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.

Environment @ 51st Session of the Human Rights Council

Ahead of the 51st Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC51), taking place in Geneva and online from 12 September to 7 October 2022, the Geneva Environment Network and its partners are convening an information-sharing session – Human Rights and the Environment: Meeting on Activities Related to 51st Session of the Human Rights Council – on activities and events related to the environment taking place during this session. Register and join us online, on Tuesday 6 September from 13:30 to 14:30.

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

In order to raise awareness and mobilize efforts against air pollution, the international community celebrates each year, on 7 September, since 2019, International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, as set out in the UN General Assembly resolution 74/212. The third will be held under the theme of ‘The Air We Share’. It focuses on the transboundary nature of air pollution highlighting the need for collective accountability and collective action. Read more on clean air day and the role of Geneva

Mountain Glaciers Melting at Unprecedented Rates

Worldwide, mountain glaciers are losing mass at unprecedented rates, and made the headlines this summer. Their continuous retreat is leading to extreme events, such as low levels of water in European rivers and the devastating floods in Asia. Spectacular images and videos have been circulating on social media. Recent news include:

  • The Cross-Chapter Paper on ‘Mountains’, featured in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II Climate Report of its 6th Assessment ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’, was first approved by the Panel on 28 February 2022 and published in its final formatted version in August 2022. Research has shown that the pace of glacier retreat is significantly faster than what had been stated in the 2019 IPCC Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere. It notes with high confidence that many low elevation and small glaciers around the world will lose more than half their mass even at 1.5°C warming. And it shows the important difference between lower and higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions scenarios in coming decades, and between the levels of warming that are associated with them. The projections are sufficiently strong to state with medium confidence that low-emission scenarios would preserve around half the current ice mass in low and mid latitude mountains, while higher levels would bring a loss between two-thirds and over 90%.
  • In Switzerland, the glaciers lost half of their volume between 1931 and 2016, and a further 12 percent between 2016 and 2021, as illustrated in a study published in the scientific journal The Cryosphere in August, by a team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. Read press release
  • Cataclysmic flooding in Pakistan, triggered by unprecedented monsoon rainfall and glacial melting, has killed over 1,000 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and millions of acres of crops, affecting more than 30 million Pakistanis and causing billions of dollars in damage. The ongoing disaster demonstrates once again the need for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The International Film Festival on Glacier is an annual event in Geneva, bringing awareness to the public on the challenges faced by the world glaciers. Ahead of its 6th edition, that will take place at Maison des Arts du Grütli (Fonction:Cinéma) from 7 to 9 October, the Association Mission Planète Terre is organizing an excursion to Aletsch Glacier, on 1-2 October, open to all. Register online to join the excursion (limited places)

Advancing Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste

Last week, stakeholders convened in Bucharest, Romain, for the 4th Meeting of the Intersessional Process for considering the Strategic Approach and Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020. Participants succeeded in consolidating elements into one unified document that will serve as the basis for negotiation. However, the meeting was suspended and set to be reconvened in early 2023. Read the IISD Earth Negotiation Bulletin summary report

Next week, on 13 September, a Chemicals and Waste Briefing organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network will provide an overview of the work and key activities to advance the sound management of chemicals and waste globally, as well as important conferences scheduled in the second half of 2022 and in 2023. Register to join us in person at the Environment House or online

Explore Green Geneva on Jeûne Genevois

The Jeûne genevois is a public holiday specific to Geneva, which falls on the Thursday after the first Sunday in September, and this year on 8 September. Its origin dates back to the first fast recorded in Geneva, at the beginning of October 1567, following the repression of Protestants from Lyon. From 1640, fasting was seen as a moral and religious act and became an annual practice at the initiative of reformed cantons.

To discover the world of trees as well as the plants and animals that live there, the City of Geneva is organizing a number of original activities, starting on 7 September 2022. Find more activities to enjoy in Geneva and around in our Green Summer update.

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Conference

2nd Illicit Trade Forum

06 – 07 Sep 2022

Palais des Nations | Room XVII

UNCTAD

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