Forests, Deserts, Land
22nd Session of the FAO African Forestry and Wildlife Commission
The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission is one of the six Regional Forestry Commissions established by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to provide a policy and technical forum for countries to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis. This meeting is scheduled to take place in October 2019.
dates: 18-22 November 2019
location: South Africa
additional: Skukuza Mpumalanga
Symposium on Adapting Forests to Climate Change: Methods, Tools and Projects
A symposium on ‘Adapting Forests to Climate Change: Methods, Tools and Projects’ will bring together project holders, scientists and stakeholders from around Europe to showcase their work on forest adaptation to climate change through oral and poster presentations.
The event is organized by the LIFE FORECCAsT project in Languedoc-Roussillon (France), with support from local and EU partners.
dates: 19-20 November 2019
location: Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France
Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA-2019)
The third edition of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa will convene under the theme, ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation’. This theme supports the designation by the African Union of 2018 as the Anti-Corruption Year under the theme, ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.
Organized by the African Land Policy Centre, a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), the conference will seek to deepen capacity for land policy in Africa through improved access to knowledge and information on land policy development and implementation. It follows the second CLPA, which was held in November 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
dates: 25-29 November 2019
location: Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Soil and the SDGs: Challenges and Need for Action
Organized by the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission, the event will bring together policymakers, researchers, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders active in the protection of land and soil to discuss the challenges of soil and land degradation in the EU and the urgent need for action to implement the SDGs.
date: 25 November 2019
location: Brussels, Belgium
GLF Luxembourg 2019
The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Luxembourg 2019 will be hosted by the GLF and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The three-day event will explore advances in sustainable finance, asset management industry breakthroughs in sustainable investment, and the evolving role of capital markets in a low-carbon future.
dates: 28-30 November 2019
venue: European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL)
location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Near East Forestry and Range Commission
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will convene the 24th session of the Near East Forestry and Range Commission to bring together forestry experts and decision-makers from the region. One of six region-specific meetings held every two years in support of the FAO Regional Forestry Commissions, the event serves as a policy and technical forum for countries to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis.
dates: 1-5 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.
A 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 Weeks: Africa 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.
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dates: 2-13 December 2019
location: Madrid, Spain
contact: UNFCCC Secretariat
phone: (49-228) 815-1000
fax: (49-228) 815-1999
55th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-55) and Sessions of the Associated Committees
The 55th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-55) and Sessions of the Associated Committees will convene from 2-7 December 2019, in Lomé, Togo.
The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of ITTC-53 is here.
dates: 2-7 December 2019
location: Lome, Togo
contact: ITTO Secretariat
World Soil Day 2019
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Conference, in June 2013, endorsed World Soil Day, and requested official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013, the 68th session of the UN General Assembly declared 5 December as the World Soil Day.
World Soil Day 2019 will be held under the theme, ‘Stop Soil Erosion, Save our Future’!
date: 5 December 2019
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
57th Meeting of the GEF Council
The 57th meeting of the GEF Council will take place from 17-19 December 2019. The GEF CSO Consultation will take place the day before the Council opens.
The Council is the GEF's main governing body. It comprises 32 Members appointed by constituencies of GEF member countries (14 from developed countries, 16 from developing countries and 2 from economies in transition). Council Members rotate every three years or until the constituency appoints a new Member. The Council meets twice annually to develop, adopt and evaluate the operational policies and programs for GEF-financed activities. It also reviews and approves the work program (projects submitted for approval), making decisions by consensus.
dates: 16-19 December 2019
location: Washington D.C., US
Forest Landscape Restoration and the Bonn Challenge in Eastern and South-East Europe
This workshop will aim to provide background information on the Bonn Challenge, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and ECCA30, and to gather input for a study on forest landscape restoration in East and South-Eastern Europe.
These objectives will be reached through:
- Exchange of experiences on forest landscape restoration and degradation in participating countries;
- Discussion of strategies and approaches for unlocking financial resources required for restoration;
- Information on national experts responsible for forest landscape restoration and regional and international opportunities, with a special focus on a high-level meeting planned for 2020;
- Brief participants about the process of country commitments under the Bonn Challenge and the support the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) can provide.
During the meeting, the potential for forest landscape restoration at a national level and the commitment process will be discussed along with needs and priorities of participating countries. Countries will have the opportunity to get clarifications from forest landscape restoration experts, researchers and the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section.
dates: 16-17 December 2019
location: Belgrade, Serbia
Africa Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day 2020
Africa Environment Day, celebrated annually on 3 March, was established by the Organization of African Unity in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of the pressing environmental challenges facing the continent.
Since 2012, the Africa Environment Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Wangari Maathai Day, as a tribute to the late Nobel Laureate's green legacy.
date: 3 March 2020
Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will convene the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20) at its headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 10-12 March 2020.
The Symposium, jointly organized by the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), will bring together international experts with the aim of reviewing the status of knowledge on soil biodiversity and ecosystem services, the sustainable use and conservation of soil biodiversity, and the contributions of soil organisms to the SDGs.
dates: 10-12 March 2020
location: Rome, Lazio, Italy
Land and Poverty Conference 2020: Institutions for Equity and Resilience
The theme of the 21st Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty is ‘Institutions for Equity and Resilience’.
The conference will gather over 1,400 participants from governments, academics, civil society and the private sector to discuss the latest research and innovations in policies and good practice on land governance around the world.
dates: 16-20 March 2020
location: Washington D.C., US
International Day of Forests 2020
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).
date: 21 March 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
15th Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 15)
The 15th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 15) will address, inter alia, implementation of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF), monitoring, assessment and reporting, and means of implementation. UNFF 15 is expected to adopt the Quadrennial Programme of Work for 2021-2024.
The SDG Knowledge Hub story on UNFF 14 is available here.
dates: 4-8 May 2020
venue: UN Headquarters
location: New York City, US
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
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
Leaders’ Biodiversity Summit
In resolution A/RES/73/234, adopted on 20 December 2018, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) decided “to convene a summit on biodiversity at the level of Heads of State and Government, within existing resources,” ahead of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15) in 2020, “in order to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity”.
Taking place on the margins of the opening of the UNGA, the Summit will seek to provide political direction and momentum to the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
date: 21 September 2020 [tentative]
venue: UN Headquarters
location: New York City, US