1. Seventeenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) and the 7th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 7) took place from 28 November to 9 December 2011 in Durban, South Africa. After two weeks of difficult negotiations, the longest UN climate summit in history ended with the international community agreeing take up negotiations on a legally binding climate agreement that includes all states the following year. On this basis the Conference of the Parties (COP) was able to agree on a second commitment period under Kyoto Protocol to follow on from the first commitment period which expires at the end of 2012.

  2. Jointly organised by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, and with support from Finland and Austria, the conference “Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy”, took place from 4–7 October 2011, in Bonn. The conference is a country-led initiative (CLI) in support of the work of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and is one of Germany’s activities to celebrate the “International Year of Forests”. The conference was organized in close collaboration with the UNFF Secretariat and FAO.

  3. On the invitation of Federal Environment Ministery of Germany and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), ministers and high-level representatives of industry and civil society attended the conference "Bonn Challenge on forests, climate change and biodiversity" on 1-2 September 2011, to discuss the global restoration of forests. The conference set itself the goal of restoring 150 million hectares of lost and degraded forests by 2020 with globally concerted action. For the first time, the Bonn Challenge links the decisions on forests made under the Framework Convention on Climate Change with those of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which adopted the goal of restoring 15 percent of destroyed or degraded ecosystems by 2020.

  4. From 2 to 4 July 2011 the Petersberg Climate Dialogue II took place in Berlin. Ministers and high-ranking representatives from 35 countries met for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue II "Rising to the Climate Challenge" at the invitation of Germany and South Africa. The first Petersberg Climate Dialogue I "Building Momentum for Mexico" took place from 2 to 4 May 2010 on the Petersberg near Bonn. The aim of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue was to comprehensively support and advance the international climate negotiations following the disappointing summit in Copenhagen and bridge the gap between "implementation and negotiation".

  5. The 23rd session of the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's Programme "Man and the Biosphere" took place in the city of Dresden from 28 June to 1 July 2011. 40 years ago, in 1971, the ICC assembled for its first session. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the MAB programme, Germany’s environment minister invited the ICC to Germany. It is the first time that the ICC session took place in Germany. The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) has added 18 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), which now numbers 580 sites in 14 countries.

  6. At an international conference in Kyiv on 19 April 2011, the world community pledged 550 million euros extra cash for the containment of the Chernobyl site. There is still a shortfall of 740 million euros in the funds needed for the two major projects in Chernobyl: a second New Safe Confinement (NSC) around the sarcophagus and the construction of an interim storage facility for spent fuel elements. The aim of the pledging conference was to close this gap as much as possible.