All United to End the COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this week, the 73rd World Health Assembly is taking place online, with a reduced agenda. A draft resolution on the COVID-19 global response and solidarity, co-sponsored by more than 110 member states is expected to be adopted.
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.
For general reliable information on COVID-19, consult the links available on our COVID-19 dedicated page.
Thirty six international organizations have launched on 13 May, under the aegis of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA), a report entitled “How COVID-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective”.
COVID-19 Impacts on the Global Environmental Agenda
Join the Geneva Environment Dialogues special COVID-19 series, discussing the impacts of the pandemic on the global environmental agenda.
The series addresses the following topics:
- The impact of the crisis on the invited organization activities
- The response of the invited organization to the COVID-19 crisis
- The impacts on the preparations of the conferences and negotiations, new schedules and programmes
Summaries, relevant links and documents mentioned during the discussions available online after the events.
Upcoming sessions: Transboundary water cooperation and COVID-19, the role of the Water Convention (26 May 9am) Webex Reg.| UN Biodiversity Conference (26 May 5pm) Webex Reg.| Minamata Convention (28 May)
COVID-19 & the Environment
Our “Latest updates on COVID-19 and the environment” page, lists relevant information, research, data and press releases on the environmental origins and impacts of the pandemic. Among the press releases and articles issued last week:
- The coronavirus is not good for nature. Marco Lambertini | Al Jazeera | 14 May 2020.
- UNEP steps up work on zoonotics, protecting environment to reduce pandemic risks. UNEP | 12 May 2020.
- Wildlife trade: Regulated markets involving local communities, ‘essential’ to balance humans and nature. UN News | 11 May 2020.
- Conservation must not be a COVID victim. John Scanlon | The Independent | 13 May 2020.
- Cities champion cycling to head off traffic as COVID-19 restrictions ease. BreathLife | Climate and Clean Air Coalition | 13 May 2020.
- What COVID-19 can teach us about tackling climate change. Laurie Goering (AlertNet Climate) | WEF & Thomson Reuters Foundation | 15 May 2020.
- Now is the Time to Build a 21st Century Energy System. Patricia Espinosa (UN Climate Change) & Francesco La Camera (IRENA) | 14 May 2020.
- Building Resilient Societies after the COVID-19 Pandemic: Key Messages from the International Resource Panel. International Resource Panel | 13 May 2020.
- A world made new: Beyond COVID-19 to a low-carbon, resilient and inclusive world. Edward Cameron | Universal Rights Group | 13 May 2020.
- Include the true value of nature when rebuilding economies after coronavirus. Nature | 12 May 2020.
- Announcements Are Not Enough: Concrete Steps for Post-Pandemic Green Future. Jennifer Allan | IISD | 12 May 2020.
Our Solutions are in Nature
The United Nations proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. #BiodiversityDay
This year, as the global community is called to re-examine our relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: despite all our technological advances we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few. The theme “Our solutions are in nature” emphasizes hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.
In the run-up to World Environment Day, to be celebrated two weeks later, on 5 June, and focusing this year on biodiversity, various organizations will be raising their voices to tell the world that we need action now. This year, this International Biodiveristy Day and this World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature.
Earth School | Week#4 & Week#5
The Earth School platform, launched on Earth Day by UNEP and TED-Ed – with the support of educators and partner organizations – in the run-up to World Environment Day allows our youth to learn #ForNature when not allowed to be outside. It consists of 30 days of nature-focused content and environmental adventures for learners of all ages. The fourth week ending on 12 May, focuses on ‘The Nature of Change‘, the fifth week, starting on Wednesday, will address ‘The Nature of Individual Action‘. Join the adventure! #EarthSchool
Additional ‘Live’ Events
>> During the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down, relevant live events organized by organizations around the world, contributing to the global environmental agenda, have also been included in the newsletter. <<
The international community in Geneva has been teleworking for two months. Tips to help you enjoying this largest teleworking experiment ever, were shared in our previous weekly newsletters. Check the boxes in the agenda section for details of the meetings and webinars taking place this week. Online events this week, include:
- IUCN WCEL Webinar – A Fresh Look at Global Wildlife Trade Law: Can CITES Help Prevent Pandemics? | 18 May | 19:00 CEST
- Impact Hub Circular Economy Incubator: Virtual Demo Day | 18 May | 16:00-21:00 CEST (local)
- GGKP Webinar – Sustainability After COVID-19: The medical waste response | 19 May | 15:00 CEST
- EHAN Webinar: The Role of Donors in Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Humanitarian Aid | 19 May | 15:00-16:30 CEST
- Soirée d’ouverture du Prix IDDEA 2020 | 18 May | 20:00 CEST (local)
- IISD Webinar – Cutting Emissions for a Post-Pandemic World: Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and Carbon Pricing | 20 May | 10:00 CEST
- Sustainability Wevinar – Business Resilience Under COVID-19 21 May | 11:00 CEST
- Global Biodiversity Festival 2020 | 22-24 May
If you have some free time, consider enrolling into one or more online learning opportunities.
What should I read next?
- Chemical industry must step up on human rights to prevent more Bhopal-like disasters: UN expert | UN Human Rights | 14 May 2020.
- Plastics in the environment: FOEN publishes overview of current knowledge | Swiss Federal Office for the Environment | 14 May 2020.
Stay tuned for additional news
Please note that the list of events and vacancies provided in our weekly newsletter is non-exhaustive. Stay tuned and follow us also on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.