Highlights and images for 2 February 2023

Bangkok, Thailand

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A view of the room during the contact group on scope and functions

Delegates rolled up their sleeves to try to realize a sense of concrete progress before this Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting concludes.

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Co-Chairs and Secretariat prepare for the discussion

Efforts in one contact group focused on setting up the work to be completed before the next OEWG and beyond. As one Co-Chair put it, they were working on their “shopping list.” The discussion was based on an outline of a “zero draft.” The outline is heavily inspired by the documents that establish the governance and other arrangements for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It sets out the scale of work to be completed. The list is substantial, from institutional arrangements to procedures for approving assessments and engaging with stakeholders.

Want to dive deeper? Read the full Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

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Kevin Helps, UNEP, speaks to delegates before the start of proceedings

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Former IPCC and IPBES Chair Bob Watson, University of East Anglia

Delegates in that contact group took up discussing and amending the outline of work ahead. They also considered when they would take up the substance in each section. While this group discussed concrete next steps, hoping to complete negotiations in just two further meetings, the other contact group discussed intersessional work that could help them make progress on the functions of the panel, among other issues.

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A view of the dais during the contact group on scope and functions


Delegates raise their placards to make comments in the contact group

Discussions on the objective appeared to make headway. While the text is still bracketed, meaning not yet agreed, there is growing consensus that the panel’s objective will include strengthening the science-policy interface to contribute to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution for the protection of human health and the environment. There is ongoing debate on whether “pollution” should be scoped out a bit more, perhaps by specifying that the panel consider pollution in air, lands, soil, and oceans, and not other forms of pollution, like light, noise or radioactive pollution.


Contact group Co-Chair Jinhui Li, China


Francisco Nelson Linhares Júnior, Brazil


Magdalena FrydrychPoland and Sebastian Gil, European Union


All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For this event, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Natalia Mroz

Written and edited by Jennifer Allan, Ph.D., Deborah Davenport, Ph.D., Moritz Petersmann, and Asterios Tsioumanis, Ph.D

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