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. The newsletter is issued bimonthly from 12 July. 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.

Environment @ Human Rights Council

The 47th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC47) continues this week in Geneva and virtually, and will conclude next week. The HRC is expected to adopt its annual resolution on human rights and climate change at this session.

An online side-event co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, with the Geneva Academy, on 7 July 2021 at 14:00 CEST, will discuss the legal aspects of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, the scope of the right, the legal aspects of a potential resolution, as well as how it would contribute to address the global environmental crisis.

Last week, strong statements were delivered, during the panel discussion on the human rights of older persons in the context of climate change, urging States to establish a new Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change at this session of the Council. This call has been reiterated by more than 400 civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations in a recent open letter. Our update highlights the environmental-related developments at HRC47.

Plastic is Forever

The Plastic Waste Partnership Photography Exhibition “Plastic is Forever”, featuring winners of the contest launched in 2020 by the Plastic Waste Partnership (PWP) under the Basel Convention, is taking place from 3-29 July 2021 at the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc in Geneva.

Join us for the launch of the exhibition on Monday 5 July 2021, at 16:00 CEST. Limited places are available, kindly register online. The exhibition is also available on the United Nations virtual exhibition space.

WTO Ministers Convening to Conclude Fisheries Negotiations

After 20 years, negotiations on harmful fisheries subsidies – considered a main driver of overfishing – should be reaching their final stage this semester.

At the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, held in Argentina in December 2017, members agreed to engage constructively in fisheries subsidies negotiations, with a view to adopting an agreement by the 12th Ministerial Conference, now scheduled to take place from 30 November to 3 December 2021, in Geneva. WTO will hold a ministerial meeting on 15 July to review an advanced negotiating text with the aim to reach an agreement to end subsidies that drive overfishing.

To facilitate discussions ahead of the 15 July WTO meeting of ministers, the chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations, Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, introduced on 30 June a revised draft text. The changes proposed in the text are intended to point members towards the convergence needed to successfully conclude negotiations. WTO Director Geneva, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said that “the text should help ministers to engage on 15 July in a way that will provide us the kind of push and political guidance that we need at this stage to be able to move towards conclusion”. Latest WTO Update:

Green Summer in Geneva

Consult our list of suggestions of environmental and nature-themed activities to safely entertaining this summer in Geneva: exhibitions, workshops, shows, contests, outdoor activities and online resources. The list is regularly updated.

Out of Geneva

This week and next week, institutions from international Geneva will be actively engaging in:

  • HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM 2021 under the auspices of ECOSOC | 6-15 July
    The HLPF will discuss ways to ensure a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19 that puts us on track to realize the 2030 Agenda. The theme will be “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. The HLPF will discuss SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 13, 16, and 17. The Forum will also consider the integrated, indivisible and interlinked nature of the Sustainable Development Goals. Check selection of events.
  • Science Days for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 & Side-Events | 5-9 July 2021

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • The Marshall Islands ‘fight for survival’ in Geneva | Michelle Langrand | Geneva Solutions | 2 July 2021
    The Marshall Islands’ years-long fight for climate and nuclear justice has arrived in Geneva. Two years in since establishing its mission, Ambassador Doreen de Brum speaks to Geneva Solutions about her country’s fight for survival.
  • June ends with exceptional heat | WMO | 1 July 2021
    An exceptional and dangerous heatwave is baking the Northwestern USA and Western Canada in areas which are more synonymous with the cold. Temperatures have reached more than 45.0°C on consecutive days, with extremely warm nights in between.
  • IPCC confirms release date and approval session details for next report | IPCC | 30 June 2021
    IPCC will release its next report, the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), on 9 August 2021 following an approval session held remotely to consider the document from 26 July to 6 August.
  • Scientific evidence for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction | Nature Sustainability | Sudmeier-Rieux, K., Arce-Mojica, T., Boehmer, H.J. et al | 28 June 2021
    This paper builds scientific evidence through a review of 529 English-language articles published between 2000 and 2019. It catalogues the extent of knowledge on, and confidence in, ecosystems in reducing disaster risk.
  • Digital technologies for a better planet | Inger Andersen | UNEP | 30 June 2021
    Speech by Inger Anderson prepared for delivery via video recording at ‘A Digital Planet for Sustainability’, hosted by the Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability.
  • United Nations entities concerned by arrest of environmental human rights defenders in Cambodia | OHCHR & UNEP | 30 June 2021
    On 16 June, four activists working for Mother Nature Cambodia (MNC), a grassroots organisation that advocates for the protection and preservation of Cambodia’s natural environment, were arrested. At least 24 human rights defenders, 12 of whom are women, are currently in detention in Cambodia.
  • Nature-based Solutions and the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework | GEN & IUCN | 28 June 2021
    Outcomes of the session Geneva Nature-based Solutions Dialogues on the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.
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