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.

Image of the week | Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on World Wildlife Day. The Celebration took place at the Geneva Conservatory and Botanical Garden, home to a living collection of more than 15,000 species of wild or cultivated flora, which includes a variety of CITES protected species, and a herbarium of nearly 6 million botanical specimens, on 3 March 2023. © Ville de Genève/Fabrice Golay, US Mission Geneva & Geneva Environment Network.

Women, Girls, and the Triple Planetary Crisis

International Women’s Day, celebrated each year on 8 March, is an occasion to take stock of progress made to achieve gender equality and to cheer women’s contributions to global challenges.

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment annual report to the ongoing Human Rights Council Session focuses on women, girls and the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment (A/HRC/52/33). The Special Rapporteur will participate in various events to present and discuss with other stakeholders the findings of his report and the role of women and girls in addressing the triple interconnected planetary crisis of pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.

The UN Special Rapporteur is organizing a side event to HRC52 on Women, Girls, and the Right to a Healthy Environment on Tuesday 7 March, from 14:00 to 15:00 CET.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Geneva Environment Network is organizing a session on Women, Girls, and the Triple Planetary Crisis to discuss the role of women and girls in addressing the triple interconnected planetary crisis of pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss, and addressing also the thematic of this year edition on innovation and technology for gender equality. As Geneva plays an important role on data and environment, key stakeholders will speak on how they are leading the way on this topic. → Join us at the International Environment House in person or online on Wednesday 8 March from 8:30 to 10:00 CET.

Global Response to Pollution | Accelerating Action

Briefing on the 2023 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions | The sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-16), the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-11) and the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-11) will be held in Geneva, from 1 to 12 May 2023. Ahead of the triple COPs, a briefing, organized within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, will provide updates on the preparations of the meetings . →  Join us in person at the International Environment House or online, on Tuesday 7 March from 10:00 to 12:00 CET.

IP4.2 Outcomes | The Resumed 4th Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 concluded last week in Nairobi. The meeting was suspended until two days before the start of the Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) and will continue on 23-24 September 2023 in Bonn, Germany. The resumed IP4 will attempt to find consensus on as many items as possible before handing the Consolidated Document to ICCM5 negotiators.→ Read the summary and analysis from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and reactions from the CIEL Staff Reactions.

End Plastic Pollution Updates

Plastiscosis Disease | A new study reveals the first instance of a plastic-induced fibrosis, or ‘plasticosis’, in seabirds. The ingestion of plastics causes an inflammation of the animal’s digestive tract and causes various health complications.

An Ambitious Plastics Treaty | A recent article by Inside Climate News refers to some of the countries’ opening proposals to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution as strong and expansive. It also deplores the opening plastics treaty proposal from the U.S. delegation to the United Nations which sidesteps calls for cuts in production, praises the benefits of plastics and focuses on national priorities versus global mandates.

Peak Plastics | A new report by the Back to Blue, an initiative by the Economist Impact and The Nippon Foundation, assesses the impact of various plastics-related policies and if they can achieve peak plastic consumption by 2050. The report is the first study to model the potential impact of policies being considered by the United Nations plastic treaty negotiators. The analysis is focused on the 19 countries of the G20.

Petrochemical derailment in Ohio | The accident continued to make headlines of news last week. Experts weigh in on supply chain hazards following Ohio disaster and call for employment of safer chemicals and increased efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

Environment @ Human Rights Council

The environment remains high in the agenda, as the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC52) continues on its second week. Various UN Special Rapporteurs will be presenting their environment-related reports to the Council this week, including:

Other events of interest this week include:

 Regular updates on key environmental issues at HRC52, side events, and further resources will be made available on our HRC52 and the environment dedicated webpage.

International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights | The 21st edition of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) kicks off this week. This year’s selection will include films that focus on environment, indigenous rights, business and human rights, among others.

Historic High Seas Treaty

The 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC-5) on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBJN) concluded in New York late Saturday night, after delegates negotiated non-stop far past the scheduled period. Member States have agreed on a UN legally binding instrument to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. This agreement will be critical to achieving the global ocean conservation targets agreed last December at COP15 under the Global Biodiversity Framework. A resumed meeting will be convened to adopt the final text at a date to be announced. → Read the summary and analysis to be published by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Concerns on Deployment of Climate Change Solutions

Toxic impacts of some climate change solutions | In preparation for his report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights is inviting all interested stakeholders working on issues related to the toxic pollution and human rights implications of climate change solutions to provide inputs by 6 March. → More information on other calls for submissions.

One Atmosphere | UNEP released last week an independent expert review on Solar Radiation Modification research and deployment. The expert panel considers that a near and mid-term large-scale Solar Radiation Modification (SRM, or sometimes called ‘solar geoengineering’) deployment is not currently warranted and would be unwise. This view may change if climate action remains insufficient. A recent article in Le Temps last week — Refroidir le climat, une idée qui se réchauffe — refers that more and more voices are being raised to defend — or challenge — climate cooling research.

Calls for Contributions / Abstracts / Nominations

World Resources Forum (WRF) 2023 Call for Abstracts | WRF’23 will take place from 4 to 6 September 2023 in a hybrid format in Geneva and online. With the theme, ‘Rethinking Value – Resources for Planetary Wellbeing’, this edition’s conference tracks – Sufficiency, Value Chains and Digitalisation – will be explored through a multi-disciplinary approach able to convey together environmental, societal, technological, economic, governance and geo-political perspectives. → The deadline to Submit Abstracts has been extended until 10 March 2023.

The Global Intergovernmental Meeting on Minerals and Metals will take place in Geneva, from 7 to 8 September 2023 back-to-back with the 2023 edition of the World Resources Forum. UNEP Executive Director has invited Member States to nominate one national focal point to participate in the intergovernmental regional consultations. → Review the Briefing organized in February on the implementation of UNEA Resolution 5/12.

Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, Treaty Bodies, Subsidiary Bodies and Office of the High Commissioner Call for Submissions | The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council and other bodies of the council, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner and other human rights bodies regularly call for inputs for the reports in preparation. Find here the calls related to the environment. → Find here the calls related to the environment.

Human Rights 75 Youth Advisory group | The Human Rights 75 Youth Advisory Group will be composed of twelve young people with consideration of gender, age, geographic, ethnic, and cultural balance. The mandate of the Youth Advisory Group will initially run until the end of 2023. To apply to be part of the Human Rights 75 Youth Advisory Group, please fill out this form by Monday, 13 March 2023.

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