GENEVA ENVIRONMENT DIALOGUES | Impacts of COVID-19 on the Global Environmental Agenda


 

All United to End the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 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." He also added that "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."

For general reliable information on COVID-19, please consult:

 

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.

 

COVID-19 IMPACTS ON THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA

The Geneva Environment Dialogues special COVID-19 series discusses the impacts of the pandemic on the global environmental agenda. Experts are concerned that the world is losing critical time to turn around alarming trends in biodiversity loss, climate change, sound management of chemicals and other environmental threats.

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 they are hosting
  • New schedules and programmes for these conferences and negotiations

 

#1 | IUCN WORLD Conservation CONGRESS 2020

TUESDAY, 28 APRIL 2020, 9:00 a.m.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Government of France decided to postpone the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020 in Marseille to 7-15 January 2021 from its original date of 11-19 June 2020. The IUCN World Conservation Congress, held every four years, is dedicated to knowledge-sharing in the fields of science, policy-making and practices on nature conservation and sustainable development.

>> EVENT DETAILS & SUMMARY

 

#2 | Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12)

THURSDAY, 30 APRIL 2020, 9:00 a.m.

The twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG-12) of the Basel Convention cannot be as a face-to-face meeting in Geneva, and will be held by electronic means from 22 to 25 June 2020.

The meeting may run beyond 25 June (but no later than 5 July 2020).
The OEWG is one of the one of the subsidiary bodies of the Basel Convention, which overarching objective is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.

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#3 | CITES and its upcoming Committee Meetings

TUESDAY, 5 MAY 2020, 9:00 a.m.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a treaty that regulates international trade in CITES-listed specimens of animals and plants to ensure that it does not threaten their survival.

Meetings of the CITES Animals and Plants Committees and the CITES Standing Committee were scheduled to take place in July and October 2020, respectively.

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#4 | ILO, COVID-19 AND THE WORLD OF WORK – FOR A SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY

THURSDAY, 7 MAY 2020, 9:00 a.m.

The world of work is being profoundly affected by the global virus pandemic. In addition to the threat to public health, the economic and social disruption threatens the long-term livelihoods and wellbeing of millions.

The ILO and its constituents – Governments, workers and employers – will play a crucial role in combating the outbreak, ensuring the safety of individuals and the sustainability of businesses and jobs.

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#5 | WTO and the Committee on trade and environment

TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2020, 9:00 a.m.

Through its goals, rules, institutions and forward-looking agenda, the World Trade Organization (WTO) provides an important means of advancing international environmental goals.

The Trade and Environment Committee (CTE) is the standing forum dedicated to dialogue between governments on the impact of trade policies on the environment, and of environment policies on trade.

At the 2020 WTO Ministerial Conference in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, that has now beenpostponed, WTO Members States were expected to commit to a number of existing and new environment and trade priorities that would advance progress on the SDGs.

>> EVENT DETAILS & SUMMARY

 

#6 | UN Climate change conference (COP26)

THURSDAY, 14 MAY 2020, 9:00 a.m.

The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was scheduled to take place from 9-19 November 2020, in Glasgow, United Kingdom, with the "Youth for the Climate" event and Pre-COP in Milan and Rome, Italy, in September and October 2020.

On 1 April 2020, the COP Bureau announced that the Conference and its preparatory meetings will be rescheduled to 2021.

>> EVENT DETAILS & SUMMARY

 

#7 | SAICM & the Fifth Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5)

Tuesday, 19 MAY 2020, 9:00 a.m.

The Fifth Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) was originally scheduled to take place in October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the session has been rescheduled to take place from 5 to 9 July 2021 in Bonn, Germany.

The ICCM undertakes periodic reviews of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world.

>> EVENT DETAILS & SUMMARY

 

 

#8 | THE WATER CONVENTION AND TRANSBOUNDARY WATER COOPERATION

Tuesday, 26 MAY 2020, 9:00 a.m.

The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), serviced by UNECE, is a unique global legal and intergovernmental platform which promotes sustainable use of transboundary waters by facilitating cooperation.
Timely and sufficient availability of water of adequate quality is a prerequisite for the provision of safe water, sanitation and adequate hygiene, also with regards to COVID-19.  The Water Convention fosters an integrated approach to water management supporting recovery and prevention.

Speakers

Péter KOVÁCS, Water Director, Hungary
Sonja KOEPPEL, Secretary to the Water Convention, UNECE

Facilitators: GEN Team

 

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#9 | UN Biodiversity Conference

Tuesday, 26 MAY 2020, 17:00 p.m.

The UN Biodiversity Conference will convene governments to agree on a new set of goals for nature over the next decade through the Convention on Biological Diversity post 2020 framework process. It sets an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled. Initially scheduled to take place in Kunming, China, in October 2020, the conference has now been postponed.

Speakers

Bruno POZZI, Europe Director, UNEP
Elisabeth MREMA, Acting Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity
David COOPER, Deputy Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity
H.E. Amb. Mohamed GAD, Head of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt

Facilitators: GEN Team

 

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#10 | Minamata Convention Intersessional Work

Thursday, 28 MAY 2020, 9:00 a.m.

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Upcoming sessions

To be announced on new website. Nature-Based Solutions (4 June)