All United to End the COVID-19 Pandemic
The #COVID19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone.
For general reliable information on COVID-19 visit:
- WHO updates on COVID-19
- United Nations COVID-19 Information Portal
- Geneva State Council recommendations & information on COVID-19
- Update by the Geneva Cantonal Doctor
- Swiss Confederation updates on COVID-19 in Switzerland
- CAGI Covid-19 Resource Centre
Check our COVID-19 resource page for additional information on responses from the UN System and other parnters.
COVID-19 & the Environment
Our “Latest updates on COVID-19 and the environment” page, lists relevant information, research, data and/or press releases issued by our partners in Geneva and other institutions around the world on the environmental origins and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, IOM called for researchers and practitioners to share their experience, knowledge and recommendations on the linkages between the COVID-19 pandemic, migration and the environment.
- COVID-19: “Not an excuse” to roll back environmental protection and enforcement, UN rights expert says. David Boyd, OHCHR, 15 April 2020.
- Pandemic Crisis, Systemic Decline: New Report Warns Oil, Gas and Plastic Industries are an Unfillable Sinkhole for Recovery Funds. CIEL, 16 April 2020.
- The businesses urging governments to build back better from COVID-19. We Mean Business coalition, 17 April 2020.
- Which world do we want after COVID-19? Bertrand Piccard and Frans Timmermans, Euractiv, 16 April 2020.
- Green recovery – Plan de relance verte pour un monde durable. 180 personalities, 14 April 2020.
- We need to fundamentally transform our relationship with the natural world to reduce the risk of disease. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity), The Independent, 10 April 2020.
- Healthcare waste: what to do with it? UNEP, 9 April 2020.
- BLOG: UNEP FI’s Eric Usher on how banks around the globe are helping customers and communities weather the COVID-19 storm. Eric Usher, UNEP Finance Initiative, 9 April 2020.
- Air pollution in times of corona. Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA). 9 April 2020.
- Flattening the climate curve in the post-COVID world. Patrick Verkooijen (CEO, Global Center on Adaptation), WEF, 17 April 2020.
- Quarantining also means caring for our great ape relatives. Elizabeth L. Bennett (Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society – WCS), IUCN Crossroads Blog, 15 April 2020.
- IUCN statement on the COVID-19 pandemic, 8 April 2020.
Other resource pages on COVID-19 and the environment:
>> 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 the past five weeks. 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. Open event this week, include:
- UNEP FI Webinar – Nature-related Financial Risks (21 April, 10:00 & 16:00)
- GGKP Webinar – Sustainability After COVID-19: Voices from Leading International Organizations (21 April, 15:00)
- WasteForce webinar (UNITAR & NFI): Assessing Environmental Damage and Health Related Risks (22 April, 11:30)
- LIVE: #Agroecologyworks! – Documentary pre-screening and financial flow analysis (22 & 23 April, 12:00)
- Swiss Youth for Climate Webinar – Protection du climat & Covid-19 : Sortir de l’urgence? (22 April, 19:00)
- France@Security Council – Arria Formula meeting on climate and security (Informal meeting of members of UN Security Council) (22 April)
- Fondation Braillard Visio-Débat – Dessiner la transition, c’est maintenant #2 (23 April, 17:00)
If you have some free time, consider enrolling into one or more online learning opportunities.
Earth Day: 50 years on
The General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through a resolution adopted in 2009, joining civic groups that celebrated Earth Day since 1970, when the first American protests against air pollution due to amounts of leaded gas took place. #EarthDay
Mother Earth is more than ever urging a call to action. Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.
Various events are taking place around the world to celebrate Mother Earth, including an Online Concert for a Healthy Planet, featuring over 40 musicians from 6 countries including 5 Grammy® Award Winners.
UNEP and TED will be launching an Earth School adventure, stay tuned!
The Persistent Legacy of the Chernobyl Disaster
An explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on 26 April 1986 spread a radioactive cloud over large parts of the Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries were exposed to the radiation. In 1990, the General Assembly adopted resolution 45/190, calling for “international cooperation to address and mitigate the consequences at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.” On 8 December 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 26 April as International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day.
In the past weeks, grass fires had been spreading into exclusion zone around defunct nuclear reactor, getting international attention on this area.
What should I read next?
- Europe’s environmental footprints exceed several safe limits. EEA & Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, 17 April 2020.
- Africa Exploding Plastic Nightmare. Sharon Lerner, The Intercept, 19 April 2020.
- $3 million and an official apology: Brazil’s Ashaninka get unprecedented compensation for deforestation on their land. Naira Hofmeister, Mongabay, 16 April 2020.
- UNECE Industrial Accidents Convention celebrates 20 years of pan-European cooperation to strengthen prevention, preparedness and response. UNECE, 15 April 2020.
- Fleeing or living – questions from the frontline of climate change. Teuila Fuatai, Stuff, 11 April 2020.
- Enhancing NDCs through Nature-Based Solutions. WWF, March 2020.