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WED in Geneva

On 4 June, the public were invited to take part in a bike event showing the direct benefits of adopting a sustainable lifestyle and how this lifestyle could make a difference to the sea-level rise affecting so many countries.

Along the lakeside, at the Bains des Pâquis, three stationary bicycles were connected to an interactive display. The ambassadors of Barbados, the Maldives, New Zealand and Singapore volunteered to take part in this educational and fun event. As the ambassadors, UN high officials, Swiss authorities and civil society representatives pedalled, large screens displayed the corresponding decrease in sea levels. Watch Geneva VIPs cycling like crazy for the islands:

On 5 June, events took place at the International Environment House. The Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction held a seminar entitled “From Natural Disasters to Natural Defences—Seeing Nature as a Part of the Solution”. The seminar examined whether nature should be promoted as a solution to reducing disaster risks. It also addressed the extent to which policy-makers could be willing to embrace natural defences as solutions.

Every year, a roundtable organized by the Geneva Environment Network for World Environment Day gathers stakeholders working on international environmental issues. This year’s roundtable focused on Small Island Developing States, climate change and disaster reduction. Since Geneva’s a hub within the UN system for risk reduction and resilience issues, the panel comprised high-level speakers from the UN, as well as government representatives. It included UNEP Regional Director Jan Dusik, Barbados Ambassador Marion Williams, UNISDR Director Elizabeth Longworth and Swiss Federal Office for the Environment Deputy Director Josef Hess. The roundtable was followed by a reception hosted by the Swiss and Geneva authorities.

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