External event | 26 Feb, 2024


From 26 February to 1 March, IUCN participated in the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly, which took place at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi. 

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Photo: Murad Swaleh on Unsplash

The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meets every two years to set the global environmental agenda, take stock of progress, and provide guidance for future priorities.  This year’s session was convened under the theme "effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution". The outcomes of the meeting were a ministerial declaration, a set of resolutions on different environmental matters, resulting from discussions on how multilateralism can help tackle the triple planetary crisis.

IUCN has participated in UNEA meetings since its first session in 2012 and in the UNEP Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum before that. Led by the Director General, IUCN’s delegation participated in all segments of the event, as well as in a number of side-events organised at the margins of the conference. A particular focus for IUCN were issues related to Nature-based Solutions, circular economy, and transboundary ecosystem restoration.  

Read: IUCN Director General's address to Sixth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly

2024 will be a pivotal year for nature. Not only all Rio Convention COPs will take place this year, but also many other key international events, such as the Summit for the Future. IUCN actively engaged at UNEA6 with governments, other international organisations, and civil society to further enhance collaboration mechanisms and to put nature at the heart of our vision for the future.


Side events

IUCN took part in several dialogues to underscore the importance of environmental multilateralism, as well as in four official side events:

Monday, 26 February | 18:30 - 19:45 EAT | Conference Room 01
UN Plastics Treaty: Reuse – a Climate and Plastic Solution

The side event focused on the consideration of plastic packaging reuse in the context of the ongoing negotiations for a legally binding instrument. The side event also discussed possible financial mechanisms and will make recommendations for the consideration of INC4 and INC5. More information


Tuesday, 27 February | 13:30 - 14:45 EAT | Conference Room 11
Transboundary Ecosystem Restoration: Key to Addressing the Planetary Crises

The event provided participants with a better understanding of missions, work and practices of both the Water Convention and the Ramsar Convention, their compatibility and cooperation. It displayed how transboundary ecosystem restoration supports sustainable development, livelihoods, tackling the triple planetary crisis. More information


Friday, 1 March | 13:30 - 14:45 EAT | Online
Pathways for the consistent and high integrity application of Nature-based Solutions - the role of the IUCN Global Standard for NbS

This side event, included in the wider NbS Hub engagement strategy for UNEA6, presented an opportunity to engage parties and non-party delegates, provide more foundational clarity about NbS integrity and how the IUCN Global standard can support the scaling up of quality NbS. More information


Tuesday, 27 February | 13:30 - 14:45 EAT | Online
Ensuring that the energy transition contributes to a nature and people positive planet

The side event looked at opportunities and challenges associated with ensuring that the much-needed rapid transition to renewable energy also contributes to a just transition and aligns with national and global conservation, and restoration strategies. More information