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


Upcoming Meetings

Water, Oceans and Wetlands


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/

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...
http://capdevsymposium.un-ihe.org/about-symposium

Ocean Youth Forum

In alignment with the 2020 UN Ocean Conference and with the aim of giving youth the opportunity to contribute for the implementation of  SDG 14, the Governments of Portugal and Kenya will host the Ocean Youth Forum, organized by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, in close cooperation with the Portuguese Ministry of Education / Secretary of State for Youth and Sport and with the support of Oceano Azul Foundation.

The Forum will showcase youth-led ocean solutions focusing on science and innovation and feature discussions on existing solutions to address the targets of SDG 14. 

dates: 30-31 May 2020 location: Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal www: https://www.soalliance.org/2020-ocean-youth-forum?utm_campai...

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. This year, the Day will convene under the theme, 'Innovation for a Sustainable 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

XVII World Water Congress [rescheduled]

The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) will convene its XVII World Water Congress in Daegu, Republic of Korea, from 21-25 September 2020. It was originially scheduled to take place from 11-15 May 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 situation.

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.

The XVII World Water Congress will be held jointly with the Korea International Water Week (KIWW).

dates: 21-25 September 2020 location: Daegu, Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea e-mail: congress@iwra.org www: https://www.worldwatercongress.com/index.php

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