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bringing you the latest news, information and analysis from
international environment and sustainable development negotiations

Upcoming Meetings

Human Development

April 2019

Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development 2019

The third meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development will take place from 24-26 April, preceded by civil society activities from 22-23 April. It is convened under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The programme is available here.

The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the second meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development is here.

dates: 22-26 April 2019 location: Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile contact: ECLAC www: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2019

18th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII)

The 18th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will focus on the theme, 'Traditional knowledge: Generation, transmission and protection'.

The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of UNPFII 17 is here.

dates: 22 April - 3 May 2019 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US contact: DESA www: https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/unpfii...

May 2019

First North American Dialogue on Biocultural Diversity

The First North American Dialogue on Biocultural Diversity aims to promote exchange and co-production of knowledge between different actors to improve understanding of the interlinkages between biological and cultural dimensions of diversity, and the implications for resource management and decision-making processes. The Dialogue also aims to raise awareness of the role of indigenous languages and of local and indigenous knowledge and management systems for biocultural diversity. The meeting will seek to:

  • Identify links between biological and cultural diversity in the North American region, along with major drivers of biological and cultural diversity loss;
  • Identify solutions and good practices, actions and actors, at various levels, to protect and restore biological and cultural diversity; and
  • Explore synergies between interlinked provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and the potential benefits of an integrated approach.

The Dialogue is convened by the CBD Secretariat, UNESCO and regional and local partners.

dates: 5-8 May 2019 location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada www: https://qcbs.ca/dialogue/

11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting

Finland will host the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi, Findland where minister-level representatives from the eight Arctic States will gather to review and approve work completed under the Finnish Chairmanship to improve sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. The Arctic States will be joined by delegations from the Council’s indigenous permanent participant organizations and observers.

date: 7 May 2019 location: Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland www: https://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/our-work2/8-news...

World Conference on Forests for Public Health

The World Conference on Forests for Public Health will bring together scientists from different disciplines to present research and state-of-the-art knowledge on the significance of the role of forests and green spaces in improving human health and well-being, and challenges the urban and landscape planning fields face in designing green infrastructure that benefits physical activities both in urban spaces and forests. The conference is co-organized by the Hellenic Agricultural Organization – Demeter, Korea Forest Service and International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).

dates: 8-11 May 2019 venue: Athens War Museum location: Athens, Attiki, Greece www: https://fph2019.org/

UNESCO International Water Conference

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Water Conference will focus on the theme, ‘Leveraging Intersectorality for Sustainable Water Security and Peace’.

In light of the fact that many human activities depend on water, including food production, energy generation, industry and recreation, and that water management and governance affect the health of humans and ecosystems and reflect the regional conditions of poverty, gender equality, education and cultural diversity, the conference aims to:

  • discuss intersectoral approaches to the governance and management of water resources;
  • launch a Call for Action to foster intersectoral water management;

  • share good practices enabling participation, transparency and information sharing; and

  • provide evidence of the importance of interdisciplinarity and the integration of sciences to support countries in achieving the goals of water-related international agendas.

dates: 13-14 May 2019 location: Paris, Ile-De-France, France www: https://en.unesco.org/events/unesco-international-water-conf...

GLF Kyoto 2019

Convening in Kyoto, Japan, back-to-back with the 49th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 49), which is expected to release its Methodology Report to refine the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) will focus on sustainable landscapes as a critical part of the climate solution. GLF Kyoto 2019 will bring together experts from academia, policy and practice under the theme, ‘Climate, Landscapes and Lifestyles: It Is Not Too Late,’ to consider practical and immediate actions for a climate-smart future, such as changes in trade, food production, investments, lifestyle and diet.

The GLF is a multi-stakeholder platform with a global secretariat led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and core funding provided by the Government of Germany. GLF Kyoto 2019 is followed by GLF Bonn 2019 addressing the issue of land rights.

date: 13 May 2019 location: Kyoto, Japan www: https://events.globallandscapesforum.org/kyoto-2019/

2019 European Forum on Urban Forestry

The 2019 European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF2019) will convene in Cologne, Germany, to explore urban forests as: the “healthy forest” for sport, well-being and human health; the “spiritual forest” for culture, religion and art; the “learning forest” for research, laboratories and education; and the “co-designed forest” for diverging interests, governance and urban forest management.

The conference is organized by the Ministry for Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of the State Nordrhein-Westfalen, City of Cologne, European Forest Institute (EFI) Bonn and academic partners.

dates: 22-25 May 2019 location: Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/urbanforestry/en/

Urban Future Global Conference

The Urban Future Global Conference provides a forum for CityChangers – decision makers who seek to make cities more sustainable – to enable changes that are necessary to address climate change and social inequalities. The 2019 event will focus on urban mobility, built environment and architecture, leadership, and green business and innovation. The conference programme is organized around ten tracks: how to build sustainably; car-free city life; happy city; business and innovation; circular economy; cutting carbon emissions; green public procurement; leadership; metropolitan areas management; and electrification.

The 2019 Urban Future Global Conference will take place in Oslo, Norway, the European Green Capital 2019. It is organized with support from local, business and international partners including the City of Oslo, C40 Cities, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy Europe, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and many others.

dates: 22-24 May 2019 location: Oslo, Norway www: https://www.urban-future.org/

International Conference on Climate Action – ICCA2019

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Heidelberg will jointly host the International Conference on Climate Action – ICCA2019 – in Heidelberg, from 22-23 May 2019. The conference will bring together leaders and decision-makers from countries, regions and cities as well as stakeholders and experts from around the world.

ICCA2019 will be a key moment in preparation for the September 2019 Climate Action Summit. ICCA2019 is also a stand-alone event dedicated to necessary vertical dialogue and cooperation among all levels of government. The program highlights necessary levers for climate adaptation and protection from the perspective of the sectors, and focuses on financing and governance with a significance for the local level.

dates: 22-23 May 2019 location: Germany additional: Heidelberg www: https://www.icca2019.org/

1st UN-Habitat Assembly

The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) will hold the first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly at UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, from 27-31 May 2019, under the theme, ‘Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities’. The sub-theme for the meeting is ‘Accelerated Implementation of the New Urban Agenda towards Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals’.

The event will bring together UN Member States, UN specialized agencies, local authorities and non-State actors, including civil society, youth and women, the private sector and academia. States with observer status in the UN may participate as observers.

During its first session, the Assembly is expected to establish the Executive Board of UN-Habitat and elect its members, to review and approve the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2025, and to review progress in implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA), among other actions.

dates: 27-31 May 2019 venue: UN-Habitat headquarters location: Nairobi, Kenya www: https://unhabitat.org/habitatassembly/

June 2019

Chicago Forum on Global Cities

The Chicago Forum on Global Cities, hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times, is a three-day international conference that discusses the influence of global cities in solving pressing global challenges. The Forum will consider ways to improve the efficacy of urban networks, management and design.

dates: 5-7 June 2019 location: Chicago, IL, US www: https://www.cvent.com/events/2018-chicago-forum-on-global-ci...

Ninth Meeting of the ITPGR Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the MLS

The ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System (MLS) of Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) will convene in Rome, Italy, from 17-21 June 2019.

The Working Group will continue its deliberations on the revision of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) and other issues within its mandate.

dates: 17-21 June 2019 location: Rome, Lazio, Italy www: http://enb.iisd.org/vol09/enb09711e.html

Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019

The Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019 (APFW2019) will convene during the 28th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission under the theme, ‘Forests for Peace and Well-being’.

The event, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Korea Forest Service (KFS), will highlight the need to integrate forestry into the wider context of environment, society and sustainable development, where economic, social, human and cultural dimensions are considered in a holistic manner.

dates: 17-21 June 2019 location: Incheon, Republic of Korea www: http://www.fao.org/asiapacific/apfc/asia-pacific-forestry-we...

GLF Bonn 2019

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Bonn, Germany, will convene under the theme, ‘Rights in the Landscape,’ and focus on the issue of rights in addressing “the current environmental crisis.” Linking people to landscapes, GLF Bonn 2019 will explore the contributions of indigenous peoples, local communities, and rural and indigenous women and youth to achieving the SDGs and Paris Agreement on climate change, highlighting the transformative role of rights and rights-based approaches for securing a more just, sustainable and prosperous future for all.

The GLF is a multi-stakeholder platform with a global secretariat led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and core funding provided by the Government of Germany. GLF Bonn 2019 is preceded by GLF Kyoto 2019, focusing on climate, landscapes and lifestyles.

dates: 22-23 June 2019 location: Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany www: https://events.globallandscapesforum.org/bonn-2019/

European Urban Resilience Forum

The annual European Urban Resilience Forum 2019 will build around three streams: nature-based solutions for urban resilience; improving governance for inclusive and effective climate action; and implementing financing and monitoring strategies for urban resilience. The Forum will explore the co-benefits of adaptation and mitigation, social justice in adaptation actions, strategic narratives for urban heat and health, and innovative schemes for municipal financing for resilience and nature-based solutions.

The event is organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the European Environment Agency (EEA), with support from European partners, and is taking place in parallel with the 50th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies and back-to-back with the Resilient Cities 2019 conference.

date: 25 June 2019 location: Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany www: http://www.urbanresilienceforum.eu/

Resilient Cities 2019

Resilient Cities – The Annual Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation – is the global platform for urban resilience and climate change adaptation. Resilient Cities was first launched in 2010 with the goal of connecting local government leaders and climate change adaptation experts to discuss adaptation challenges facing urban environments around the globe and forging partnerships that could have lasting impacts for cities.

The tenth anniversary edition of the Resilient Cities congress series, co-hosted by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the Federal City of Bonn, Germany, will take place from 26-28 June 2019, back-to-back with the European Urban Resilience Forum and in parallel to the 50th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies.

dates: 26-28 June 2019 location: Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany www: https://resilientcities2019.iclei.org/

July 2019

Species on the Move 2019

The 2019 edition of the Species on the Move conference series will bring together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology. The interdisciplinary conference is co-convened by the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) of the University of Tasmania, Australia, and Rhodes University, South Africa, with support from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and others.

The conference will focus on species responses to climate change, and address 11 themes:

  1. Detection, attribution and prediction of changes in species distributions;
  2. Understanding ecological and evolutionary mechanisms facilitating or hindering range shifts;
  3. Impacts of climate change on community structure and patterns of taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity;
  4. The paleo-ecological perspective: species changes in distribution over deep time;
  5. Conservation paradigms and management strategies for a shifting future;
  6. Governance, legal and ethical issues for shifting species and changing ecosystems;
  7. Cultural, social and economic dimensions of changes in species distributions;
  8. Indigenous knowledge and species on the move;
  9. Implications of species on the move for human and animal health;
  10. Changes in species distribution and climate feedbacks; and
  11. The impacts of species on the move for global strategies and policies, including the SDGs, and biodiversity and climate change global processes.

dates: 22-26 July 2019 location: Limpopo {greater region}, South Africa additional: Kruger National Park www: http://www.speciesonthemove.com/

August 2019

International Youth Day 2019

On 17 December 1999, in resolution 54/120, the UN General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998), calling for 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

date: 12 August 2019 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/

2019 UN Civil Society Conference

The 68th UN Civil Society Conference will focus on SDG 11, “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030”. The agenda will explore the interlinkages among all 17 SDGs, including critical issues relating to gender.

The three-day conference is co-hosted by the UN Department of Global Communications, Salt Lake City, and the NGO Executive Committee. The meeting will feature opening and closing plenary sessions, interactive thematic sessions, NGO-sponsored workshops, exhibits and a youth hub. Speakers and attendees will include leaders and other representatives from NGOs, UN agencies, academia, faith traditions, the public and private sectors and youth from around the world. #UNCSC2019

dates: 26-28 August 2019 location: Salt Lake City, UT, US www: https://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/68th-un-civil-society-c...

September 2019

G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting

This gathering is one of eight ministerial meetings taking place in Japan alongside the 2019 G20 Summit. The other seven ministerial meetings taking place alongside the Summit are:

  • G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting;
  • G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting;
  • G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting;
  • G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy;
  • G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth;
  • G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting; and
  • G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the EU. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.

Invited guest countries are the Netherlands, Senegal, Singapore, Spain and Thailand. Invited guest international organizations are the Economic Research Institute for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia (ERIA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank, World Food Programme (WFP) and World Trade Organization (WTO).

dates: 1-2 September 2019 location: Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan www: https://www.japan.go.jp/g20japan/

October 2019

World Habitat Day 2019

World Habitat Day is celebrated annually on the first Monday of October. The event focuses on the state of human settlements and people’s right to sufficient shelter. It also aims to remind people that they are responsible for the habitat of future generations.

date: 7 October 2019 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/habitatday/background.shtml

Seventh Asia-Pacific Urban Forum

The seventh Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF?7), co-organized by Urbanice Malaysia, the Government of Malaysia and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), provides a platform to discuss and analyze the status of implementation of, as well as challenges and opportunities associated with, the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region.

APUF-7 will launch ‘The Future of Asia-Pacific Cities Report 2019’ in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the EU, The Rockefeller Foundation, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN-Habitat and Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities. Based on the report’s focus, APUF-7 will address four main thematic tracks: (1) the future of urban and territorial planning; (2) dynamic governance and capacity development; (3) financing innovation in urban infrastructure investments; and (4) new data and technologies for smart cities.

SDG Knowledge Hub summary of APUF-6 is here.

dates: 15-17 October 2019 location: Penang, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia www: https://www.unescap.org/events/apuf7

Climate Chance Summit – Africa 2019

The ‘Climate Chance Summit – Africa 2019’ will bring together non-State actors fighting climate change on the African continent, including local governments, businesses, trade unions, environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs), farmers, women and youth organizations, researchers and other stakeholders in Accra, Ghana, to reinforce the operational roadmaps adopted at the 2018 edition of the Summit. The roadmaps on 1) adaptation, 2) agriculture, food and reforestation, 3) buildings, 4) education and training, 5) energy, 6) finance and 7) sustainable development cities provided a contribution to the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue.

The 2019 second edition of the Summit will focus on the following themes:

  • Access to climate finance in Africa;
  • Developing African cities in a sustainable way;
  • Agriculture, food and reforestation in Africa;
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency in Africa;
  • Mobility and sustainable transport in Africa;
  • Adaptation and water in Africa;
  • Sustainable building and construction in Africa;
  • Education and training on climate change in Africa; and
  • Circular economy in Africa.

The Summit is organized by the Climate Chance Association and the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG).

dates: 16-18 October 2019 location: Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana www: https://www.climate-chance.org/en/climate-chance-africa-summ...

World Cities Day 2019

The UN designated every 31 October as World Cities Day. Events to mark the Day focus on promoting the international community’s interest in global urbanization, pushing forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.

date: 31 October 2019 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/citiesday/

November 2019

6th UCLG Congress: World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders

Organized by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the 6th edition of the triennial UCLG Congress: World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders will be the first UCLG Congress to coincide with the implementation phase of global agendas such as the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to present progress in the implementation of the SDGs and their impact at the local level and to evaluate the evolution of the role of local and regional governments in international policy.

For SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of the 5th UCLG Congress, click here.

dates: 11-15 November 2019 location: Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa www: https://www.uclg.org/en/media/events/uclg-world-congress-and...

1st African Protected Areas Congress (APAC)

The first-ever African Protected Areas Congress (APAC) is a continent-wide gathering of African leaders, citizens and interest groups that will assemble to discuss the role of protected areas in conserving nature, safeguarding Africa’s wildlife, delivering vital life-supporting ecosystem services, promoting sustainable development and conserving the region’s cultural heritage and traditions. Meeting on the theme, ‘Protected Areas: Delivering Benefits for Nature and People,’ the Congress will address three focal areas: protected areas; people; and biodiversity. Its objectives include:

  • Promoting the role of protected areas in conserving nature, supporting sustainable development and human well-being, and making commitments to secure a sustainable future for Africa’s natural heritage;
  • Sharing experiences and best practices for harmonizing conservation and human development needs, and developing strategic mechanisms and partnerships for ensuring long-term sustainability;
  • Setting a common agenda and a shared vision for Africa’s protected areas, and ensuring they are included in the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063; and
  • Developing priorities and strategies on issues of common interest, and providing a strong African voice and consolidated input into the development of the post-2020 global framework for biodiversity.

APAC is organized with support from the Kenyan Government, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas and international and local partners.

dates: 18-23 November 2019 location: Nairobi, Kenya www: https://apa-congress.org/

11th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the CBD

The 11th meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (WG8j) will meet prior to the 23rd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23).

The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the tenth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) is here.

dates: 20-22 November 2019 location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada www: https://www.cbd.int/meetings/

February 2020

Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10)

The tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10), convened by the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), will bring together thousands of stakeholders to share practices and knowledge on how cities are built, planned and managed.

WUF10 participants will include representatives of: national, regional and local governments; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); community-based organizations; research institutions and academies; the private sector; development finance institutions; foundations; the media; and UN organizations and other international agencies.

Organized jointly with the Abu Dhabi Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, along with partners including the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and General Secretariat of the Executive Council, WUF10 will provide an opportunity to increase local and regional knowledge on sustainable urbanization issues, learn from global lessons and increase cooperation with stakeholders on a global scale.

WUF10 will address key action areas, including:

  • Innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable cities;
  • Innovative urban solutions in housing, mobility, planning and governance;
  • Technology and data as enablers for sustainable cities;
  • Building human and social capital to build a sustainable urban future, with a special focus on youth and women;
  • Empowering cities as open investment platforms to harness an enabling business and regulatory environments; and
  • The impact of migration on cities.

The conference will contribute to sustainable urban development and implementation of global commitments such as the SDGs, particularly SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

dates: 8-13 February 2020 location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates www: https://unhabitat.org/wuf10/