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


Upcoming Meetings

Forests, Deserts, Land


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...

G20 Environment Ministers Meeting

The G20 Environment Ministers Meeting will take place as part of the Sherpa Track for the G20 Leaders Summit 2020, which is to be hosted by Saudi Arabia at the end of 2020.

Consultations for the annual G20 meeting are conducted through three tracks. Government discussions take place under the Finance and Sherpa Tracks. Civil society organizations participate through Engagement Groups.

The Sherpa Track includes meetings of Ministers and relevant senior officials focused on socioeconomic issues such as agriculture, anti-corruption, climate, digital economy, education, employment, energy, environment, health, tourism, trade and investment.

The Saudi Arabian Presidency has selected the theme: Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All. The three key agenda items to be addressed under this theme are: Empowering People, by creating the conditions in which all people – especially women and youth – can live, work and thrive; Safeguarding the Planet, by fostering collective efforts to protect our global commons; and Shaping New Frontiers, by adopting long-term and bold strategies to share benefits of innovation and technological advancement.

The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union. 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.

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date: 16 September 2020 location: Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia www: https://g20.org/en/g20/Pages/events.aspx

Summit on Biodiversity

In resolution A/RES/73/234, adopted on 20 December 2018, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) decided “to convene a summit on biodiversity at the level of Heads of State and Government, within existing resources,” ahead of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15), “in order to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity”.

Taking place on the margins of the opening of the UNGA, the Summit will seek to provide political direction and momentum to the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biodiversity Summit will take place on 30 September 2020. Previously, resolution 74/269, adopted on 31 March 2020, had called for the Summit on Biodiversity to take place from 22-23 September 2020.

The Summit will consist of an opening segment, a plenary segment for general discussion, two leaders dialogues and a brief closing segment and that the overall theme of the summit will be “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development”. The leaders dialogues will address: biodiversity loss and mainstreaming biodiversity for sustainable development; and harnessing science, technology and innovation, capacity-building, access and benefit-sharing, financing and partnerships for biodiversity.

date: 30 September 2020 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US www: https://www.unenvironment.org/events/un-day/un-general-assem...

November 2020

56th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Sessions of the Associated Committees

The 56th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) and Sessions of the Associated Committees are scheduled to take place from 9-14 November 2020, in Yokohama, Japan.

The International Tropical Timber Council is the International Tropical Timber Organization's (ITTO) governing body. It meets once a year to discuss issues of interest to members, including those related to the legal trade of tropical timber and the sustainable management of tropical forests. 

dates: 9-14 November 2020 location: Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan www: https://www.itto.int/events/2020/11/14/56th_session_of_the_i...

UNCCD CRIC 19

The 19th meeting of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 19), a subsidiary body to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), is scheduled to take place at the end of 2020.

The CRIC assists the UNCCD Conference of the Parties in reviewing the implementation of the Convention, under the authority and guidance of the COP and as an integral part of the Performance Review and Assessment of Implementation System (PRAIS).

During a virtual meeting of the Bureau of the CRIC in April 2020, it was decided that CRIC 19 would take place from 24-26 November 2020, in Bonn, Germany. 

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dates: 24-26 November 2020 location: Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany www: https://www.unccd.int/convention/committee-review-implementa...

December 2020

World Soil Day 2020

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), in 2002, adopted a resolution proposing that 5 December be marked as World Soil Day to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Conference, in June 2013, unanimously endorsed World Soil Day and requested official adoption at the 68th UN General Assembly. In December 2013, the 68th UN General Assembly declared 5 December as the World Soil Day.

date: 5 December 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/soilday/

59th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 59th Meeting of the GEF Council is scheduled to take place from 8-10 December 2020. 

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.

The SDG Knowledge Hub summary of the 58th meeting of the GEF Council, which selected the new CEO and Chairperson for the GEF, is here.

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dates: 8-10 December 2020 location: Washington D.C., US www: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings/gef-59th-council-mee...
https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings

International Mountain Day 2020

This year’s theme for International Mountain Day (IMD) is protecting mountain biodiversity. In alignment with the 'Biodiversity Super Year' and negotiation of the post-2020 biodiversity framework, the Day will celebrate mountain biodiversity and seek to increase understanding of the threats that it faces.

The UN General Assembly declared 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains, and on this occasion, it designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as International Mountain Day (IMD). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) coordinates the annual celebration of the Day to foster greater awareness of mountain issues. 

date: 11 December 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/mountainday/background.shtml
http://www.fao.org/mountain-partnership/news/news-detail/en/...

International Migrants Day 2020

On 4 December 2000, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day (A/RES/55/93).

The day was selected to mark the anniversary of the 1990 adoption by UNGA of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (A/RES/45/158).

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date: 18 December 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/migrants-day

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

Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20) [rescheduled]

The Global Soil Biodiversity Symposium was originally scheduled to take place from 10-12 March 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been postponed until 2-4 February 2021. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is convening the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20) at its headquarters in Rome, Italy. 

The Symposium, jointly organized by the Global Soil Partnership (GSP), the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), will bring together international experts with the aim of reviewing the status of knowledge on soil biodiversity and ecosystem services, the sustainable use and conservation of soil biodiversity, and the contributions of soil organisms to the SDGs.

dates: 2-4 February 2021 location: Rome, Lazio, Italy www: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlig...

March 2021

International Day of Forests 2021

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests.

On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). 

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date: 21 March 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/forests-and-trees-day

April 2021

International Mother Earth Day 2021

International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise global public awareness of the challenges to the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports. The Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth, to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of the present and future generations of humanity. 

The UN General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through resolution A/RES/63/278, adopted in 2009.

date: 22 April 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/earth-day

June 2021

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...

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17 June each year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. 

The day offers a chance to recognize that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.

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date: 17 June 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/desertification-day

September 2021

UNCCD COP 15

The fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 15) is expected to take place in the final quarter of 2021. 

The UNCCD is one of the three Rio Conventions—along with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The negotiation of the UNCCD was called for in Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, or Earth Summit). The UNCCD was adopted on 17 June 1994, entered into force on 26 December 1996. 

The ENB summary of UNCCD COP 14 is here.

We will update this page as more information becomes available. 

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date: 14 September 2021 [tentative] location: TBA www: https://www.unccd.int/convention/conference-parties-cop

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/

International Migrants Day 2021

On 4 December 2000, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day (A/RES/55/93). 

The day was selected to mark the anniversary of the 1990 adoption by UNGA of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (A/RES/45/158).

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date: 18 December 2021 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/migrants-day

March 2022

International Day of Forests 2022

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests.

On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for each International Day of Forests is chosen by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). 

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date: 21 March 2022 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/forests-and-trees-day

April 2022

International Mother Earth Day 2022

International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise global public awareness of the challenges to the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports. The Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth, to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of the present and future generations of humanity. 

The UN General Assembly designated 22 April as International Mother Earth Day through resolution A/RES/63/278, adopted in 2009.

date: 22 April 2022 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/earth-day

June 2022

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2022

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17 June each year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. 

The day offers a chance to recognize that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.

To receive SDG event notices, news and analysis in your inbox, subscribe.

date: 17 June 2022 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/observances/desertification-day