Science, Assessment & Monitoring

Event: Seventh International Conference of the African Soil Science Society (ASSS) [viewed]

Addressing the theme ‘Critical soil solutions for sustainable development in Africa,' this conference was initially organized under the auspices of the International Year of Soils (IYS) 2015, but postponed due to the security situation in Burkina Faso. Organizing partners include the Burkina Faso Ministry of Rural Development and several national soil science and research institutes; the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO); the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS); the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and ISRIC - World Soil Information. Conference sub-themes include: soil productivity in tropical agrosystems; land ownership and sustainable land management; soil and climate change; and education and capacity building in soil science in Africa. The conference will comprise a three-day scientific meeting gathering soil scientists, land planners and users and related specialists, followed by a post-conference tour focusing on issues such as food insecurity, climate change, land degradation, land and water knowledge management and renewable energies. In addition, IITA and other partners will convene a special sub-regional program on the theme: ‘Soil fertility management recommendations for sustainable agricultural intensification in West and Central Africa.' The aim of the special program is to enable a wide range of stakeholders to use real-time information towards development outcomes in policy-making and technologies for land management, thus contributing to increased food production and improved natural resource management.  

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Event: Third Meeting of the CFS OEWG on Nutrition [viewed]

Established under the auspices of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), this Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on Nutrition will consider CFS' role in advancing nutrition. It is expected to discuss proposals for a CFS workstream on nutrition, and will convene three times in 2016, with meetings scheduled 14 January, 24 February and 29 April. The OEWG will report to CFS 43 in October 2016 and CFS 44 in October 2017.  

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Event: Second Meeting of the CFS OEWG on Nutrition [viewed]

Established under the auspices of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), this Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on Nutrition will consider CFS' role in advancing nutrition. It is expected to discuss proposals for a CFS workstream on nutrition and will convene three times in 2016, with meetings scheduled 14 January, 24 February and 29 April. The OEWG will report to CFS 43 in October 2016 and CFS 44 in October 2017.  

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Event: CFS OEWG on Nutrition [viewed]

Established under the auspices of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), this Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on Nutrition will consider CFS' role in advancing nutrition. It is expected to discuss proposals for a CFS workstream on nutrition and will convene three times in 2016, with meetings scheduled 14 January, 24 February and 29 April. The OEWG will report to CFS 43 in October 2016 and CFS 44 in October 2017.  

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Event: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016 [viewed]

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is an Abu Dhabi government initiative to address the interconnected challenges affecting energy, water and sustainable development. The largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East, ADSW encourages outcomes that pave the way toward sustainability, and provides the opportunity for dialogue and cooperation through policy dialogues, conferences, exhibitions and other events. ADSW 2016 is comprised of: an opening ceremony; the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), including a solar expo and sustainable transport zone; the International Water Summit; the EcoWaste exhibition; and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly. It also will also include the following events: Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy; IRENA Financial Times Debate; Egypt Energy Forum; Abu Dhabi Global Action Day; and the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the United Arab Emirate's international awards for energy and sustainability pioneers.

Speakers during the opening event include: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and nine heads of states, including those from the Seychelles, Palau, Kosovo, Serbia, Nigeria and Morocco.

ADSW is being hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, and is expected to attract more than 33,000, with over 80 heads and ministers of state, and other participants from more than 170 countries.  

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Event: ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016: Biodiversity for Sustainable Development [viewed]

The ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016 will focus on the theme, ‘Biodiversity for Sustainable Development'. The conference will discuss the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) progress on implementing their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, including identification of areas where additional efforts are needed to achieve the Aichi Targets. Over 500 participants are expected to share their experiences in meeting the targets and showcase innovative policies and practices. The meeting will also discuss: access and benefit sharing (ABS); climate change and biodiversity; health and biodiversity; and financing for biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region, including through the ASEAN Biodiversity Fund. It will include a soft launch of the Second Edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook, which will provide a mid-term report on the progress of ASEAN member States on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The conference will also include a ‘Business and Biodiversity Forum' with representatives from the private sector discussing the link between business and biodiversity.  

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UNEP Releases Guide on Environmental Assessment Frameworks [viewed]

UNEPDecember 2015: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a guide for policy makers for selecting and implementing appropriate environmental assessment frameworks. The brochure, titled 'An Introduction to Environmental Assessment,' gives an overview of available frameworks, including those most commonly used by UNEP, provides guidance on selecting appropriate frameworks, introduces common terms and concepts and provides illustrative examples.

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Event: Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Risk Assessment and Risk Management [viewed]

Organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Risk Assessment and Risk Management will review comments submitted by Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on the Guidance on Risk Assessment and Management and prepare text-based suggestions for changes to the Guidance. Participants will also update background documentation for the Guidance.  

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CITES SC66 Opens, Focuses on Illegal Wildlife Trade [viewed]

cites11 January 2016: The sixty-sixth meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES SC66) has opened in Geneva, Switzerland. Chair Øystein Størkersen, Norway, emphasized the busy agenda and highlighted some of CITES' successes as well as key international developments: stronger alliances with other organizations; UN General Assembly resolution 69/314 on tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife; and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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GSP Newsletter Recounts Soil Achievements in 2015 [viewed]

fao_gsp_iys4 January 2016: The eighth edition of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Global Soil Partnership (GSP) newsletter reviews major developments on the international soil agenda in 2015, including the adoption of land- and soil-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets, and the conclusion of the International Year of Soils (IYS) 2015, which was marked by more than 600 events around the world. The newsletter highlights several new initiatives to keep soils on the global agenda in 2016, including the proposed establishment of a World Soil Prize to be announced on 5 December, which is World Soil Day.

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