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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

January 2015

Arab Water Week 2015

Arab Water Week 2015 will convene under the theme 'innovations and sustainable solutions for the water sector in the Arab region'. The meeting will address a variety of sub-themes, including, inter alia: the energy efficiency dilemma in water and wastewater utilities; social responsibility and water for marginalized people; water utilities adaptation to climate change, current status and future perspectives; integrated water resources management (IWRM) and good water governance in the Arab region; the Millennium Development Goal (MDG)+ initiative towards sustainable water resources management within the sustainable development goals (SDGs); benchmarking as a tool for optimizing water and wastewater operations; and water public action and awareness in a fast, changing world.  

dates: 11-15 January 2015   location: Dead Sea {greater region}, Jordan   contact: Mustafa Nasereddin   phone: +962 6 516 1700   fax: +962 6 516 1800   e-mail: Mustafa_Nasereddin@acwua.org   www: http://www.acwua.org/events/aww2015

2015 Zaragoza Conference

The UN-Water International Zaragoza Conference in January 2015 will consider the theme "Water and Sustainable Development" and will focus on how to bring the post-2015 international agenda on water and sanitation into action. More than 300 participants from UN agencies and programmes, experts, representatives of the business community, governmental and non-governmental organizations will participate in the 15-17 January 2015 event in Zaragoza, Spain, to draw conclusions based on existing practice and the exchange of views between governments and stakeholders. This event will take place during the final year of the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life,' and participants will contribute to efforts to take stock of and learn from achievements as well as planning the next steps. This invitation-only event also will help UN-Water to prepare for World Water Day, which will focus on “water and sustainable development” in 2015.  

dates: 15-17 January 2015   location: Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain   contact: UN-Water   phone: +34 976 72 42 00   fax: +34 976 72 42 00 42 33   e-mail: water-decade@un.org   www: http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/waterandsustainabledeve...  

International Water Summit 2015

This event is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar. The International Water Summit will bring participants together to address a variety of themes including: water governance and policy; water conservation and future water sustainability; Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) strategic water sector forecasting and project investment; energy efficient and clean technology desalination; integrated water resources management (IWRM); and the nexus of water and energy in food.  

dates: 19-22 January 2015   location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates   contact: Sarah Williams   phone: +971 4 456 0059   e-mail: Sarah.phillips@theevent-hub.com   www: http://iwsabudhabi.com/  

Ninth Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to Study Issues Relating to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine BBNJ

This meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ) is the third of three meetings (April 2014, June 2014 and January 2015) that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) requested be convened. The meetings aim to make recommendations to the UNGA on the scope, parameters and feasibility of an international instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). These three meetings are expected to result in a summary of discussions that will be submitted to the President of the UNGA, and are anticipated to contribute to a decision to be taken at the 69th Session of the UNGA on the development of a new international instrument under UNCLOS.  

dates: 20-23 January 2015   venue: UN Headquarters   location: New York City, US   contact: Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs   e-mail: doalos@un.org   www: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodive...  

48th Meeting of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Standing Committee

The 48th meeting of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Standing Committee will take place from 26-30 January.  

dates: 26-30 January 2015   location: Gland, Vaud, Switzerland   contact: Ramsar Secretariat   phone: +41 22 999 0170   fax: +41 22 999 0169   e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org   www: http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-news-meetings/main/ramsa...  

Global Conference on Inland Fisheries, Freshwater, Fish and the Future

This global conference will focus on ‘Freshwater Fish and the Future: Cross-Sectoral Approaches to Sustain Livelihoods, Food Security and Aquatic Resources'. The conference aims to raise the profile of inland fisheries to better reflect their role in blue growth and their incorporation in agricultural, industrial, recreational and urban land use and water resource planning. The conference will address four themes: biological assessment; economic and social assessment; drivers and synergies; and policy and governance. The meeting is expected to result in recommendations for inland fisheries policy statements.  

dates: 26-28 January 2015   venue: FAO headquarters   location: Rome, Lazio, Italy   contact: Devin Bartley, FAO   e-mail: devin.bartley@fao.org   www: http://inlandfisheries.org/

February 2015

Workshop on Linking Global and Regional Levels in the Management of Marine ABNJ

This workshop aims to foster a dialogue on enhancing ecosystem approaches to the management of areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) through global, regional and national processes. The workshop is expected to result in a synthesis on the current state of knowledge on global and regional processes that can be used to improve sustainable use of fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation in ABNJ, and address areas of uncertainty as a result of a weak knowledge base on fisheries and biodiversity. Participants will assess knowledge; global, regional and national efforts; and available capacity on fisheries and biodiversity conservation in ABNJ, with the aim of identifying gaps and capacity needs. The workshop will also share lessons learned and emerging trends in development, management and research on ABNJ from around the world and establish cross-sectoral linkages for improved information sharing on ABNJ. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Global Ocean Forum are organizing the workshop, in collaboration with other partners.  

dates: 17-20 February 2015   venue: FAO Headquarters   location: Rome, Lazio, Italy   contact: Miriam Balgos or Marco Boccia   e-mail: miriambalgos@globaloceans.org or Marco.Boccia@fao.org   www: http://www.fao.org/fishery/nems/40670/en

Intergovernmental Negotiations on Post-2015 Development Agenda - Second Session

The intergovernmental negotiations on post-2015 development agenda will take place over several sessions starting in January 2015. The second session, per the 3 December 2014 proposal of the co-facilitators, would take place on 17-20 February 2015.  

dates: 17-20 February 2015 [tentative]   venue: UN Headquarters   location: New York City, US   contact: Office of UNGA President   e-mail: dowlatshahi@un.org   www: http://sd.iisd.org/news/member-states-debate-working-methods...  

Sustainable Ocean Initiative Capacity-Building Workshop for South America

The Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Capacity-Building Workshop will focus on sharing and learning from regional experiences on integrated marine and coastal area management, with the aim of holistically achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets 6 and 11. Participants will also discuss scientific and technical tools to support the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, including the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs). The SOI is a global platform to enhance capacity and build partnerships to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets related to marine and coastal biodiversity. The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Ministry of Environment of Peru and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) are convening the meeting. The Japan Biodiversity Fund and the French Marine Protected Areas Agency fund the SOI.  

dates: 23-27 February 2015   location: Lima, Peru   contact: CBD Secretariat   phone: +1 514 288 2220   fax: +1 514 288 6588   e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int   www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2014/ntf-2014-122-soi-e...  

March 2015

CBD Regional Workshop to Facilitate the Description of EBSAs in the North-East Indian Ocean Region

This Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) workshop is part of a series of regional workshops the Secretariat is organizing to facilitate the description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) through the application of the scientific criteria in decision IX/20, annex I as well as scientific guidance on the identification of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). The workshop will bring together scientific and technical experts to analyze biological and ecological data and information on marine ecosystems, habitats and species, and geological, physical or oceanographic data. Participants are expected to produce a regional workshop report on areas meeting EBSA criteria for consideration by the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). A Training Session on EBSAs will precede the workshop on 22 March 2015.  

dates: 23-27 March 2015   location: Colombo, Sri Lanka   contact: CBD Secretariat   phone: +1 514 288 2220   fax: +1 514 288 6588   e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int   www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2014/ntf-2014-128-ebsa-...

Intergovernmental Negotiations on Post-2015 Development Agenda - Third Session

The intergovernmental negotiations on post-2015 development agenda will take place over several sessions starting in January 2015. The third session, per the 3 December 2014 proposal of the co-facilitators, would take place on 23-27 March 2015.  

dates: 23-27 March 2015 [tentative]   venue: UN Headquarters   location: New York City, US   contact: Office of UNGA President   e-mail: dowlatshahi@un.org   www: http://sd.iisd.org/news/member-states-debate-working-methods...  

Tenure and Fishing Rights 2015 (User Rights)

This global conference on tenure and fishing rights will focus on rights-based approaches for fisheries. It aims to share experiences and information on the application of rights-based approaches to responsible fisheries and social development, particularly in areas where tenure governance is weak. Participants will discuss concepts of tenure and users rights to support fisheries stakeholders and policymakers in designing and implementing arrangements for efficient, equitable and sustainable resource utilization and development. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is hosting the conference with the Government of Cambodia's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.  

dates: 23-27 March 2015   location: Siem Reap, Cambodia   contact: Rebecca Metzner, Chief FIPI, FAO   e-mail: Rebecca.Metzner@FAO.org   www: http://www.fao.org/fishery/nems/40684/en  

Dresden Nexus Conference 2015

The Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC) 2015 will convene under the theme 'Global Change, Sustainable Development Goals and the Nexus Approach,' and include participants from UN organizations, UN University (UNU) institutes, governments, international organizations, as well as individual researchers and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Focusing on the contributions of a nexus approach to the management of water, soil and waste, the DNC 2015 will address the following issues: maintaining and enhancing environmental resources under global change; facilitating efficient and sustainable use of limited natural resources; engaging international development partners in the promotion of the nexus approach; and facilitating a transition to a green economy, especially with regard to agriculture. The DNC 2015 is organized by the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) as a follow-up to its workshop 'Advancing a Nexus Approach to the Sustainable Management of Water, Soil and Waste,' held from 11-12 November 2013 in Dresden, Germany.  

dates: 25-27 March 2015   venue: Hörsaalzentrum, Technische Universität Dresden, Bergstraße 64   location: Dresden, Sachsen, Germany   contact: UNU-FLORES   phone: +49-351-892-193-70   e-mail: DNC2015@unu.edu   www: http://www.dresden-nexus-conference.org/home.html  

April 2015

3rd Global Soil Week

The 3rd Global Soil Week will provide a platform for discussions on issues related to soils and land, and facilitate the emergence of new initiatives and strengthen existing ones. The Week will be composed of workshops on topics that have emerged since the 1st Global Soil Week: carbon land management; soils and water; land rehabilitation; cities; land governance; economics of land and land degradation; land degradation neutral world (LDNW); soil and biomass for non-food purposes; and soils and food security. In addition, the agenda will include dialogues organized by various stakeholders, and lunch break dialogues with presentations on activities, ideas, research and experiences relating to soils and land. The event is hosted by the Global Soil Forum at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), in partnership with several UN agencies, intergovernmental and international organizations and German government agencies.  

dates: 19-23 April 2015   location: Berlin, Germany   contact: IASS Potsdam   phone: +49-331-28822-374   e-mail: globalsoilweek@iass-potsdam.de   www: http://globalsoilweek.org/  

CBD Regional Workshop on EBSAs in the North-West Indian Ocean and Adjacent Gulf Areas, and Training Session on EBSAs

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is convening this Regional Workshop to 'Facilitate the Description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs) in the North-West Indian Ocean and Adjacent Gulf Areas'. The workshop will be hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Water of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is being convened in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office West Asia (ROWA) and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Office – Abu Dhabi, among others.  

dates: 19-25 April 2015   location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates   contact: CBD Secretariat   e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int   www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2014/ntf-2014-129-ebsa-...  

2015 Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting

This Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting will bring together ministers of the Arctic States and high-level representatives of the indigenous Permanent Participant organizations to set the Council's objectives for the next two years. The 2015 Ministerial Meeting will mark the conclusion of Canada's and the beginning of the United States' chairmanship, which will last from 2015-2017. The April 2015 meeting will be preceded by an event in Ottawa, Canada, on 23 April 2015 to showcase the Council's accomplishments during Canada's chairmanship.  

dates: 24-25 April 2015   location: Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada   contact: Arctic Council Secretariat   phone: +47-77-75-01-40   e-mail: acs@arctic-council.org   www: http://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/resources/news-an...  

May 2015

World Hydropower Congress 2015

Hosted by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), the 2015 World Hydropower Congress will take place in Beijing, China. The congress will focus on discussing and debating strategies for the hydropower sector over the next 35 years, and examining how sustainably developed hydropower can address climate change, and energy and water security. The congress is expected to attract 1,000 participants, including representatives of key organizations around the world involved in hydropower operation and development, as well as specialists from other areas, including politics, finance, the environment and technology.  

dates: 19-21 May 2015   location: Beijing, China   contact: IHA Central Office   phone: +44-20-8652-5290   fax: +44-20-8643-5600   www: http://www.hydropower.org/congress  

IWRA XVth World Water Congress

The IWRA XVth World Water Congress will take place from 25-29 May 2015, in Scotland. The XVth World Water Congress will provide a platform for open discussions and debates among scientists, practitioners and policy makers from developed and developing countries and from different disciplines and sectors. In collaboration with Scotland ?s Water, the IWRA Congress will promote in-depth discussions on the complexity of water policies, management, development and governance practices at the local, national, regional and global levels in a rapidly changing world as the fast evolving global landscape is driving decisions in the sectors ? policies, performance and prospects. Twitter: @WaterCongressXV .  

dates: 25-29 May 2015   location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK   contact: IWRA Secretariat   fax: +33 (0)4 67522829   e-mail: office@iwra.org   www: http://worldwatercongress.com/  

Second Blue Planet Symposium

This Symposium will aim to “bring ocean observations to users”. It will coordinate ocean-related tasks within the Group on Earth Observations (GEO); discuss implementation of ocean observation systems; and raise awareness of the societal benefits of ocean observations to the broader community, particularly donors and policymakers. The symposium will be organized according to the Blue Planet Components: Sustained Ocean Observations; Sustained Ecosystems and Food Security; Ocean Forecasting and Services; Services for the Coastal Zone; Ocean Climate and Carbon; and Developing Capacity and Social Awareness. It will include a particular focus on observations in the Asia-Pacific region, linking observations to societal benefits, such as for small island developing States (SIDS) and coastal environments and the blue economy. GEO coordinates Blue Planet's work and is composed of 90 member nations, the European Commission (EC) and over 70 participating organizations.  

dates: 27-29 May 2015   venue: Hilton Cairns Hotel, 34 Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland   location: Cairns, Queensland, Australia   e-mail: info@blueplanetsymposium.com   www: http://www.blueplanetsymposium.com/  

June 2015

Ramsar COP 12

The 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP 12) will take place in June 2015, in Punta del Este, Uruguay.  

dates: 1-9 June 2015   venue: Conrad Resort and Casino   location: Punta del Este, Maldonado, Uruguay   contact: Ramsar Secretariat   phone: +41-22-999-0170   fax: +41-22-999-0169   e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org   www: http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-documents-cops-cop12/mai...  

48th Meeting of the GEF Council

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council meets twice per year to approve new projects with global environmental benefits in the GEF's focal areas, and to provide guidance to the GEF Secretariat and Agencies.  

dates: 2-4 June 2015   location: Washington D.C., US   contact: Secretariat   www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/node/10108  

Desertland II

Desertland, the Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation, will bring together academics, civil society, governments, scientists and other stakeholders to discuss challenges related to desertification and land degradation and develop appropriate solutions. The conference will consider management strategies for areas affected by drought and land degradation. Participants will focus on seven topics: land management and land degradation; water harvesting and water saving techniques in drylands; acidity and drought; soil hydrology; sediment transport and overland flow; GIS applications in wetlands and drylands; and soil and water management. Day one will address ‘Water Security: Responses to local, regional and global challenges.' The second day, which takes place on the World Day to Combat Desertification, will focus on the theme ‘Preventing and Combatting Land Degradation in Drylands'. The University of Ghent and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are organizing the conference.  

dates: 16-17 June 2015   venue: NH Hotel Gent Belfort, Hoogpoort 63. 9000 Ghent   location: Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium   contact: University of Ghent   e-mail: info@desertland.eu   www: http://www.desertland.eu/index.asp  

October 2015

49th Meeting of the GEF Council

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council meets twice per year to approve new projects with global environmental benefits in the GEF's focal areas. The Council also provides guidance to the GEF Secretariat and Agencies.  

dates: 20-22 October 2015   location: Washington D.C., US   contact: GEF Secretariat   phone: (202) 473-0508   fax: (202) 522-3240/3245   e-mail: secretariat@thegef.org   www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/calendar-date

November 2015

Asian Irrigation Forum 2

This event, organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) 'Water For All' program, aims to improve the productivity and efficiency of irrigation and drainage services to farmers in Asia, following up on the first Asian Irrigation Forum held in 2012. The ADB's Water Financing Program has invested in several hundred irrigation projects in the region.  

dates: 16-20 November 2015   venue: Asian Development Bank, 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines   location: Manila, Philippines   contact: ADB Water for All Program   phone: +63 2 632 4444   fax: +63 2 636 2444   www: http://www.adb.org/news/events/asian-irrigation-forum-2