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Image of the week | Briefing on the 1st Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Develop an International Legally Binding Instrument on Plastic Pollution (Plastic Pollution INC-1) on 2 November 2022. © UNEP GEN/Marina Garlatti

Parties to the Convention on Wetlands Adopt Wuhan Declaration and Continue Negotiating in Geneva

Parties and observers to the Convention on Wetlands – Ramsar Convention – are convening in Geneva this week for their 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP14), under the theme “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”. Taking place in parallel to the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Conference and a few weeks ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference (Convention on Biological Diversity’s 15th Conference of Parties), the Convention on Wetlands’ COP14 is discussing strengthening scientific priorities and putting wetlands action for people and nature at the heart of climate, biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals.   Consult our update Towards the Wetlands Convention COP14

During the opening ceremony on Saturday 5 November, China President Xi Jinping, appeared via video message and emphasized China’s historic achievements in wetlands conservation since joining the Convention in 1992. A the High-Level Segment on Sunday 6 November, ministers and ambassadors from Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands adopted the Wuhan Declaration, calling for increased action and on the linkages between wetlands, climate change, and biodiversity loss.    Read the Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Over 70 side events are taking place this week. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Geneva Environment Network will host the side event on “Unpacking the Potential of Wetlands for Addressing Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss”, with the support of NetworkNature and the EU Commission. → Join us online on 8 November, at 13:15 CET if you are not registered to attend COP14.

Environment @ 41st Session of the Universal Periodic Review

The forty-first session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will be held in Geneva from 7 to 18 November, during which 14 States – Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, the United Kingdom, India, Algeria, the Philippines, Brazil, Poland, the Netherlands, and South Africa – will have their human rights records examined. The holding of this session will mark the commencement of the fourth cycle of the UPR, during which all 193 UN member States will undergo a review of their human rights record through this unique process. The meeting will be webcast live.

The UPR is increasingly addressing the links between environment, including climate change, and human rights, with States making recommendations explicitly addressing these issues. With the adoption of a resolution on the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, at the Human Rights Council and at the UN General Assembly, these links should be even more present.

A this session, the Geneva Environment Network will be supporting an information meeting on the UPR process in the Philippines – Challenges on the economic, social, cultural, and environmental situation in the Philippines, co-organized by various civil society organizations. Despite recommendations during the 2017 Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines, environmental degradation, worsening poverty, and health crisis continued during the period under review. The event will highlight the observations of the civil society organizations related to these issues. → Join us on 9 November at 13.30 CET, in person at Palais des Nations, Room XXII for accredited attendees or online.

Climate Action: International Geneva at Sharm el-Sheikh

The much-awaited Sharm el-Sheikh Climate ConferenceUNFCCC COP27 – kicked off Sunday. Follow the live coverage of the conference through the Earth Negotiation Bulletin and UN News special coverage.

International Geneva is very much engaged in this major negotiation, and most institutions have issued dedicated pages with details on their activities at COP27: CIELIPCC | IISD ILO | IMO | IPCC | ISO | ITC | ITU | IUCN | UNCC:LearnUNCTADUNDRRUNECE | UNEP FI | UNHCRWBCSD | WEFWHOWMOWTOWWF

Publications issued last week bringing additional evidence to support the need to act with urgency and ambition include:

  • An Eye on Methane: International Methane Emissions Observatory 2022 Report | UNEP | 31 October 2022
    Provides decision makers with a framework of action to track and monitor methane emissions to plan targeted and ambitious action for their mitigation.
  • Adaptation Gap Report 2022 | UNEP | 1 November 2022
    Climate change is landing blow after blow upon humanity and the planet, an onslaught that will only intensify in the coming years even if the world begins to bring down greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Land Gap Report | Melbourne Climate Futures | 1 November 2022
    This report looks at how Governments are using land in climate pledges. There is a need for much greater clarity in nationally determined contributions about land use – and greater realism on the limits of land for carbon dioxide removal purposes.
  • State of the Climate in Europe | WMO | 2 November 2022
    Temperatures in Europe have increased at more than twice the global average over the past 30 years – the highest of any continent in the world. As the warming trend continues, exceptional heat, wildfires, floods and other climate change impacts will affect society, economies and ecosystems.
  • The Least Developed Countries Report 2022 – The low-carbon transition and its daunting implications for structural transformation | UNCTAD | 3 November 2022 | See press release
    LDCs are the example against which history will judge how effectively the world makes a just low-carbon transition, while considering development needs and countries’ different obligations and capacities to fight climate change.
  • Any tidal wave could drown us – Stories from the climate crisis | Amnesty International | 3 November 2022
    Showcases communities’ experiences in seven brief case studies to provide a snapshot of how climate change negatively affects the enjoyment of human rights in different contexts.
  • World heritage glaciers: sentinels of climate change | UNESCO & IUCN | 3 November 2022
    Around 18,600 glaciers have been identified in 50 World Heritage sites. Projections indicate that glaciers in one-third of World Heritage glacierized sites will disappear by 2050 regardless of the applied climate scenario and glaciers in around half of all sites could almost entirely disappear by 2100 in a business-as-usual emissions scenario.
  • IPCC AR6 Working Group I Summary for All | IPCC | 5 November 2022
    A summary of the Working Group I report on the physical science basis of
    climate change, written in plain language.
  • WMO Provisional State of the Global Climate 2022 | WMO | 6 November 2022
    The past eight years are on track to be the eight warmest on record, fuelled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat. Extreme heatwaves, drought and devastating flooding have affected millions and cost billions this year.

Other news:

Digital Policy for the Environment

The Geneva Internet Platform is launching the second edition of the Geneva Digital Atlas – a comprehensive mapping of digital policy actors and Internet governance scene in Geneva – on Tuesday 8 November.

This is the occasion to highlight that Geneva is one of the main global hubs where digital policies are debated, evaluated, and adopted. As such, digital cooperation is one of the region’s key areas for international environmental governance activities and for reinforcing synergies among stakeholders in the area. Discussions held in the framework of major environmental negotiations aim at fostering action on the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution that the world is facing, through science-based governance, leveraging data and technology respectful of the environment, and ensuring its access to all, to achieve everyone’s right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. They involve the numerous stakeholders that are based in the region and specialized on these topics, including the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Internet Governance Forum (IGF), Global Resource Information Database (UNEP/GRID-Geneva), World Meteorological Organization (WMO). More resources

Mineral Resource Governance and the Role of Geneva

The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) convenes every autumn in Geneva for its Annual General Meeting (AGM). This year’s event take place from 7 to 10 November, with as main theme Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition.

This is the occasion to highlight that unsustainable extraction, manufacturing, use and disposal of resources is having important detrimental impacts of people and the planet. At the 5th UN Environment Assembly, which concluded last March in Nairobi, delegates discussed this important issue and adopted a resolution on the Environmental aspects of minerals and metals management (UNEP/EA.5/Res.12). Building on the UNEA-4 resolution on the matter, Member States stressed the “need for enhanced action to support the environmental sustainability management of minerals and metals” along their full lifecycle. The resolution requests the convening of intergovernmental regional consultations, followed by a global intergovernmental meeting, to develop proposals to enhance the environmental sustainability of minerals and metals along their full life cycle. This meeting will be held next year in Geneva, back to back with the 2023 World Resources Forum Conference. Read more

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