Last updated: 20 Jun 2022

The Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution dialogues aim to facilitate further engagement and discussion among the stakeholders in International Geneva and beyond. In addition, they intend to address the plastic crisis and support coordinated approaches that can lead to more efficient decision making.

About the Dialogues

The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. Many initiatives, projects and governance responses and options have been developed to tackle this major environmental problem, but we are still unable to cope with the amount of plastic we generate. In addition, there is a lack of coordination which can better lead to a more effective and efficient response.

Various actors in Geneva are engaged in rethinking the way we manufacture, use, trade and manage plastics. These dialogues aim at outreaching and creating synergies among these actors, highlighting efforts made by intergovernmental organizations and governments, businesses, the scientific community, civil society and individuals in the hope of informing and creating stronger synergies and coordinated actions. The dialogues will also look at what the different stakeholders in Geneva and beyond have achieved at all levels, present the latest research and governance options.

In addition, although the dialogues target stakeholders from all continents, they primarily aim to encourage increased engagement of the Geneva community in the run-up to various global environmental negotiations, such as:

  • UNEA-5 in February 2021 and February 2022
  • Meetings of the open-ended ad hoc working group (first half of 2022) and the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (second half of 2022 to 2024), as requested by the UNEA resolution to end plastic pollution (UNEP/EA5/L23/REV.1)
  • BRS COPs online session in July 2021 and in person session in 2022
  • SAICM ICCM5 at a date to be confirmed
  • UN Ocean Conference in June 2022
  • UNEA-6 in February 2024

First Series of Dialogues

The first series of dialogues took place from November 2020 to February 2021, to build momentum towards the first session of UNEA-5. It aimed to facilitate further engagement and discussions among the International Geneva stakeholders and actors across the regions and support coordinated approaches that can lead to more efficient global decision making. It also intended to provide a platform to further carry the discussion from the recently conclude Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group (AHEG) on Marine Litter and Microplastics towards UNEA-5 part 2 in 2022.

The first series of dialogues were organized in collaboration with the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute, Norway, and Switzerland.

Second Series of Dialogues

Building on the outcomes of the first series of dialogues and the recent policy developments, the Geneva Environment Network will continue to facilitate further engagement and synergies on tackling the plastic crisis, in cooperation with its partners.

With the Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution convening in hybrid format, with a core presence in Geneva, on 1-2 September 2021 and other formal and informal discussions ongoing in various fora, including trade, plastic pollution remains high on international Geneva agenda.

The second series of dialogues is organized in collaboration with: the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat; the Center for International Environmental Law; the Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute; IUCN; Norway; Switzerland; and the Forum on Trade, Environment & the SDGs (TESS).

Third Series of Dialogues

The third series of dialogues will run from April 2022. Following the landmark resolution adopted at UNEA-5 to end plastic pollution and building on the outcomes of the first two series, the dialogues will encourage increased engagement of the Geneva community with future negotiations on the matter. These include the meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) from the second half of 2022 to 2024, as well as preparatory meetings within the ad-hoc open-ended working group during the first half of 2022. The series will also continue to foster stronger cooperation and coordinated actions ahead of other milestones in the environmental agenda, including the BRS COPs, the 2022 UN Ocean Conference, SAICM ICCM5, UNEA-6 and other processes in Geneva, such as at the WTO.

The third series of dialogues is organized in collaboration with: the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat; the Center for International Environmental Law; the Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute; IUCN; Norway; Switzerland; the Forum on Trade, Environment & the SDGs (TESS); and the University of Geneva.

Life Below Water and Microplastic Pollution: From Science to Policy

UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development Side Event co-convened with the University of Geneva | 6 April 2022

Health, Chemicals, Plastics & a Non-Toxic Circular Economy

BRS COPs Side Event | Co-convened with IPEN, Switzerland and Uruguay | 9 June 2022, 13:15-14:45 CEST

Plastics & Refuse-Derived Fuel: Fuel Product or Plastic Waste Export?

RS COPs Side Event | Co-convened with IPEN | 9 June 2022, 18:15-19:45 CEST

The Invisible Global Crisis: Exceeding the Limits of the Pollution Planetary Boundary – New Science and Opportunities to Tackle Threats to Human and Marine Life

UN Ocean Conference Side Event | Co-convened with IPEN, University of Gothenburg, Swedish Institute for Marine Environment and Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association | 27 June 2022, 14:30–16:00 CEST

How Plastic Waste Shipments Undermine Real Solutions to Ocean Plastic Pollution

UN Ocean Conference Side Event | Co-convened with EEB and Break Free From Plastic | 28 June 2022, 14:00–16:00 CEST

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Sessions with special support from the series:

Documents

Outcomes of the First Series of Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues

Dialogues from November 2022 – February 2021 | Outcomes published on 26 February 2021

 

Outcomes of the Second Series of Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues

Dialogues from August 2021 – February 2022 | Outcomes published on 1 April 2022

Plastics and the Environment

The Plastics and the Environment series is a set of online resources on the plastics crisis, its impact on people and the environment, and international cooperation to address this global problem. Compiled by the Geneva Environment Network, the series includes resources and news from organizations in Geneva and beyond, including UN-system organizations and other IOs, governmental authorities, civil society organizations, academic institutions and journals, and renowned newspapers.