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


Upcoming Meetings

Forests, Deserts, Land


February 2020

52nd Session of the IPCC

The 52nd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 52) will convene from 24-28 February 2020.

The IPCC is currently in its sixth assessment cycle. The outputs for this cycle are: the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), a Methodology Report to refine the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories, and three special reports: the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15); the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL); and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Cli... (SROCC).

The IPCC is a UN body responsible for assessing science on climate change. It was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme(UNEP). The Panel’s objective is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.

dates: 24-28 February 2020 location: Paris, Ile-De-France, France www: https://www.ipcc.ch/calendar/

March 2020

Africa Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day 2020

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.  

date: 3 March 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/events/africa-envi...

Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will convene the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20) at its headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 10-12 March 2020.

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: 10-12 March 2020 location: Rome, Lazio, Italy www: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlig...

Land and Poverty Conference 2020: Institutions for Equity and Resilience

The theme of the 21st Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty is ‘Institutions for Equity and Resilience’.

The conference will gather over 1,400 participants from governments, academics, civil society and the private sector to discuss the latest research and innovations in policies and good practice on land governance around the world.

dates: 16-20 March 2020 location: Washington D.C., US www: https://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2020/03/16/land-and-pove...

International Day of Forests 2020

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). 

date: 21 March 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/forestsday/

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/

15th Session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 15)

The 15th session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 15) will address, inter alia, implementation of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF), monitoring, assessment and reporting, and means of implementation. UNFF 15 is expected to adopt the Quadrennial Programme of Work for 2021-2024.

The SDG Knowledge Hub story on UNFF 14 is available here.

dates: 4-8 May 2020 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US www: https://www.un.org/esa/forests/index.html

June 2020

Sustainable Summits 2020 Nepal

This conference is focused on the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. The Sustainable Summits Conferences are inspired by the growing pressures on mountain environments, the need to find solutions to the impacts of such pressures – like overcrowding, waste, noise and more – and a drive to uphold values in sustaining these environments.

The main topics to be addressed at this event include how mountains nurture communities, sustainable mountaineering, development pressures, and promoting connectivity between tourism, trade and regional cooperation.

dates: 1-5 June 2020 location: Kathmandu, Bagmati, Nepal www: http://www.fao.org/mountain-partnership/events/event-detail/...

58th Meeting of the GEF Council

The 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council will take place from 2-4 June 2020. The GEF Council Consultation with  Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) will take place the day before the Council opens, on 1 June 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.

dates: 1-4 June 2020 location: Washington D.C., US www: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings

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

High-level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought

In accordance with General Assembly resolution A/RES/74/220, the President of the General Assembly, with the support of the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), will convene a High-level Dialogue to assess the progress made in the fight against drought, desertification and land degradation (DLDD) and map the way forward in the light of the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, which is coming to an end in 2020.

The dialogue seeks to maintain momentum on addressing DLDD-related challenges, with a view to accelerating SDG implementation, ecosystem restoration, climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience, using land restoration as key entry point. It will also encourage stronger and more effective partnerships and commitments. 

date: 9 June 2020 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US www: https://www.un.org/pga/74/wp-content/uploads/sites/99/2020/0...

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...

World Day to Combat Desertification 2020

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.

date: 17 June 2020 location: worldwide www: https://www.un.org/en/events/desertificationday/

September 2020

Nature Summit

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 2020, “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.

date: 20 September 2020 [tentative] venue: UN Headquarters location: New York City, US www: https://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2019/ntf-2019-026-meet...
https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/73...

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/

International Mountain Day 2020

The increasing attention to the importance of mountains led the UN General Assembly to declare 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains. On this occasion, the UN General Assembly 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