2022 will be a significant year for creating global frameworks for protecting the environment. While 2021 was considered all the more crucial for biodiversity after the pandemic froze many global discussions, 2022 now holds the cumulative need for high-level negotiations driven by the renewed political will to adequately tackle numerous environmental issues.

It also brings the world closer to key deadlines for human and planetary wellbeing.

Several negotiation processes have been put into place for delegates to conclude their talks and adopt new binding commitments.

The more we look at 2022, the more it emphasizes the importance of global governance decision-making. Multiple COPs (Conference of Parties) are planned for 2022. and while the biodiversity and climate COPs are likely to receive the most media attention, decisions to be taken by UNCCD, CITES, Ramsar, and the chemicals and wastes and mercury conventions will all have implications for the success of multilateral environmental efforts.

In addition, UNEA will consider the governance of marine plastics and a new science-policy interface on chemicals, among other agenda items.

A new marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) treaty nears the final stage of negotiations. If adopted, governance arrangements for the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ will be subject to this new global framework.

The UN Ocean Conference is seeking a holistic focus on oceans. And preparations for the first meeting on water policy at the summit level in over 40 years–which will take place in March 2023.