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. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some live events organized by organizations around the world, contributing to the global environmental agenda, have also been included. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Due to the developments in the sanitary situation, various institutions in Geneva continue operating virtually. Our update on COVID-19 and the environment lists relevant information, research, data, and press releases on the environmental origins and impacts of the pandemic.

Advancing Global Governance to End Plastic Pollution

Over 1100 participants are expected to attend this week the Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution – Informal consultations addressing the mandates of UNEA 3/7 and 4/6 towards the 5th UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA-5.2)  jointly organized by Ecuador, Germany, Ghana and Viet Nam, with technical and logistical support from the United Nations Environment Programme.  The goal of this Conference, taking place on 1 and 2 September 2021 in a hybrid format, with a core presence at the World Trade Organization premises in Geneva, is to build momentum and political will to advance a coherent global strategy to end marine litter and plastic pollution.

The virtual and hybrid side events to this conference, scheduled from Monday 30 August to Thursday 2 September, are open to the public:

The second series of Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues kicked off in the margins of this week’s Ministerial Conference. Building on the outcomes of the first series of dialogues and the recent policy developments, the Geneva Environment Network and its partners will continue to facilitate further engagement and synergies on tackling the plastic crisis, making links with the formal and informal discussions ongoing in various fora in international Geneva, in the run-up to the second part of the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly.

Decent Work Through Nature-based Solution for an Inclusive Socio-Economic Recovery

The Decent Work Through Nature-based Solution for an Inclusive Socio-Economic Recovery dialogue is the fourth of the Nature-based Solutions journey convened in the run-up to various international negotiations.

As countries are addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19 by allocating trillions of dollars to fiscal stimulus packages and beginning to develop longer-term economic recovery programs, a shift towards nature-based systems is more urgent to ensure that sustainable decent jobs are created to build resilience. This session will look at the vital role played by ecosystems in supporting employment. Register on Webex and join Monday 30 August at 15.00 CEST.

The Right to a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

The core group on human rights and the environment (Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, Switzerland) is hosting a workshop on the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, on Tuesday 31 August, from 15:00 to 17:00 CEST. This workshop is a further step in the effort of the core group to consider the introduction of a resolution recognizing the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment in the Human Rights Council (HRC).

An appeal to the Human Rights Council to recognize without delay the right of all to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment was shared with all member states ahead of HRC45. This appeal, entitled “The Time Is Now“, has been signed by more than 1,150 organizations from civil society, social, environmental, youth, gender equality and human rights movements, trade unions, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, from more than 100 countries. The signatories hope the UN Human Rights Council will soon take a decisive step by recognizing right to a healthy environment.

Concrete Means and Solutions for Reducing Emissions at Alternatiba Leman

Over 180 organizations will join the 7th edition of the Festival Alternatiba Léman, taking place from 30 August to 4 September at the University of Geneva, Maison internationale des associations and Parc des Bastions. Alternatiba showcases of concrete means and solutions for reducing emissions, through conferences, exhibits, stands, workshops and practical demonstrations, etc., with the participation of numerous local actors.

The Geneva Environment Network will host a conference showcasing the international Geneva mobilization on climate & plastics (in French) on Wednesday and share a stand with local authorities at Parc des Bastions on Saturday 4 September.

Happening Abroad

This week, important negotiations happening abroad with institutions from international Geneva include:

  • Third meeting, Open-Ended Working Group (WG2020) on the Post-2020 Global Framework Agreement | Online | 23 August – 3 September 2021 
    The WG2020 is meeting to advance preparations for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. This process is expected to lead its adoption at the UN Biodiversity Conference later this year, in Kunming, China.
  • Biodiversity PreCOP – a high-level event hosted by the Government of Colombia | Online | Monday, 30 August 2021
    Hosted by the Government of Colombia to promote the high-level political commitment with the adoption of a post-2020 Global Framework for Biodiversity that contains the critical elements and level of ambition needed to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss by 2030.
  • IUCN World Conservation Congress | Marseilles & Online | 3-11 September 2021
    The IUCN Congress brings together governments, civil society, indigenous peoples, scientists and business to drive action on today’s most pressing environmental and sustainability challenges, and is organized into four main parts:

    • The Forum, a marketplace of new conservation ideas, research and policy: 4-7 September 2021
    • IUCN Members’ Assembly – the world’s largest democratic environmental decision-making platform: 8-10 September 2021
      IUCN’s more than 1,400 Member organisations will take decisions that are expected to influence global conservation policy for the coming decade.
    • The Exhibition – where IUCN Members and Commissions, businesses, partners and academia host stands and events to showcase their research and innovations: 4-9 September 2021
    • Espaces Generations Nature – engaging the general public in conservation: 4-11 September 2021
    • On 3 September, ahead of the official Congress opening, a number of independent summits will take place:

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to human and planetary health | Inger Anderson | UNEP | 24 August 2021
    UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson speaks at the Second Meeting of the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance on the importance of a global effort to fight the risks AMR poses to society.
  • Right to science in the context of toxic substances | SR Toxics, Marcos Orellana | August 2021
    Annual thematic report of SR Toxics dedicated to the human right to science with regard to the risks and harms associated with the life cycle of hazardous substances and wastes, examining the dynamics and interconnections between scientific progress, the diffusion of scientific information and the science-policy interface.
  • Repurposing Agricultural Subsidies to Restore Degraded Farmland and Grow Rural Prosperity | World Resources Institute | 25 August 2021
    The report highlights why governments should reinvest underperforming public agricultural subsidies in land restoration.
  • Towards a multidimensional biodiversity index for national application | Soto-Navarro, C.A., Harfoot, M., Hill, S.L.L. et al. | Nature Sustainability | 16 August 2021
    The authors propose a co-produced Multidimensional Biodiversity Index to connect biodiversity science to the political agenda that accounts for the diversity of values underpinning nature–human relationships.
  • These five cities are taking aim at air pollution | UNEP | 27 August 2021
    Many urban areas are beginning to reconsider the way we consume resources and the way our cities are built to improve their air quality. From implementing ultra-low emissions zones to banning cars, here are five cities that are taking innovative steps to clean their air.
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Festival Alternatiba Léman 2021

30 Aug – 04 Sep 2021

University of Geneva, Maison des Associations & Parc des Bastions

Alternatiba Léman

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