Source: Small Island Developing States
As is usually the case towards the end of the year, November’s agenda is packed with regular annual sessions of UN agencies, multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) bodies, various high-level meetings and assorted multistakeholder gatherings.
A key event during this busy period in November 2018 is the biennial UN Biodiversity Conference, which is taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Parties are expected to review progress in the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Targets, most of which must be achieved by 2020. They will also address long-term strategic directions to the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, “approaches to living in harmony with nature” and preparation for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Contentious issues under discussion include digital sequence information on genetic resources and synthetic biology. This is also Cristiana Pasca Palmer’s first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) as Executive Secretary.
Additional SDG 15-related topics on the November agenda include forests issues, with the 54th session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-54), IUFRO’s Joint Conference on Forests and Water and the 76th session of the Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (COFFI) meeting in early November, followed by the World Forum on Urban Forests convening at the end of the month.
World Toilet Day, which is annually celebrated on 19 November, will pick up on SDG 15-related themes with its focus on ‘When nature calls’.
With preparations for the December Katowice Climate Change Conference well underway, the 2018 Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Virtual Climate Summit will be held on 22 November entirely online, eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promoting dialogue. The Summit will highlight new national efforts, share perspectives on climate risks and opportunities to be gained by putting the world on a safer 1.5oC pathway in terms of health, jobs and other benefits, and help ensure that the necessary resources and finance are delivered to make this possible.
The 30th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol convened at the beginning of the month. The meeting addressed issues related to, inter alia: the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons; the unexpected increase in trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) emissions; and linkages between hydrochlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons in transitioning to low global warming potential (GWP) alternatives.
The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP2) to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, convening from 19-23 November, will consider issues related to, among others, mercury releases, mercury waste, environmentally sound interim storage of mercury other than waste mercury and guidance on the management of contaminated sites, as well as unresolved issues relating to the rules of procedures.
The month will culminate in the 2018 meeting of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ten years after the first G20 Leaders’ Summit convened in Washington, DC, US. The Summit’s theme is ‘Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development,’ and the three key issues on the agenda are the future of work, infrastructure for development and a sustainable food future.