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

Due to the public holiday in Geneva on Monday 6 June, this newsletter exceptionally covers a span of eight days. The next newsletter will be published on Tuesday 7 June.

Image of the week | Alastair Macfarlane – it is now or never for a fish agreement at WTO – speaking at New Disciplines on Fisheries Subsidies to Achieve SDG14 and Improve Ocean Governance Geneva Blue Talk on 24 May 2022. © UNEP/GEN, Pablo Arturo Lopez Guijosa, International Environment House I.

Universally Recognize the Human Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment | Stockholm+50 & World Environment Day

World Environment Day is just around the corner! Under the theme Only One Earth, this year’s edition commemorates the 1972 Stockholm Conference and the progress made over 50 years of environmental governance. It is also the opportunity to be reminded that this motto is as pertinent as ever, as transformative changes is essential to address the triple planetary crisis and enable cleaner, greener, and sustainable living in harmony with nature. On this occasion, governments will meet once again in Stockholm to advance the global environmental agenda at the Stockholm+50 conference. Read more about Stockholm+50 and the links with processes in Geneva.

While Stockholm will be in the spotlight this week, Geneva is not left out. To celebrate World Environment Day and in the run-up to Stockholm+50, the government of Switzerland and the Geneva Environment Network invite you to a hybrid event Celebrating the Right to a Healthy Environment: 50 Years of the Stockholm Declaration. Drawing on the adoption of the resolution recognizing the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment at the Human Rights Council in October 2021, this event will showcase how this right is rooted in the 1972 Stockholm Conference and the way forward, as many stakeholders hope to have it soon adopted at the UN General Assembly. Register and join us at the International Environment House or online on Monday 30 May, at 16.00 CEST, for this moment of celebration and reflection!

Ocean Governance: From Geneva to Lisbon

As we get closer to the UN Ocean Conference, Portugal, Kenya and the Geneva Environment Network are convening a High-Bevel briefing on the UN Ocean Conference, to inform stakeholders in Geneva and beyond on the process. This online event will provide an update on the presidents’ priorities for the Assembly, as well as the latest updates on preparations and expected outcomes. This event is part of the Geneva Blue Talks, which aim to engage stakeholders in the run-up to UNOC by focusing on key issues related to SDG14 that are both at the heart of International Geneva and of the upcoming conference.  Register and join us online Tuesday 31 May, at 15:00 CEST.

This week, governments are convening for a new fish week at the World Trade Organization and expected to finalize an agreement on fisheries subsides ahead of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). The discussions are particularly timely as the world will also celebrate the International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing 2022 on 5 June. The G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers also reaffirmed last week that they will undertake every effort in WTO to successfully conclude the fisheries subsidies negotiations. Last week’s Geneva Blue Talk provided an update on fisheries subsidies negotiations at the WTO and further initiatives to address overfishing and overcapacity at the global level   Watch the video and read summary.

European Energy Transition Conference

The 23rd European Energy Transition Conference is taking place in Palexpo from 31 May to 2 June, providing an opportunity for actors in the region and beyond to share insights about energy transition. The conference will focus on demonstrating how it is crucial to maintain our planet’s global balance and promote local energy sources in order to reconcile and ensure the well-being of our populations.

In this context, OHCHR, WHO, ISHR, 2050Today, Franciscans International, and the Geneva Environment Network are hosting the event Clean Energy with Clean Conscience: The Importance of Human Rights, Health and Well-Being When Transitioning to Clean Energy for Sustainable Development. The event will see the participation of experts as well as of environmental human rights defenders who will speak about their lived experiences to enhance a better understanding of the situation on the ground. Register for in-person or virtual attendance, and join us on Wednesday 1 June, at 14:00 CEST.

Start of Journey to End Plastic Pollution

This week, governments and stakeholders are meeting in Dakar for the Ad-hoc Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) to prepare for the International Negotiating Committee (INC) to end plastic pollution, as requested by the resolution adopted in March at UNEA-5. Delegates are expected to adopt recommended rule of procedures and timeline for the INC, as well as identify candidates for the Bureau of the INC.

Multi-stakeholder dialogues are hosted to engage and hear the voices of stakeholders that will be impacted by the international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution but would normally not participate directly in the negotiations. The outcomes will be reflected in the OEWG report, which will be submitted to the INC-1.

Stakeholders from Geneva and beyond are actively engaging in the INC process to support an ambitious treaty on plastic pollution. Recent reports and resources on this topic include:

Face-to-Face Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The face-to-face segment of the 2021-2022 Conference of Parties of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions will kick off in Stockholm and Geneva, under the theme Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet: Sound management of chemicals and waste. The meetings will take up the items of the COPs agendas not considered or concluded during the online segment in July 2021. The High-Level Segment will take place on 1 June at the Stockholm Exhibition & Convention Centre at Älvsjö, ahead of Stockholm+50, and address how the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions contribute to tackle the triple planetary environmental crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution. The meetings will resume at the International Conference Center in Geneva from 6 to 17 June, and will include a Plastics Forum. Follow the Earth Negotiation Bulletin coverage.

INTECOL 2022: Early Registration

INTECOL 2022: Frontiers in Ecology: Science & Society will take place from 28 August to 2 September 2022 in Geneva. From ecology and the biodiversity crisis, to conservation and restoration, the world-renowned environmental Congress will provide a platform for ecologists to share their knowledge and work together to find creative solutions to world’s ecological issues. Deadline for registration under early bird rates is on 31 May 2022.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers’ Communiqué | G7 | 27 May 2022
    After meeting in Berlin under Germany’s 2022 Presidency, the G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers issued a communiqué setting out a wide range of actions to tackle “the triple global crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution”, thus committing forward to what agreed at UNEA last March, and addressing many topics that are of interest for International Geneva. For example, G7 stressed that fossil fuel subsidies are inconsistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and reaffirm their commitment to the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
  • Antarctica: coming to a postcode near you | Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) | 24 May 2022
    Published during the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, this report shows that climate change is having significant impacts on Antarctica’s ice sheets, climate and life, with far-reaching global consequences. The report highlights that cooperative and coordinated international responses are required to address critical research needs in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
  • Plastics dialogue discusses MC12 plans, next steps to implement Ministerial Statement | WTO | 24 May 2022
    Deputy Director-General Jean-Marie Paugam reiterated the need for the IDP to collaborate closely with other international organizations involved in addressing plastics pollution and stressed the need for strengthening transparency through data sharing.
  • Five things we must achieve as environmental movement turns 50 | Inger Anderson | Al Jazeera | 27 May 2022
    This is the moment to reimagine our economic system, reinvent the structures that have caused environmental degradation and create a global society that offers everyone the opportunity to live a healthy, fair life.
  • Une campagne d’Extinction Rebellion Genève soutenue par la Ville | Tribune de Genève | 30 May 2022
    La campagne «Faire Face», qui démarre lundi, vise à délivrer des messages scientifiques vulgarisés au grand public sur les risques du dérèglement climatique spécifique à Genève.
  • Climate Tipping Points, Irreversibility and their Consequences for Society, Environment and Economies | Switzerland’s Proposal for an IPCC Special Report | Switzerland & GEN | 25 May 2022
    Outcomes of this briefing presenting the initiative asking the IPCC to elaborate a Special Report on “Climate Tipping Points and their Implications for Habitability and Resources”.
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