Published: 19 Jun 2020

Given the continued uncertainties arising from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including those related to restrictions on travel and the convening of large physical gatherings, major environmental negotiations initially scheduled to take place this year have been postponed.

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS MEAs)

The Bureau of the OEWG of the Basel Convention at its online meeting on 10 June 2020 agreed to postpone the OEWG-12. The Bureau of the OEWG also agreed to explore further the available options for a scheduling and format that would provide the best possible setting for the OEWG, taking into consideration the existing circumstances of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

A decision on the way forward for the convening of the meeting is expected to be taken at an OEWG Bureau meeting scheduled on 22 June 2020.

BRS MEAs Notification | 10 June 2020

Convention on Biodiversity Diversity (CBD)

The meetings of SBSTTA24 and SBI3 will not take place physically in Montreal in August as earlier announced. Therefore, delegations should not make any plans to travel to Montreal in August.

CBD Notification | 29 May 2020

The Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) will be held in Kunming, China, date to be confirmed (expected 2nd quarter 2021).

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

The CITES Standing Committee has advised the CITES Secretariat that the 31st Meeting of the CITES Animals Committee (AC31) and the 25th meeting of the Plants Committee (PC25) should be postponed until 2021.

The 2020 meetings were originally scheduled to take place in Geneva, on 13-17 July and 17-23 July respectively. The CITES Secretariat raised concerns with the Standing Committee over the health and safety of participants, as well as the implications of sanitary measures, border controls and travel restrictions currently in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, some of which are likely to remain in place by July and even later.

CITES News Release | 29 May 2020

Parties are invited to express an initial interest in hosting AC31 and/or PC25 by 30 June 2020, so that detailed discussions on the financial and logistical elements can be held.

CITES News Release | 4 June 2020

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

The German government, in consultation with the ICCM5 President and IP Co-Chairs, has announced the necessity of postponing the Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) from 5 to 9 October 2020 to 5-9 July 2021.

SAICM update message | 9 April 2020

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

In line with its COVID-19 response, the UNFCCC secretariat is currently not convening any physical meetings. But the work in 2020 remains critical for making progress on climate change and, as the Executive Secretary has outlined, is not in any form on hold. While the subsidiary body sessions (SB 52) have been postponed to 4–12 October 2020, arrangements for continuing work through virtual meetings have been put in place.

The Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, with the UK and its Italian partners, agreed new dates for the COP26 UN climate conference, which will now take place between 1 and 12 November 2021 in Glasgow.

UNFCCC COP26 Presidency Press release | 28 May 2020

IUCN Congress

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of participants and visitors, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the French government have decided to postpone the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020. Previously scheduled for 11 to 19 June 2020, it will now take place from 7 to 15 January 2021 in Marseille.

IUCN Q&A on the Congress | regulary updated