The Geneva Environment Network weekly newsletter includes updates on global environmental agenda, main events, job vacancies expiring soon, learning opportunities, as well as other useful news 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, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.
Another busy week with numerous events and the possibility to join live events organized around the world. This edition contains a selection of events. Click on “see all” to access the full list.
Cities on the Frontlines for a Green and Sustainable Recovery
The UNECE annual Sustainable Cities Week opens in Geneva on World Habitat Day (5 October), while COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role local governments and actors play as front-line responders in crisis response, recovery and rebuilding. The main events of the week:
- Roundtable “In focus SDG11”, organized in cooperation with the Geneva Cities Hub and UN-Habitat under the title Supporting city actions for a resilient future | 5 October 2020
- Forum of Mayors will gather cities to share their approaches to build back better from COVID-19 and beyond #MayorsAction | 6 October 2020
Bringing together more than 40 mayors from around the world, will culminate in the endorsement of the Geneva Declaration of Mayors, calling for concrete action for building back better in all aspects of urban life, including ambitious climate action, sustainable transport and inclusive communities. Participation in the Forum of Mayors is possible both in-person and virtually. For in-person participation, online registration is required. The Forum will be broadcasted on UN Web TV.
- 81st session of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management | 6-8 October
- Annual meeting of the United for Sustainable Smart Cities (U4SSC) | 9 October
Environment @ HRC45
It’s this week that the 45th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC45) will finally conclude in Geneva. Consult our update “Environment @ 45th Session of the UN Human Rights Council” providing an overview of the environmental-related topics addressed at the council and relevant links to documents, videos and summaries. #HRC45
Recent Environmental Emergencies
A webinar on the recent environmental emergencies organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, will place on Wednesday, 7 October. The event will address three emergencies currently faced by the international community and UNEP’s response:
- Environmental risks of the Beirut explosion
- Environmental challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Oil spill in Mauritius from MV WAKASHIO
Minamata Online, the series of digital engagement providing an opportunity for stakeholders to better understand the Minamata Convention. This week session,to be held on 8 October, will outline how the Minamata Convention sets out obligations with regard to the trade in mercury (Article 3, MC-1/2).
COVID-19 and the Environment
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. Events addressing the pandemic recovery this week:
- GGKP Webinar | Measuring Nature’s Contribution: How natural capital will transform the economic recovery | 6 October 15:00
- UNECE Sustainable Cities Week | 5-9 October
- Good Trade Summit | Emerging Stronger from COVID-19 | 7-8 October
Green Autumn in Geneva
We have prepared a list of suggestions of environmental awareness activities to entertain this fall. From exhibitions and film screenings to creative workshops and outdoor activities, learn more about the environment, encounter local wildlife and explore nature trails for a “green” autumn in Geneva. Don’t miss this week the 7ème Festival International du Film sur les Glaciers.
What (Else) Should I Read Next?
- Biodiversity takes center stage at the 75th session of UN General Assembly | UNEP | 2 October 2020
From action on climate, biodiversity, health, gender equality and more, world leaders, academics, young activists and others turned their attention to the United Nations in September with the need to work together for a sustainable future a common refrain.
- Toxic Additives in Plastics: Hidden Health Hazards Linked to Common Plastic Products | IPEN | 30 September 2020
Developed in collaboration with multiple UN convention groups, technical experts, and affiliated organizations, Plastic’s Toxic Additives and the Circular Economy shines a light on extensive evidence of toxic chemical components in plastics that can harm human and environmental health and impede a safe circular economy.
- Human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment (A/75/161) | SR Environment | Released October 2020
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, David R. Boyd, discusses the need for urgent action to conserve, protect and restore the biosphere on which all species depend, including Homo sapiens.
- Guterres: Only way to remove nuclear risk, ‘completely eliminate nuclear weapons’ | UN News | 2 October 2020
The elimination of nuclear weapons is vital to the “survival of life on this planet”, the UN chief told the final major event of the General Assembly’s high level week.
- A Climate Crisis and a World on the Move: Implications for Migration Management | Mariam Traore Chazalnoël & Dina Ionesco | 21st Century Diplomacy | 30 September 2020
Climate migration is increasingly visible worldwide, from Pacific Islanders moving inland, to migrants in African countries whose livelihoods have been destroyed by desertification and land degradation.
- Climate change “increases the risk of wildfires” | WMO | 28 September 2020
There is strengthened evidence that climate change increases the frequency and/or severity of fire weather around the world. Land management alone cannot explain recent increases in wildfires, according to an update from internationally acclaimed scientists.
- United Nations Raises Human Rights Concerns Over Proposed PNG Mine | Environmental Defenders Office | 29 September 2020
Eleven United Nations representatives have written to stakeholders of the proposed Frieda River copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to raise their concerns about the mine and the risk of failure of its proposed tailings dam.
- UN expert calls for halt to mining at controversial Colombia site | SR Indigenous | OHCHR | 28 September 2020
Colombia should suspend some operations at one of the world’s largest coal mines because it has seriously damaged the environment and health of the country’s largest indigenous community, and is making them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
- Sound management of chemicals and waste a prerequisite for turning the tide on biodiversity loss | BRS & Minamata Secretariats | 30 September 2020
As a contribution to efforts to protect biodiversity, the secretariats of the four conventions have joined forces to develop an exploratory study highlighting the pollutants regulated by the four Conventions and their impacts on biodiversity.
- New legal principles argue for greater assistance for victims of toxic remnants of war | Dana Walters | CEOBS | 30 September 2020
Conflicts and military activities are major sources of pollution, affecting the health of civilians, military personnel and contractors, and causing often lasting environmental degradation. Humanitarian disarmament treaties on explosive remnants of war have created clear frameworks for how those harmed should be assisted but until now a parallel framework for those affected by toxic remnants of war has been absent.
- Environmental Rights Bulletin | UNEP | September 2020
Quarterly publication that aims at supporting a growing Community of Practice of OHCHR and UNEP through the exchange of experiences, best practices and information sharing related to processes at the country, regional and global level of relevance to the human rights-environment nexus.
- Net’Léman, le grand nettoyage du lac a rassemblé 1’000 bénévoles ce week-end tout autour du lac | ASL | 4 October 2020
La 10ème édition de Net’Léman a eu lieu ce week-end avec la participation d’un millier de bénévoles de tous âges dont près de 300 plongeurs. L’événement, organisé par l’Association pour la Sauvegarde du Léman (ASL) a eu lieu simultanément sur 12 sites tout autour du Léman et s’est soldé par le ramassage de 3’400 kilos de déchets.
- ‘Dramatic’ plunge in London air pollution since 2016, report finds | Damian Carrington | The Guardian | 3 October 2020
Number of people living with illegal pollution levels has fallen by 94% since Sadiq Khan became mayor.
- Launch | Greening the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor: A visual synthesis | Geneva Environment Network | 1 October 2020
Outcomes of the event organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network on 1 October 2020.
14 Sep – 07 Oct 2020
Palais des Nations
01 Oct – 30 Nov 2020
05 – 09 Oct 2020
Palais des Nations
05 – 09 Oct 2020
05 – 06 Oct 2020
05 Oct 2020 15:00 – 18:00
UNEP Chemicals and Health Branch
La contre-démocratie: défi ou chance pour la démocratie? | Quand les mouvements de défense pour le climat s’en mêlent
05 Oct 2020 19:00
Uni Dufour | U600
06 – 08 Oct 2020
Online | Zoom
06 Oct 2020
Palais des Nations | Room XXVII
GGKP Webinar | Measuring Nature’s Contribution: How natural capital will transform the economic recovery
06 Oct 2020 15:00 – 16:30
Online | Gotowebinar
06 Oct 2020 16:00 – 17:15
Online | Zoom
07 – 08 Oct 2020
07 Oct 2020 14:00 – 15:30
Online | Webex & Facebook
07 Oct 2020 14:30 – 16:00
Platform on Disaster Displacement
Project launch and Webinar | Seizing the trade and business potential of Blue BioTrade in selected Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries
07 Oct 2020 16:00 – 18:00
08 Oct 2020 10:00 – 17:00
Minamata Convention on Mercury
Climate Legislation Webinar Series | Webinar 3: Legislative approaches in ensuring social stability in communities facing climate-induced risks
08 Oct 2020 15:00 – 16:00
09 – 11 Oct 2020
Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Genève
Mission Planète Terre
10 Oct 2020
10 Oct 2020 18:00 – 23:30
05 Oct 2020
05 Oct 2020
05 Oct 2020
06 Oct 2020
06 Oct 2020
07 Oct 2020
Consultant for updating and editing the UNEP Sustainable Public Procurement implementation Guidelines
08 Oct 2020
UNEP Resources and Markets Branch
09 Oct 2020
11 Oct 2020
11 Oct 2020
11 Dec 2020
23 – 27 Nov 2020
08 Apr 2023