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international environment and sustainable development negotiations


Upcoming Meetings

Water, Oceans and Wetlands


November 2019

Fifth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health

The fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health is organized by the Government of Serbia, with support of the UNECE and WHO Regional Office for Europe joint secretariat. Convened every three years, this pan-European intergovernmental meeting will discuss how the Protocol can best support countries to improve access to safe water and sanitation and achieve water and health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Delegates will also reflect on challenges and identify areas for action by reviewing the progress achieved in the Protocol’s implementation. 

A high-level session on 19 November will provide an opportunity to appraise progress and take stock of concrete results in attaining the SDGs related to water, sanitation, hygiene and health, to have an open dialogue on how to tackle the persisting gaps in the region and on how to respond to the big picture challenges caused by environmental, social and economic changes.

The Meeting of the Parties is also expected to review past activities and discuss the future programme of work for 2020-2022 of the Protocol. The meeting will also review situation with water and health in the pan-European region based on the 4th reporting cycle under the Protocol on Water and Health.

Registration closes on 5 November 2019. 

dates: 19-21 November 2019 location: Belgrade, Serbia www: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=50214

2nd International River Summit 2019

The second International River Summit will convene in Allahabad, India, under the theme, ‘Building a Sustainable and Resilient Future Through Water’.

Organized by the River Water User Association (India) and the International River-Basin Foundation, the event will focus on: the development of integrated water resources and their management to achieve water and food security; climate change impacts; agricultural development; ways to achieve sustainability through latest technologies, information and communications technology (ICT) and resource mobilization. The summit’s seven themes seek to help achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, by addressing local issues in a changing climate:

  • Rivers as a Source of Inspiration and Life;
  • Valuing Rivers and Water;
  • Threats to Water Resources and Food Security;
  • Ecosystem Rejuvenation;
  • Feel the Vibration for Sustainable Life;
  • Science, Technology, ICT and Innovation as a Support System for Action; and
  • Policy Issues, Governance and Resource Mobilization.

The 2019 event follows the first International River Summit that took place in 2016.

dates: 28-30 November 2019 location: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India www: https://rwua.org.in/Internationalriversummit2019/

December 2019

UNFCCC COP 25 [rescheduled]

As announced by the UNFCCC Secretariat on 1 November 2019, the COP Bureau agreed that COP 25 will take place from 2-13 December, in Madrid, Spain.

The original hosting agreement for COP 25 with Chile was cancelled on 30 October 2019. At that time, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa announced that the Government of Chile had informed the UNFCCC Secretariat on 30 October of its decision not to host COP 25, in view of the difficult situation that the country is undergoing. 

The 2019 Climate Change Conference will feature the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC, the 15th session of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 15), the second session of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 2), and the 51st sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 51) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 51). It was originally scheduled to convene from 2-13 December 2019, in Santiago, Chile, as the “Santiago Climate Change Conference,” with a pre-sessional period from 26 November to 1 December 2019. The location was decided at the conclusion of COP 24.

pre-COP meeting took place in Costa Rica, and aimed to act as a bridge between the UN Climate Action Summit and COP 25. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) and unresolved issues from COP 24. Other pre-sessional meetings include the second meeting of the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) from 29-30 November, the second meeting of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) Facilitative Working Group from 28-30 November and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) review event on 1 December.

The 2019 Climate Change Conference will be informed by the outcomes of, among other meetings, the UN Climate Action Summit held in New York, US, in September 2019, as well as three Regional Climate WeeksAfrica Climate Week held in March, Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Climate Week held in August, and Asia-Pacific Climate Week held in September.

Mandated events taking place during the Madrid Climate Change Conference include the high-level part of the Pre-2020 Stocktake and a Global Climate Action (GCA) High-Level Event, both on 11 December.

The Presidency will convene, inter alia:

  • A UNFCCC, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Roundtable on 7 December;
  • A Ministerial Dialogue on Adaptation on 10 December;
  • A Panel on Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Ambition on 6 December; and
  • A High Level Event on Forests on 5 December.

The Presidency will also launch the Platform for Science-Based Ocean Solutions (PSBOS) and the Platform of Latin American and Caribbean Agriculture Climate Action (PLACA) on 3 and 5 December, respectively.

Other prominent events taking place during the COP include roundtables on: the agri-food chain; SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land); circular economy in cities and buildings; circular economy in packaging and business models; resilience; and SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy). Action events will convene on industry, water, land use, oceans and coastal zones, energy, transport and human settlements. The SBSTA and the IPCC will hold joint special events on the SROCC and the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL).

We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available. 

To receive all SDG Knowledge Hub updates on SDG 13, planning for COP 25 and other SDG-related events, sign up for our SDG Update newsletter.

dates: 2-13 December 2019 location: Madrid, Spain contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: (49-228) 815-1000 fax: (49-228) 815-1999 e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int www: https://unfccc.int/cop25
https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/Overview%20S...

Sustainable Innovation Forum 2019

The tenth annual Sustainable Innovation Forum 2019 will convene on the sidelines of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC, bringing together over 600 delegates to explore four key pillars of low-carbon transition: climate finance; energy transition; sustainable mobility; and circular economy.

Day one will open with high-level policy discussion and keynote speeches from ministers, cities, multilateral organizations, investors and the private sector. Discussions on sustainable mobility will focus on electric vehicles, liquid fuels, planning technologies and user engagement. Under energy transition, participants will address renewables, hydrogen, battery storage, digitalization and efficiency. Under circular economy, delegates will focus on waste and water recycling, resource conservation and monitoring technologies. Bonds, banking systems, ratings and carbon markets and trading will be considered under climate finance.

Day two will be dedicated to innovation, and discuss the role of sustainable mobility, energy transition, circular economy and climate finance in ensuring forest, water and ocean health by protecting, managing and restoring the natural environment to combat climate change.

The Forum is convened by Climate Action and partners.

dates: 9-10 December 2019 location: Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile www: https://events.climateaction.org/sustainable-innovation-foru...

February 2020

Preparatory Meeting for the 2020 UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14

The UN Secretary-General requested the President of the General Assembly to appoint two co-facilitators, one from a developing country and one from a developed country, to oversee the preparatory process of the 2020 UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustaina...; and to conclude the intergovernmental consultations on the declaration by May 2020.

The UN Secretary-General also requested the President of the General Assembly to convene a two-day preparatory meeting, in February 2020, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, to be chaired by the two co-facilitators, with a view to considering the themes for the interactive dialogues and elements for the declaration, in particular the call for a brief, concise, action-oriented and intergovernmentally agreed declaration.

date: 1 February 2020 [tentative] venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US www: https://undocs.org/A/73/L.82

World Wetlands Day 2020

Celebrated annually on 2 February, World Wetlands Day aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. The Day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. 

date: 2 February 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org

26th Session of the International Seabed Authority Assembly and Council (Part I)

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS. The Authority is the organization through which States Parties to the Convention organize and control activities in the seabed, ocean floor and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. At Annual Sessions of the International Seabed Authority, representatives from member States of the Authority meet to discuss and formulate the work of the Authority and its Secretariat.

The second part of the 25th annual session (July 2019) of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which included meetings of the Authority’s Council and Assembly, focused on the Authority’s central consideration at that point in time: the development of the draft exploitation regulations on deep-seabed mining. These regulations, once concluded, will govern future activities in the world’s oceans.

The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of ISA 25 is here.

dates: 17 February - 6 March 2020 location: Kingston, Jamaica www: https://www.isa.org.jm/sessions/26th-session-2020

March 2020

World Wildlife Day 2020

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. 

date: 3 March 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.wildlifeday.org/about

AELERT-INECE Conference 2020

The International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) and the Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators neTwork (AELERT) are organizing a conference on the theme, ‘Environmental Collaboration: Shaping the Future of Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement Together.’

The collaboration will seek to provide opportunities for environmental regulators to cooperate and build capacity across regions, jurisdictions and organizations.

The event will seek to strike a balance between technical and operational topics and broader policy and strategic discussions. It will cater to a variety of practice areas such as wildlife, biodiversity and conservation, waste, pollution, marine environment, biosecurity and climate change, among others, at all levels of government and across a range of agencies. The Conference will provide a platform for mutual learning by sharing best practice and innovation as well as hearing views from countries in different stages of development.

dates: 10-13 March 2020 venue: Adelaide Convention Centre location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia www: https://conlog.eventsair.com/2020-aelert-inece-conference/

World Water Day 2020

World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water – the UN’s inter-agency collaboration mechanism for all freshwater related issues – in collaboration with governments and partners.

The 2020 World Water Day campaign on ‘Water and Climate Change’ will launch in December 2019.

date: 22 March 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.worldwaterday.org/

May 2020

8th Global Nitrogen Conference

The 8th International Nitrogen Initiative Conference (INI2020) will convene in Berlin, Germany, from 3-7 May 2020. The triennial event will bring together scientists from around the world dealing with reactive nitrogen compounds in agriculture, industry, traffic, soil, water and air.

The conference is expected to stimulate an exchange among policymakers and other relevant stakeholders of results, ideas and visions to improve future holistic management of reactive nitrogen in order to further reduce hunger and poverty while avoiding further hazards for human health, biodiversity and environment, given that most of the SDGs are closely interlinked with the nitrogen cycle. A joint conference declaration based on the latest scientific knowledge is expected to catalyze further policy action towards effective integrated nitrogen management.

INI2020 is co-organized by the International Nitrogen Initiative and hosted by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, with the support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

dates: 3-7 May 2020 location: Berlin, Germany www: https://ini2020.com/

XVII World Water Congress

The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) will convene its XVII World Water Congress in Daegu, Republic of Korea, from 11-15 May 2020. The event is jointly organized with the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Daegu Metropolitan City, K-water and the Korea Water Resources Association.

dates: 11-15 May 2020 location: Daegu, Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea www: https://www.worldwatercongress.com:6446/index.php
https://www.iwra.org/savethedatexviiworldwatercongress/

6th International Symposium on Knowledge and Capacity Development for the Water Sector

IHE Delft is organizing the 6th International Symposium on Knowledge and Capacity Development for the Water Sector. The Symposium aims to build on the concepts of capacity development and move towards an implementation science. Themes to be addressed at the Symposium include:

  • Unpacking and redefining the nature and goals of capacity development;
  • Capacity for water agencies and the water sector as a whole to operate under conditions of risk, complexity and uncertainty;
  • Capacity for negotiation and for managing risk and conflict in water services, river basins and international waters;
  • Capacity for helping water organizations such as utilities, water boards, ministries, private operators and water users (NGOs, CSOs, and other community groups) to become better targeted, more resilient and more effective through deeper partnerships for the extension of water services, especially the ‘last-mile’ to reach the more vulnerable and poor communities;
  • Capacity in the water and financial sectors to ensure sustained and sustainable financing;
  • Capacity to accelerate knowledge-sharing and commitment among individuals and organizations, across civil society; and
  • Capacity to optimize the use of new ‘big data’, ICT, artificial intelligence, internet-based communication, and other enabling e-based technologies to strengthen institutional and individual capacity.

dates: 27-29 May 2020 location: Delft, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands www: https://www.unwater.org/6th-international-symposium-on-knowl...
https://www.unwater.org/app/uploads/2019/07/CD-Symposium_Cal...

June 2020

High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference) 2020

The 2020 High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (life below water) will convene in Lisbon, Portugal. The overarching theme of the Conference is, ‘Scaling Up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the Implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, Partnerships and Solutions’.

Co-hosted by the Governments of Portugal and Kenya, the Conference is expected to adopt an intergovernmental declaration on science-based and innovative areas of action, along with a list of voluntary commitments, to support SDG 14 implementation.

This meeting takes place three years after the first Ocean Conference. SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of the Ocean Conferences is here.

dates: 2-6 June 2020 location: Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal www: https://oceanconference.un.org/

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020 (DNC2020)

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020 (DNC2020) will convene on the theme, ‘Circular Economy in a Sustainable Society’. The conference seeks to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable economy by focusing on identifying and discussing the concepts that nexus thinking offers to support the transition towards a circular economy. By placing an emphasis on how the “Nexus Approach” to water, soil and waste in the context of a circular economy can help achieve the SDGs, DNC2020 will directly contribute to, among others, SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (climate action).

The Dresden Nexus Conference, organized by the UN University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), the Technische Universität Dresden and the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Urban and Regional Development, is an international conference series dedicated to advancing research and the implementation of a Nexus Approach to resource management. It brings together actors from a diverse range of disciplines and sectors to foster dialogue on how nexus thinking contributes to achieving the SDGs.

Dresden Nexus Conference 2017 took place in May 2017.

dates: 3-5 June 2020 location: Dresden, Sachsen, Germany www: https://2020.dresden-nexus-conference.org/frontend/index.php

World Oceans Day 2020

World Oceans Day provides an opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve the ocean. The Government of Canada proposed setting a World Ocean Day during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The UN officially recognized 8 June as World Oceans Day in December 2008. The Day is coordinated by The Ocean Project, a not-for-profit international community foundation.

date: 8 June 2020 location: worldwide contact: UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea www: https://www.worldoceansday.org/

IUCN World Conservation Congress

The 2020 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress will be held in Marseille, France.

The last Congress convened in 2016 in Hawai'i, US, and was attended by approximately 10,000 participants from 192 countries. The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of outcomes from the 2016 Congress is here.

dates: 11-19 June 2020 venue: Parc Chanot, Rond-Point du Prado, 13009 Marseille, France location: Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France www: https://www.iucn.org/news/secretariat/201805/france-host-iuc...

58th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention

The Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention oversees Convention affairs and the activities of the Secretariat. It represents the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP) between its meetings, which take place every three years, within the framework of the decisions made by the COP. 

The Standing Committee normally meets once a year, traditionally at the Ramsar Secretariat office in Switzerland. It also meets just before each meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, and regularly through the COP, when it is called the Conference Committee. 

dates: 22-26 June 2020 location: Gland, Vaud, Switzerland www: https://www.ramsar.org/about/the-standing-committee
https://www.ramsar.org/event/58th-meeting-of-the-standing-co...

July 2020

26th Session of the International Seabed Authority Assembly and Council (Part II)

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS. The Authority is the organization through which States Parties to the Convention organize and control activities in the seabed, ocean floor and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. At Annual Sessions of the International Seabed Authority, representatives from member States of the Authority meet to discuss and formulate the work of the Authority and its Secretariat.

The second part of the 25th annual session (July 2019) of the ISA, which included meetings of the Authority’s Council and Assembly, focused on the Authority’s central consideration at that point in time: the development of the draft exploitation regulations on deep-seabed mining. These regulations, once concluded, will govern future activities in the world’s oceans. The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of ISA 25 is here.

dates: 6-21 July 2020 [tentative] location: Kingston, Jamaica www: https://www.isa.org.jm/
http://enb.iisd.org/vol25/enb25207e.html

August 2020

Our Ocean Conference 2020

The seventh Our Ocean Conference will draw partners globally to identify solutions to sustainably manage marine resources, increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change and safeguard its health for generations to come. The six areas of focus at the conference will include climate change, marine pollution, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, sustainable blue economy, and maritime security. 

The sixth Our Ocean Conference took place in Oslo, Norway, from 23-24 October 2019.  The SDG Knowledge Hub Summary is available here. Summaries for previous years are also available for: 2017,  20162015 and 2014.

dates: 17-18 August 2020 location: Palau www: https://www.ourocean2020.pw/

September 2020

68th Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC68)

The IWC was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which was signed in Washington DC, US, on 2 December 1946. The preamble to the Convention states that its purpose is to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.

An integral part of the Convention is its legally binding 'Schedule.' The Schedule sets out specific measures that the IWC has collectively decided are necessary in order to regulate whaling and conserve whale stocks. These measures include catch limits (which may be zero as it the case for commercial whaling) by species and area, designating specified areas as whale sanctuaries, protection of calves and females accompanied by calves, and restrictions on hunting methods.

The biennial Commission meeting of the IWC is attended by around 400 people including government delegates, observers from non-member governments, other inter-governmental organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) and representatives of the media. IWC68 will take place from 25 September to 2 October 2020.

dates: 25 September - 2 October 2020 location: Slovenia additional: Portoroz www: https://iwc.int/biennial-meeting-of-the-international-whalin...

March 2023

Midterm Review of the Water Action Decade 2018-2028

On 28 November 2018, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Second Committee adopted by consensus a resolution calling for a midterm review of the Water Action Decade at UNGA 77 in 2023.

The UN Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development,’ will take place from 22-24 March 2023, in New York, US, to coincide with World Water Day and will focus on the objectives of the Decade as laid out in the Secretary-General’s Plan: Water Action Decade 2018-2028.

dates: 22-24 March 2023 location: New York City, US www: http://www.unwater.org/midterm-review-of-the-water-action-de...
https://undocs.org/A/C.2/73/L.24/Rev.1