Newsletter 23 Mar 2020
Environment: What’s Up in GENeva this Week | 23-29 March 2020
The #COVID19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone. As mentioned by the UN Secretary General in his call for solidarity, “We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is spreading human suffering, infecting the global economy and upending people’s lives. … We must ensure that lessons are learned and that this crisis provides a watershed moment for health emergency preparedness and for investment in critical 21st century public services and the effective delivery of global public goods. We have a framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We must keep our promises for people and planet.”
Check WHO updates on COVID-19, the Geneva State Council recommendations & information, and the Swiss Confederation updates on the situation.
More tips for working remotely
Further to the tips shared last week to help you enjoying this largest teleworking experiment ever, and the many more you have received from you respective organizations, this week we encourage to have a look at the UN Greening the Blue resources providing advice and guidance on how to conduct successful virtual meetings:
- Benefits & successful approaches to virtual meetings (PPT presentation)
- Guide to successful virtual meetings (PDF)
- Guide to successful virtual meetings – summary (PDF)
- 12 success factors for virtual meetings (PDF)
COVID-19 & the Environment
Various articles have been published on the environmental causes and the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. Our latest selection:
- Waste management an essential public service in the fight to beat COVID-19. The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, 20 March 2020.
- Economic slowdown as a result of COVID is no substitute for Climate Action. WMO, 20 March 2020.
- Coronavirus: Air pollution and CO2 fall rapidly as virus spreads. BBC, Matt McGrath, 19 March 2020.
- ‘Tip of the iceberg’: is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19? The Guardian, John Vidal, 18 March 2020.
- Coronavirus and the ‘Pangolin Effect’: Increased exposure to wildlife poses health, biosafety and global security risks. Daniel Mira-Salama, WorldBank Blog, 17 March 2020.
- There’s an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: The planet. CNN, Rebecca Wright, 17 March 2020.
- Air pollution likely to increase coronavirus death rate, warn experts. The Guardian, Damian Carrington, 17 March 2020.
- Coronavirus threat greater for polluted cities. European Public Health Alliance, 16 March 2020.
Find selected articles from our partners and other institutions on our page dedicated to the latest updates on COVID-19 and the environment.
World Metereological Day
This year’s World Meteorological Day, celebrated on 23 March, is dedicated to Climate and Water. One of the underlying themes is that we can’t manage what we don’t monitor and measure – a message which has become unfortunately too familiar in the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.
Fresh water is vital for life. On average, a human being cannot survive more than three days without it. Water is essential for the production of our food, virtually all of our goods and services and for the environment. The world now faces increasing challenges posed by water stress, floods and droughts and lack of access to clean supplies. There is an urgent need to improve forecasting, monitoring and management of water supplies and to tackle the problem of too much, too little or too polluted water. #WorldMetDay #ClimateIsWater
On 25 March, UNEP Finance Initiative invites you to join the webinar: “Introduction to Financing a Circular Economy”. This online presentation will provide insight into the transition towards a circular economy and how to accelerate its financing. #CircularEconomy
On 26 March, IUCN PANORAMA webinar we will explore ways in which civil society organisations can use policies or legislation to facilitate the integration of biodiversity and other sustainability elements in business practices.
Earth Hour going digital
Held every year on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour engages millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories, switching off their lights to show support for our planet.
The global organizing team recommends all individuals to participate in Earth Hour virtually this year. But just because you’re staying at home, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a memorable Earth Hour experience: they have put together a list of 20 things you can do at home or online this Earth Hour to celebrate the Hour. #EarthHour
Online learning opportunities
Explore learning opportunities to improve your knowledge about the environment.
- ‘NEW’ UNIGE Session en Droit international de l’eau douce (délai d’inscription 28 mars)
- The United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (InforMEA) offers free online courses on various topics .
- UN Environment Programme and Partners Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
- E-waste Challenge Massive Open Online Course (Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the EIT Climate-KIC, the University of Leuven)
- The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) provided various learning materials online.
- UNITAR Training Courses for our Planet (fees for various courses)
What should I read next?
- Often overlooked, water resources are essential part of solution to climate change. UN News, 22 March 2020.
- World Water Development Report 2020. UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme, March 2020.
- Primary forests: our most valuable nature-based solution. IUCN Primary Forests Task Force, 20 March 2020.
- Microplastics generated when opening plastic packaging. Sobhani, Z., Lei, Y., Tang, Y. et al. Sci Rep 10, 4841 (2020).
- Weathering and persistence of plastic in the marine environment: Lessons from LEGO. Andrew Turner,Rob Arnold,Tracey Williams. Environmental Pollution, July 2020.
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.