plastic pollution, by 14 April. → Learn out about criteria for selection and how to nominate candidates here.

States’ Obligations on Climate Change | Turning Point for Climate Justice

Advisory Opinion on State Obligations on Climate Change | The UN General Assembly has adopted by consensus a resolution calling for an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change from the International Court of Justice (A/77/58), on 29 March 2023. This historic resolution, forwarded by 18 core countries led by the Republic of Vanuatu, alongside 133 co-sponsor States, aims to seek clarity on countries’ climate change and human rights obligations under international law from the world’s highest court. → Read the press release from the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu and the UN News article summarizing key messages by UN Secretary General and others.

Elderly Swiss women bring case to European Court | Thousands of elderly Swiss women have joined forces in a ground-breaking case heard on 29 March 2023 at the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that their government’s “woefully inadequate” efforts to fight global warming violate their human rights. → Read more on this first climate change case at the Strasbourg court in:

French former Mayor bring case to European Court | The second lawsuit in front of the court was brought against the government of France by Damien Carême, a former mayor during 18 years of the northern municipality of Grande-Synthe, a municipality of 23,000 inhabitants in northern France, and now member of the European Parliament. → Read more:

Green Activities for the Easter Break

This Easter, whether you are enjoying some days off or remain busy with your everyday activities, we invite you to discover our suggestions for a green spring in Geneva. From exhibitions and conferences to guided tours or workshops, you will find some interesting events to learn about and act for the environment. Suggestions also include:

  • Let’s Talk Ecosystems Podcast | In the framework of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, FAO and UNEP Europe Office have launched a 10-episode series podcast airing every Wednesday. Giving the voice to environmentalists and entrepreneurs, the podcast series highlights best practices and activities undertaken to make a difference on the ground. The first episode “Who doesn’t love chocolate?”, launched last week, features Louise Mabulo, a Filipino environmentalist, cacao farmer, social entrepreneur, and master chef.
  • All that Breathes Documentary | On 5 April 2023 at 20:00 CEST, the award-winning documentary ‘All that Breathes’ on the interrelations between humans, animals and pollution will be screened at Cinelux and followed by a discussion with the protagonists Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammad Saud.

Update on Niloufar Bayani and Iranian Conservationists

Niloufar Bayani and environmental conservationists imprisoned in Iran in January 2018 have been granted furlough on Nowruz, last month. However, the environmentalists have been summoned again and sent back to Evin prison. Monday 3 April marks 1,895 days since Niloufar’s arrest. The international environmental community, in Geneva and beyond, keeps mobilized and echoes the words of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, David Boyd: “Niloufar and her colleagues are innocent people whose rights have been trampled. The world faces a triple planetary crisis and at this time we need everyone with the qualifications, experience and expertise, like Niloufar, to help protect this beautiful planet that we call home.” → More information on the Release of Niloufar Bayani and Other Environmental Conservationists Detained in Iran

Stay Tuned | Geneva Environment Network Outcomes

Find summaries, videos and other outcomes Geneva Environment Network events from last month:

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20 Feb 2024

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