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international environment and sustainable development negotiations


Upcoming Meetings

Water, Oceans and Wetlands


July 2020

SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework Launch

This event will take place virtually during the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF).

Hosted by UN-Water, it will be a high-level and multi-stakeholder moment to generate commitments for ambitious solutions on water and sanitation in support of the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework mobilizes UN agencies, governments, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders on five cross-cutting ‘accelerators’ – Financing, Data and Information, Capacity Development, Innovation, and Governance – to drive progress on water and sanitation issues, and therefore on the whole 2030 Agenda.

The SDG Knowledge Hub story about preparations for the SDG 6 Acceleration Framework launch is here

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date: 9 July 2020 location: virtual www: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2020/sdg6accelera...
https://www.unwater.org/publications/the-sdg-6-global-accele...

August 2020

World Water Week 2020 [Cancelled] [cancelled]

World Water Week 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 edition of World Water Week was scheduled to take place from 23-28 August 2020, in Stockholm, Sweden.

World Water Week assembles over 500 co-convening organizations and 4,000 participants from more than 130 countries in Stockholm every year. The 30th edition of World Water Week, which is organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and partners, was expected to focus on the theme, “Water and Climate Change: Accelerating Action”. 

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dates: 23-28 August 2020 location: Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden www: https://www.worldwaterweek.org/

September 2020

Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Carpathian Convention (COP6)

The Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention) will also serve as a Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological and Landscape Diversity, the Protocol on Sustainable Forest Management, the Protocol on Sustainable Tourism and the Protocol on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

The meeting is scheduled to take place from 14-16 September 2020.

Through the Carpathian Convention, the seven Parties (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Ukraine) seek to guarantee protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians. 

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dates: 14-16 September 2020 location: Rzeszow, Podkarpackie, Poland www: http://www.carpathianconvention.org/eventdetailcop/events/co...

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 pandemic.

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: [email protected] www: https://www.worldwatercongress.com/index.php

World Maritime Day 2020

World Maritime Day 2020 will be held on the theme: Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet.

The purpose of the theme is to provide opportunities for leaders from various sectors, including shipping, to reflect on the work done so far, as well as on the urgent steps needed for a sustainable future.

World Maritime Day 2020 will be celebrated at International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters on 24 September 2020. Its parallel event will be held in Durban, South Africa in the last week of October.

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date: 24 September 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/maritimeday/index.shtml
http://www.imo.org/en/About/Events/WorldMaritimeDay/Pages/Wo...

33rd UN-Water Meeting [rescheduled]

UN-Water meetings gather UN-Water Members and Partners to coordinate the UN’s approach to water and sanitation issues.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting cancellation of World Water Week 2020, with which the August meeting of UN-Water traditionally meets back-to-back, the 33rd meeting of UN-Water has been rescheduled as a virtual event. The meeting was originally planned to take place from 21-22 August 2020, in Stockholm, Sweden. 

The 33rd UN-Water Meeting will take place virtually for an open session on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, with participation from UN-Water Members, Partners with Special Status, Partners and Observers. A closed session will take place on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, with participation from UN-Water Members and Partners with Special Status.

Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the 32nd meeting of UN-Water is here

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dates: 29-30 September 2020 location: Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden www: https://www.unwater.org/

October 2020

26th Session of the International Seabed Authority Assembly and Council (Part II)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event has been postponed to 7-16 October 2020. It was originally scheduled to take place from 6-21 July 2020. The October session will take place in a reduced format, with meetings of some of the technical bodies convened remotely beginning in July 2020.

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: 7-16 October 2020 location: Kingston, Jamaica www: https://www.isa.org.jm/
http://enb.iisd.org/vol25/enb25207e.html

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. 

The Standing Committee's new dates are 26-30 October 2020, in Gland, Switzerland (it was postponed from June 2020 due to COVID-19, and the rescheduling was announced on 23 April). Meetings of the Committee's subgroups and working groups will take place on 26 October. A revised agenda for the meeting will be published on the Convention’s website three months in advance of the rescheduled date.

dates: 26-30 October 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...

November 2020

World Toilet Day 2020

The resolution declaring World Toilet Day titled, ‘Sanitation for All’ (A/RES/67/291), was adopted on 24 July 2013. The resolution urges UN Member States and relevant stakeholders to encourage behavioral change and the implementation of policies to increase access to sanitation among the poor, along with a call to end the practice of open-air defecation, which it deemed “extremely harmful” to public health.

World Toilet Day seeks to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), which promises sanitation for all by 2030.

World Toilet Day is celebrated on 19th November every year.  

date: 19 November 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/toiletday/

December 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: 7-8 December 2020 location: Palau www: https://www.ourocean2020.pw/

January 2021

IUCN World Conservation Congress

On 3 April 2020, IUCN announced that, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020 would now take place from 7-15 January 2021, still in Marseille, France. The event was originally scheduled for 11-19 June 2020.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress last 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: 7-15 January 2021 location: Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France www: https://www.iucncongress2020.org/

February 2021

World Wetlands Day 2021

Celebrated annually on 2 February, World Wetlands Day aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. The Day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

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date: 2 February 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org

March 2021

World Wildlife Day 2021

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. 

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date: 3 March 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-wildlife-day

Africa Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day 2021

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.  

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date: 3 March 2021 location: worldwide www: https://au.int/

World Water Day 2021

World Water Day became a UN observance day in 1993. It seeks to focus attention on the global water crisis. On 22 March every year, people and organizations mark World Water Day by taking action to tackle the water crisis. 

World Water Day 2021 is expected to focus on the theme, 'Valuing Water'.

More information about past events to mark World Water Day can be found here.

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date: 22 March 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.worldwaterday.org/

Ninth World Water Forum

The Ninth World Water Forum is scheduled to take place in Dakar, Senegal, from 22-27 March 2021. 

The 9th World Water Forum is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. The event will focus on the theme, 'Water Security for Peace and Development,' and will consider four priorities: water security and sanitation; cooperation; rural development; and means tools.

Organized by the World Water Council, the Forums aim to enhance dialogue of the decision-making process on water at the global level, seeking to achieve the rational and sustainable use of this resource. 

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dates: 22-27 March 2021 location: Dakar, Kaolack, Senegal www: https://www.worldwatercouncil.org/en/dakar-2021

June 2021

International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing 2021

Fish are an important commodity for the achievement of food security. However, efforts by the international community to ensure the sustainability of fisheries are compromised by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.

To address this issue, the UN General Assembly declared 5 June as the "International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing."

Target 14.4 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (life below water) specifically urges the international community to, "by 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics."

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date: 5 June 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-illegal-fishing-day

World Oceans Day 2021

June 8 is World Oceans Day, the United Nations day for celebrating the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspiring action to protect the ocean and sustainably use marine resources.

Many countries have celebrated this special day since 1992, following the UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008, the UN General Assembly decided that, as of 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”.

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date: 8 June 2021 location: worldwide www: https://unworldoceansday.org/
https://www.unworldoceansday.org/about

60th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 60th Meeting of the GEF Council is scheduled to take place from 15-17 June 2021. 

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.

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dates: 15-17 June 2021 location: Washington D.C., US www: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings/gef-60th-council-mee...

July 2021

14th International Coral Reef Symposium

The 14th International Coral Reef Symposium was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally scheduled to take place in July 2020, in Bremen, Germany. It will now take place in July 2021, and will address the theme, 'Tackling the Challenging Future of Coral Reefs.'

The Symposium will bring together coral reef scientists, early career researchers, conservationists, policy makers and reef managers to present the latest research findings and exchange current knowledge fundamental in advising international and national policies in the conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs. It will be hosted by the University of Bremen in Germany.

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dates: 18-23 July 2021 location: Bremen, Germany www: https://www.icrs2020.de/

September 2021

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 was originally scheduled to take place from 25 September to 2 October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting has been rescheduled for September 2021. 

date: 1 September 2021 [tentative] location: Slovenia additional: Portoroz www: https://iwc.int/iwc68

December 2021

61st Meeting of the GEF Council

The 61st Meeting of the GEF Council is scheduled to take place from 7-9 December 2021. 

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.

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dates: 7-9 December 2021 location: Washington D.C., US www: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings/gef-61st-council-mee...

Barcelona Convention COP 22

The 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols is scheduled to take place in December 2021.

COP 22 is expected to discuss agenda items including: assessing and controlling marine pollution; ensuring sustainable management of natural marine and coastal resources; protecting the marine environment and coastal zones through preventing and reducing, and as far as possible, eliminating pollution; protecting natural and cultural heritage; strengthening solidarity among Mediterranean coastal States; and contributing to improving quality of life. 

The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of COP 21 is here.

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dates: 7-10 December 2021 location: Antalya, Turkey www: https://www.unenvironment.org/unepmap/meetings/calendar
http://web.unep.org/unepmap/

February 2022

World Wetlands Day 2022

Celebrated annually on 2 February, World Wetlands Day aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. The Day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. 

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date: 2 February 2022 location: worldwide www: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org

March 2022

World Wildlife Day 2022

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. 

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date: 3 March 2022 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-wildlife-day

Africa Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day 2022

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.  

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date: 3 March 2022 location: worldwide www: https://au.int/

World Water Day 2022

World Water Day became a UN observance day in 1993. It seeks to focus attention on the global water crisis. On 22 March every year, people and organizations mark World Water Day by taking action to tackle the water crisis. 

More information about past events to mark World Water Day can be found here.

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date: 22 March 2022 location: worldwide www: https://www.worldwaterday.org/

June 2022

International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing 2022

Fish are an important commodity for the achievement of food security. However, efforts by the international community to ensure the sustainability of fisheries are compromised by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.

To address this issue, the UN General Assembly declared 5 June as the "International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing."

Target 14.4 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (life below water) specifically urges the international community to, "by 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics."

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date: 5 June 2022 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-illegal-fishing-day

World Oceans Day 2022

June 8 is World Oceans Day, the United Nations day for celebrating the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspiring action to protect the ocean and sustainably use marine resources.

Many countries have celebrated this special day since 1992, following the UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008, the UN General Assembly decided that, as of 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”.

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date: 8 June 2022 location: worldwide www: https://unworldoceansday.org/

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