About the Forum

Preliminary agenda for the High-level International Environment Conference in Tallinn, 5 September 2018

On 5th of September, the Estonian Government will hold a High-level International Environment Conference “The Earth Innovation Forum” on global environmental trends and challenges with the view towards how innovative solutions could provide an answer in moving towards sustainable societies.

The event will be hosted by the Estonian Minister of the Environment, H.E Mr. Siim Kiisler, in his capacity as the President of the Fourth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 11-15 March 2019. The main aim of the Conference is to provide a platform for discussions that feed into preparations towards UNEA-4, which will have as its overarching theme “Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production”.

The theme of UNEA-4 provides a broad framework for the conference to enable a discussion on identifying solutions to important aspects in people’s everyday life from an environmental and sustainability dimension. It also serves to accelerate progress on the global environmental policy agenda and reinforce the trends towards reducing pollution and promoting sustainable lifestyles. Under this aim, the conference will seek to identify strategic innovative solutions for environmental challenges that could have far-reaching positive impacts if implemented at national, regional or global levels.

To determine the most urgent environmental challenges, we will benefit from UNEP’s flagship environmental assessment report, the Global Environment Outlook, GEO-6, which will be presented for UNEA-4. The GEO-6 report will inform us on the state, trends and outlooks of the global environment, including emerging issues and key challenges. An early version of the report will be available for consultations already in June and it will enable us to frame the conference for participants, speakers and panellists to focus their inputs on innovative solutions to solve the most urgent environmental challenges identified by the report.

In the preparing for UNEA-4, the President has outlined a number of key priorities, summarized through “3 Ps” – partnerships, policy integration, and people. Partnerships are needed to take action on a global and local scale. To develop these partnerships, we need an inclusive multi-sectoral approach and bring together academia, private sector, civil society, inter-governmental organizations and governments. Policy integration is needed to ensure the environmental dimension in implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthen the visibility of the international environmental policy agenda. And lastly, it is all about the people. We need to engage with the people to collectively achieve a more sustainable urban environment through lifestyle changes and awareness-raising, take up citizen science and drive local innovation.

With these priorities in mind, the conference will focus on four thematic areas:
  • Governance, partnerships and emerging global issues;
  • Data and technology innovation;
  • The green economy and new business models innovations;
  • Sustainable life styles and urban environment innovation.

    The conference will provide a solid platform for the private sector, academia, think tanks, civil society and high-level policy makers to introduce and discuss innovative approaches that can be scaled up through effective partnerships.

    The conference will host representatives of governments, civil society, the private sector other stakeholders to present innovative ideas and approaches and consider forming effective partnerships with a view to contribute to the preparations UNEA-4. It will host 250 guests from all over the world.

    The conference will be held in Tallinn, Estonia, at the Kultuurikatel, Põhja pst 27a, https://kultuurikatel.ee/en/contact/ .
    The Forum is supported by Environmental Investment Centre.

    Background of UNEP and UNEA

    The United Nations Environment Assembly which meets every two years, is the highest-level meeting of the ministers of the environment at the level of United Nations. The meeting provides a forum for environment ministers, to set priorities for the global environmental agenda and take decisions on how to address environmental problems. The Assembly also guides and gives direction to the governance of the UN Environment Programme, which was created in 1972 as the secretariat for global environmental issues within the United Nations (UN) system.

    The High-level International Environment Conference will be held back to back with the a Preparatory Retreat of the bureaux of the Environment Assembly and of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives to the Environment Programme on 6th and 7th of September. The retreat represent an important second milestone meeting to discuss key elements in preparations for UNEA-4 to be held in Nairobi 11-15 March 2019.

    UNEA-4 President will in July 2018 at the High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development make a global call to share innovative solutions with a potential for a far-reaching positive global impact if implemented globally. Potential partnerships could be developed around these solutions and endorsed during UNEA-4 as part of the outcome.

    UNEA 2018 Organisers