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 developments in the sanitary situation, some 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.

Image of the week | Voyage de Monsieur de Saussure à la cime du Mont Blanc au mois d’août 1787, première planche: la montée | Estampe, 1790 | éditeur Christian von Mechel, attribué à Marquard Wocher, auteur modèle Henri L’Evêque.

Human Rights, Environmental Policy and Nature Action

This week, the global community will celebrate Human Rights Day – held each year on 10 December – around the theme “EQUALITY – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights”. The day emphasizes how a human rights-based approach to development is essential to rebuild better, fairer, greener. As follow-up to the Human Rights Council recognition of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, urgent action must be taken to respect, protect and fulfill this right. Advancing the right to a healthy environment should become the cornerstone of a new human rights-based economy that will produce a green recovery from COVID-19 and a just transition. Integrating human rights into environmental policy making pays in key role in protecting both people and nature. We are co-convening two events this week that you should attend:

→  Nature-based Solutions and People Dialogue | Monday 6 December 2021, 15:00 CET
Rights-based and gender-responsive approaches will be discussed in the specific case of Nature-based Solutions, at the final session of the Geneva Nature-based Solutions Dialogues. Taking place ahead of the Human Rights Day and during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Nature-based Solutions and People Dialogue is the culmination of a year-long journey convened to explore diverse aspects of Nature-based Solutions and their relevance to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Panelists (IUCN President, Razan Al Mubarak; H.E. Amb. Catalina Devandas, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica; Ramiro Batzín, IUCN Global Counselor for Indigenous Peoples; Mirna Fernandez, Member of the Steering Committee of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network; Mrinalini Raid, Director of Women4Biodiversity; Kristen Walker Painemilla, Chair of IUCN Commission on Environment, Economic and Social Policy; and Jenny Springer, Director Global Governance and Rights Programme of IUCN) will share their views and recommendations on how to ensure that Nature-based Solutions engage and support the diverse contributions of all people, with particular attention to the rights and roles of women and men, youth and Indigenous peoples and local communities.
on Webex and join us Monday at 15:00 CET.

How Can We Better Protect and Promote Human Rights in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework? | Wednesday 8 December 2021, 14:00 CET
As we head toward the final negotiations of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, shedding light on how human rights can become a guide to do no harm, and a beacon for ways to do things better, is critical. Thus, the Forest Peoples Programme, Swedbio, the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, IUCN, and Women 4 Biodiversity are co-convening with Geneva Environment Network a high-level panel How Can We Better Protect and Promote Human Rights in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework? with translation in Spanish and French.
Register and join us online on Wednesday at 14:00 CET.

Mountains Matter

On 11 December, the world will celebrate International Mountain Day, highlighting the importance of these ecosystems which are home to 15% of the world’s population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. This year’s theme focuses on sustainable mountain tourism, as a powerful driver for creating additional and alternative livelihood options and promoting poverty alleviation, social inclusion, as well as landscape and biodiversity conservation. Two Geneva events this week are addressing environmental challenges faced by mountain areas:

→  Plastic Waste in Mountains | Friday 10 December 2021, 11:00 CET
On this occasion, the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues are back with a special session Plastic Waste in Mountains on 10 December. This session will address the growing issue of plastic pollution in mountain areas, a trend driven both by unsustainable tourism practices and the global spread of microplastics around the globe. Invited experts will discuss the challenges faced by mountain communities in managing plastic waste, present success stories in the field, explore the role of mountaineers, individuals and communities in keeping mountains clean, and provide recommendations to strengthen plastic waste management in the mountains.
Register on Webex and join us Friday at 11:00 CET for an insightful dialogue!

Climate change and forced migration in mountain areas: What are the solutions? | Friday 10 December 2021, 14:00 CET
In Geneva, the day will also be celebrated through the webinar Climate change and forced migration in mountain areas: What are the solutions? organized by Adaptation at Altitude, a programme implemented by the University of Geneva, the Stockholm Environment Institute and Zoï Environment Network, in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The event will address how climate change is impacting mobility in mountain regions and how national policies can be aligned to tackle migration in the context of climate change, disasters and mobility. It will also see the launch of the Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal, a collection of climate adaptation solutions and projects implemented around the world.

Global Policy and Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. Events addressing plastic pollution this week include:

What (Else) is Happening Abroad?

  • 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols | Antalya, Turkey | 7-10 December 2021
    Held every two years, the meetings constitute the principal gathering on environment and sustainable development in the region. COP 22 will mark 45 years of seamless environmental multilateralism and regional solidarity under the MAP/Barcelona Convention and its Protocols.
  • 61st GEF Council Meeting | Global Environment Facility | 1-9 December 2021
    In line with the continued health and safety measures being applied in most countries in response to COVID-19, the 61st Council meeting of the GEF and the 31st LDCF/SCCF Council meetings will be held virtually with a full agenda.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

  • UN Biodiversity Convention postpones in-person resumed sessions of its two subsidiary bodies and working group on post-2020 global biodiversity framework | CBD Secretariat | 2 December 2021
    The physical meetings of resumed sessions for SBSTTA-24, SBI-3 and WG2020-3, scheduled to be held in Geneva in January 2022, have been postponed by the uncertainties posed by the Omicron variant and resulting travel measures and restrictions. The meetings to be rescheduled for later in 2022, with dates under discussion. These meetings critical for developing robust and effective post-2020 framework essential for human well-being, sustainable development and the future of all life on Earth.
  • IISD Trade and Sustainability Review – Volume 1, Issue 4 | November 2021
    This fourth edition of the IISD Trade and Sustainability Review covers a range of timely policy issues related to trade and sustainable development, including reflections on the postponement of the 12th Ministerial Conference, the fisheries subsidies negotiations, and various environmental challenges.
  • DG calls on members to agree on pandemic response, fisheries subsidies by end-February | WTO | 2 December 2021
    Following the decision by WTO members to postpone the 12th Ministerial Conference, negotiations are continuing in Geneva, and Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called on them to conclude agreements on the WTO system’s response to pandemics as well as on curbing harmful fisheries subsidies by the end of February 2022 to pave the way for approval by ministers.
  • Tripartite and UNEP support OHHLEP’s definition of “One Health” | FAO, OIE, WHO and UNEP | 1 December 2021
    One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems. It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.
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Water and Displacement

06 Dec 2021 15:00 – 17:00

Online & WMO | Room Obasi

WMO, EU, Slovenia

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11 Dec 2021


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20 Feb 2024

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