Highlights and images for 13 March 2019



Highlights for Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Delegates conferring during a break in negotiations

Delegates at UNEA-4 raced to complete negotiations on all outstanding draft resolutions on Wednesday, in preparation for the High-Level Segment, which begins Thursday. The Committee of the Whole (COW) convened briefly in morning and afternoon plenaries, and agreed to forward texts on food loss, biodiversity, and arrangements for UNEA-5, single-use plastics, and marine litter and microplastics, to UNEA-4 for adoption. Informal discussions continued into the evening on draft resolutions addressing deforestation, geoengineering, and the GEO process. UNEP launched the GEO-6 report and related publications today in a series of interactive dialogues and presentations.In the evening, the COW reconvened, and delegates further approved a resolution on Enhancing UNEP’s Science-Policy Interface and Endorsement of the GEO. The EU withdrew its proposed resolution on deforestation and agricultural commodity supply chains, and Switzerland withdrew its proposed resolution on geoengineering governance, in both instances citing a lack of consensus.Delegates adopted the draft procedural report of the COW by rapporteur Putera Parthama (Indonesia). Coimbra expressed warm thanks to Parthama and the UNEP Secretariat, and conveyed his appreciation to OECPR Chair Francisca Ashietey-Odunton and all members of the CPR for their work in presenting “a mature set of decisions” that had enabled work to progress. Delegates also conveyed messages of support, and Coimbra gaveled the meeting to a close at 8.41 PM.Key highlights:

  • Agreement on resolutions on marine litter and microplastics, and on single-use plastics, and the role UNEP can play in these related issues;
  • Conclusion of negotiations on arrangements for UNEA-5, setting in place an intersessional process and preparation of an action plan to implement all provisions of the Rio+20 outcome on strengthening the role of UNEP (paragraph 88), including progressive consolidation of headquarters functions in Nairobi (sub-paragraph g);
  • Dialogues with youth and other stakeholders of the GEO-6 process, which put forward proposals for adopting more sustainable pathways;
  • An address by UNEP Patron of the Oceans and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh, urging action to combat the degradation of the world’s oceans; and
  • National statements by many Member States and heads of agencies, outlining their actions to promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP), fight climate change, and halt biodiversity and habitat loss.
  • For more details on the day’s negotiations and to hear what delegates said in the corridors, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

    IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from OECPR-4 and UNEA-4, which is available in HTML and PDF.

    Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

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    Launch of the Sixth Global Environment Outlook report (GEO-6)
    From L-R: GEO-6 Assessment Co-Chair Paul Ekins; Paolo Soprano, Co-Chair, High-Level Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Advisory Group (HLG); Yi Huang, HLG Co-Chair; Nadya Yuti Hutagalung, UNEP Environment Goodwill Ambassador; Joyeeta Gupta, GEO-6 Assessment Co-Chair; Robert Watson, Chair, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and Lewis Pugh, UNEP Patron of the Oceans and endurance swimmer
    Robert Watson, Chair, IPBES
    Nadya Yuti Hutagalung, UNEP Environment Goodwill Ambassador
    Robert Watson, Chair, IPBES, with Maarten Kappelle, UNEP
    Joyeeta Gupta, GEO-6 Assessment Co-Chair, with Robert Watson, Chair, IPBES
    Pierre Boileau, Head of GEO-6 Unit, UNEP, and Joyeeta Gupta, GEO-6 Assessment Co-Chair
    Dan Ma and Sorin Simplaceanu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), receiving Certificates of Achievement for their contributions in GEO-6
    View of the panel during the discussion
    GEO-6 Assessment Co-Chair, Joyeeta Gupta
    Yi Huang, HLG Co-Chair
    Lewis Pugh, UNEP Patron of the Oceans and endurance swimmer
    Paolo Soprano, Co-Chair, HLG
    GEO-6 Assessment Co-Chair Paul Ekins
    Pierre Boileau, Head of GEO-6 Unit, UNEP
    Mandy Van Den Ende, Utrecht University
    Shlok Sachdev, Premier Academy
    Charlotte Wanja, Alliance Girls High Scool
    Panel discussion with authors of GEO-6 for Youth. L-R: Moderator Gul Mohsen, University of Nottingham; Maria Jesus Iraola Anton, University College London; Alamoud Alkhatlan, Arabian Gulf University; Mandy Van Den Ende, Utrecht University; and Sarah Nyawira, Nairobi Convention Secretariat
    Alamoud Alkhatlan, Arabian Gulf University
    Sarah Nyawira, Nairobi Convention Secretariat
    National Statements in UNEA-4 Plenary
    Erik Grigoryan, Minister of Nature Protection, Armenia
    Khalil Bin Musleh Al-Thaqafi, President, The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection, Saudi Arabia
    Carolina Schmidt Zaldívar, Minister of the Environment, Chile
    Aboud Gabir Saeed, Secretary-General, National Council for Environment, Sudan
    Delegates from Saudi Arabia
    Joseph Jouthe, Minister of Environment, Haiti
    Tserenbat Namsrai, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mongolia
    Committee of the Whole
    View of the dais during the Committee of the Whole session
    Andrés Felipe Marmolejo Egred, and David Olarte Amaya, Colombia
    From L-R: Matthew Billot, UNEP; Toral Patel-Weynand, US; and Lori Dando, US
    Ahmed Abu Thahet, Palestine, and Hazem Shabat, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Kenya
    Patrick Luna, Brazil, and Ulf Björnholm, UNEP
    COW Chair Fernando Coimbra, Brazil, COW Special Rapporteur Ida Bagus Putera Parthama, Indonesia, and Theophillus Waluyo, Indonesia
    Delegates conferring before the session
    Between Sessions
    "Making the Invisible, Visible" lounge installation
    Delegates relax at an installation of lounge furniture to raise awareness of the hidden hazards of toxic chemicals in everyday objects, jointly staged by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), and the UNEP Chemicals and Health branch.


    Negotiating blocs
    European Union
    Non-state coalitions