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International Environmental Governance Workshop

International Environmental Governance continues to capture governments’ attention especially in light of discussions for a possible Global Pact for the Environment.The Center for Governance and Sustainability has been working on these issues for years and is actively engaging in the debates.

On November 29-30, 2018, the Center organized an expert workshop on international environmental governance and a Global Pact for the Environment at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in New York. The Nordic Council of Ministers and the Ministry of the Environment of Finland supported the event, which brought together 25 professionals from governments, academia, international organizations and civil society.

Ambassador Kai Sauer opened the workshop and confirmed Finland’s commitment to a rule-based international system and functioning international environmental governance. Over the two days, the discussions were lively and productive and will inform a report on the topic that the Center will produce in the run up to the UN Environment Assembly to be held in March in Nairobi. Participants discussed progress on reform and remaining challenges as well as gaps in the international environmental law and potential ways to address them. The diversity of the group and the engagement of academia and policy-makers created a science-policy interface in action. David Cash, Dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, and Maria Ivanova, professor of global governance at UMass Boston and director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability, moderated the discussions.

To further explore the topic of environmental governance and gaps in international environmental law, follow the UN side event on a Global Pact for the Environment on 10 December 2018 at 1.15-2.30 pm EDT that will be available on UN Web TV. Following the release of the UN Secretary General’s first report on gaps in international environmental law (A/73/419), experts will discuss the content of the document and possible ways forward. On December 11, 2018, the International Chamber of Commerce will convene a high-level roundtable with governments and experts in Paris to discuss the business perspective on a Global Pact.

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