About side events

COP21 / SIDE EVENTS / About side events


Side events are scheduled from 2nd to 5th of December in two/max three sessions (breakfast, lunch and evening) per day. Side events will not run in parallel to give all delegated the opportunity to attend them.

The Secretariat has considered in the selection a balanced gender and geographical representation among the lead speakers / contributors to the event.

No interpretation service will be provided for any side event. Side event organizers are responsible for arranging their own interpreters in case it is needed.

Side event organizers are encouraged to limit the number of printed materials brought to the event to the bare minimum and disseminate all materials in electronic format. The MAP Secretariat will consider the sustainability of each side event along with the following “traffic light” criteria (Green: electronic dissemination only; Orange: limited number of printed materials combined with electronic dissemination; Red: numerous leftover printed material).

Key areas

Given the high number of proposals received and the need to accommodate all requests, UNEP/MAP Secretariat has decided to design the side event timetable so to create four main thematic clusters respecting the four priority areas of COP 21 as the following:

Cluster no. 1 Marine litter

Cluster no. 2 Biodiversity and MPAs

Cluster no. 3 Blue Economy

Cluster no. 4 Climate Change

All side event proposals related to the same priority area have been included in the relative cluster. Few proposals focusing on cross-cutting themes have also been considered and included in the calendar of side events.

Registration of speakers and participants

Side events are open to all registered delegates participating at the official meetings of the COPs. Please note that all speakers and participants who wish to take part in side events must be duly registered for the COP meetings. Depending on their status, they can register in one of the following categories: Party representatives, observers (Non-Party States, UN bodies, other observer bodies and agencies, e.g. intergovernmental organizations, regional centres, non-governmental organizations), or others.

Access to the Conference venue is limited to duly registered participants – all speakers and participants have to be in possession of a conference badge in order to access side event rooms.

In agreement with the Host Country, it has been decided to extend the participation to side events to additional invitees that will get a visitor badge and will be allowed to attend only the side event for which they have been invited. Each side event organizer will have the possibility to invite up to 30 people that will have the chance to participate in the discussions during the side event and visit the exhibition area in the Castle.

Technical specifications

Side event rooms are equipped with a computer, a projector, a screen, internet access and microphones. Organizers of side events/exhibits who need to rent equipment or supplies on a commercial basis other than those provided free of charge may contact the Secretariat side event contact person mentioned below.


No catering service will be provided for side events. Side event organizers are responsible for arranging their own catering service. In line with the sustainability policy, single-use plastic in food and beverage packages is not allowed.

Catering for the side event may be provided only by the official caterer for the session. A form for ordering catering will be sent to the organizer upon confirmation of the side event

The Secretariat reminds applicants that it reserves the right to reschedule or cancel side events at any time in the interest of the negotiating process and the overall management of the meetings.