In the context of the particular focus of this
Web site, it is not exaggerated to call Geneva The world's Trade and
Environment capital. The city is undoubtedly the most important city
with regard to trade and environment discussions and negotiations. Trade
issues are decided primarily in Washington DC and in Brussels. Environmental
negotiations are more spread out, they take place primarily in Nairobi, the venue of the UN Environment's Secretariat,
at the venues of the most important multilateral environmental agreements,
and also in New York and in Geneva.
Trade and Environment discussions and negotiations, however, take place
primarily in Geneva thanks to the combined presence of the WTO, certain UN
organizations, and their respective Permanent Missions. This has attracted a number of NGOs which are specialized in
We can very much recommend a detailed and
analytical introduction and overview of the key organizations that make up
la Genève Internationale:
Partnerships for the Planet.
It has been published as a book and
online jointly by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, WBCSD,
UNEP, and IUCN under the coordination of Paul Garnier, Diplomatic Counselor
at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva.
"Stories from Geneva
– a project combining a booklet and a website – provides, in the words of
the personalities leading these efforts, the concrete stories of alliances
between organizations, partnerships between organizations and the private
sector and initiatives that contribute to give Geneva its unique position as
a crossroads for sustainable development and an interface between
environment, economy and social issues. This website also includes stories
that could not be featured at full length in the booklet and invites
institutions to post new stories of Geneva's partnerships for generating
truly shared action to promote partnerships for the planet."
International Environment House (IEH) gathers under a common roof a
range of United Nations and non-governmental organizations active in the
field of environment and sustainable development.
Geneva Green Guide, 2008 Edition
"This expanded and revised fourth edition of the Geneva Green Guide
reaffirms that the United Nations, the NGO community and the numerous
academic and local organizations based in Geneva are committed to finding
creative and action-oriented solutions to the pressing environmental and
sustainable development challenges of our time. Geneva-based organizations
remain fully engaged in the issue of climate change, a subject which has
become a top priority for the new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon."
Thanks to the fact that Geneva is the venue of the WTO on one hand and of
numerous UN bodies and other international organizations on the other hand,
civil society has developed, especially since the creation of the WTO in
1994, a number of specialized international environmental NGOs (IENGOS)
which focus on trade and environment and also on wider global sustainable
development concerns. The concentration of these resources with a global
orientation is undoubtedly unique and represents one of the most precious
assets of la Genève internationale. These IENGOS are listed in
the Geneva Green Guide and the Partnerships for
the Planet, both listed above. They are clearly among the most
important ones in the trade and environment domain, each one has its own
specific approach to these very complex issues, and all of them are highly
valuable resources for anybody who takes an interest in global ecolomic
policies, laws and wider issues.