The Geneva Environment Network weekly newsletter includes updates on global environmental agenda, main events, jobs and learning opportunities, and other useful news.  Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit our website regularly for additional updates. Monday 3 August was an official holiday for the UN in Geneva.

COVID-19 and the Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone. As the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said

The pandemic has exposed the fragility of our societies and economies to global shocks, such as disease or climate disruption.  As we recover, we must build back better for people and for the planet.

The Secretary General keeps reminding us, that we have a framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and has launched the UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19.

Weather, climate and environment factors in the COVID-19 pandemic

This week scientists, practitioners and policy makers will gather for a WMO hosted international virtual symposium on weather, climate and environment factors in the COVID-19 pandemic (starts on 4 August, 3pm, ends on 6 August). This event will help elucidate what is known, understood, and can be reliably predicted about environmental variables’ influence on the trajectory of the COVID-19 epidemic, from global, hemispheric, regional and local perspectives. Symposium outcomes will include a synthesis of the information presented and recommendations for further research at local to global scales.

Latest updates on COVID-19 and the environment

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. Among the press releases and articles issued since our last newsletter:

New tools:

Human Rights and the Environment

HRC44 | Find more about the environmental agenda of the 44th session of the human rights council that concluded on 17 July in Geneva, on our dedicated page.

Land and environmental defenders | Global Witness launched its annual report into the killings of land and environmental defenders on 29 July: 212 were killed in 2019 – an average of more than four people a week. For years, land and environmental defenders have been the first line of defence against the causes and impacts of climate breakdown. Time after time, they have challenged those companies operating recklessly, rampaging unhampered through forests, skies, wetlands, oceans and biodiversity hotspots.

Welcoming New IUCN Director General

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced the appointment of Bruno Oberle as Director General, starting on 13 July. Bruno brings over 40 years of experience to IUCN at a time when redefining humanity’s relationship with nature is more urgent than ever. Before joining IUCN, Bruno served in some of Switzerland’s most prestigious positions related to the environment. Between 2005 and 2015, as State Secretary for the Environment and Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, he represented Switzerland in leading international institutions and international negotiations, playing a key role in the Global Environmental Facility and in the establishment of the Green Climate Fund.  Prior to joining IUCN, Bruno served as Chair of the Green Economy and Resource Governance program at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he also headed the International Risk Governance Centre. Since 2019, he has chaired the Global Tailings Review, which aims to establish an international standard for the safe management of tailings storage facilities that can be applied to dams around the world.

Green Summer in Geneva

We have prepared a list of suggestions of environmental awareness activities to safely entertaining this summer in Geneva: exhibitions, workshops, shows, contests, outdoor activities and online resources. This page is regularly updated and was retained by Hedi News  / Geneva Solutions.

What (Else) Should I Read Next?

You took a break, as some of us did in the past weeks? You might have missed the follow news:

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Updates