Join us at UNEA-5: Accelerating Action towards A Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age


News facts

Cross-sectoral enabler
Communication and awareness

The digital revolution is one of the most important drivers of economic and social change. It has given rise to powerful general-purpose technologies such as artificial intelligence or cloud computing of revolutionary scale and potential. Digital technologies are globally pervasive , increase productivity, disrupt pre existing business models and lead to diverse innovations with profound implications for the human future. Digitalisation has enormous potential to support progress towards sustainability however in its current form, it continues to enable and/or encourage unsustainable practices that are degrading natural systems, entrenching inequality and  undermining human wellbeing. 

How is the UN responding?

The Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES) was founded in March 2021 to address this nexus. CODES is an international multi-stakeholder alliance created in March 2021 in response to the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The aim is to steer the use of digital technologies toward accelerating environmentally and socially sustainable development. CODES is striving to reorient and prioritize the application of digital technologies to meet the 2030 sustainable development agenda and to achieve the multiple global environmental goals that have been adopted as the outcomes of multilateral processes and years of consensus building across all UN Member States. For the last 12 months, the CODES community has been co-designing an Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age as an international framework for collective action.

CODES Side Event at UNEA 5.2

CODES is organizing an official side event at the UN Environment Assembly 5.2 on 2 March to present the Action Plan for A Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age.  The Action Plan calls for three fundamental shifts that are needed to harness digital technologies to accelerate planetary sustainability. These include:

  • Shift 1 Enable Alignment: Create the enabling conditions to align the vision, values and objectives of the digital age with sustainable development;
  • Shift 2 Mitigate Negative Impacts: A commitment to sustainable digitalisation that mitigates the negative environmental and social impacts of digital technologies;
  • Shift 3 Accelerate Innovation: Directing efforts and investments toward digital innovation that accelerates environmental and social sustainability.

Within each shift, the Action Plan identifies six strategic priorities that must be addressed during the 2022-2025 timeline.  The Side Event will include a Panel Discussion that will seek to answer two key questions:

  • How can CODES deepen the level of stakeholder engagement and buy in to the Action Plan, with a specific focus on member states and UNEA stakeholders ?
  • How can CODES catalyze specific commitments and leadership for the Impact Initiatives proposed by the Action Plan by relevant stakeholders in the leadup to Stockholm plus 50.

Organisers: German Environment Agency (UBA) on behalf of all CODES co-champions (UNDP, UNEP, ISC, Future Earth, Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Forestry, UBA)

Date: Wednesday, 2nd March 2022

Time: 18:15-19:45 (EAT time zone)

Register here for the event. 

For more information on CODES and on the Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age, click here


  • Eliane Ubalijoro, Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and the Global Hub Director in Canada for Future Earth

Éliane Ubalijoro, PhD, is the Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and the Global Hub Director in Canada for Future Earth. Her decades of experience span academia, science-policy and the non-profit and international development sectors. She is a Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development. Eliane is a member of the Impact Advisory Board of the Global

Alliance for a Sustainable Planet. She is a member of Rwanda’s National Science and Technology Council and has been a member of the Presidential Advisory Council for Rwandan President Paul Kagame since its inception in September 2007. She is a member of the Expert Consultation Group on the Post COVID-19 Implications on Collaborative Governance of Genomics Research, Innovation, and Genetic Diversity. Éliane is a member of the African Development Bank’s Expert Global Community of Practice on COVID-19 Response Strategies in Africa. She is a member of the Capitals Coalition Supervisory Board. Eliane is a member of the Advisory Board of the Earth Leadership Program. She is a member of the Advisory Boards of ShEquity and Orango Investment Corporation. Eliane is on the boards of Genome Canada and the Crop Trust.


  • Philip Thigo, Senior Advisor, Innovations and Open Government - Presidency - Kenya

Philip Thigo is a Technology, data & public policy expert. He is the Senior Director for Africa for the Thunderbird School for Global Management, a Technical Advisor at the Presidency on Data and Open Government and Senior Consultant for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa. He was recognised by Apolitical as one of the World's 100 most influential people in digital government in 2018. He is currently a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Regional Action Group for Africa. He is an Advisory Board Member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Nairobi Hub, MercyCorps Agrifin Initiative, SwahiliPotHub and the Chair of the Board of Mtoto News, an award-winning digital platform based in Kenya that uses technology to make children and their issues visible. He was recently appointed as regional ambassador for the Global Block Chain Business Council for Sub Saharan Africa. Philip was honored at the 50th Anniversary of the Academy of Achievement as Delegate.

  • Rudradeb Mitra, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Omdena

Rudradeb Mitra started his career as an AI researcher in 2002 and co-authored ten research papers during his academic life. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he entered the startup world and built several startups. He is an avid writer and wrote his first book titled “Creating Value With Artificial Intelligence: Lessons learned from 10 years with building AI products”. His current interest is on using AI for social good and that made him found Omdena – a collaborative bottom-up platform for AI development that, in 17 months since starting, engaged over 1500 collaborators from 84 countries to work on 31 social challenges. He has also been invited to speak in over 100 events and is a mentor of various organizations like Google for Startups, Seedstars.

  • Rose Mwebaza, Director at UN Climate Technology Centre and Network

Dr. Rose Mwebaza (PhD) is the Director of Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) and brings 20 years’ experience providing policy advice on a wide range of climate change, environment and sustainable development issues. She has previously served as Chief Natural Resources Officer at the African Development Bank, and held leadership positions within the UN Development Programme. Dr. Mwebaza was a Lecturer at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, for 10 years, serving as the Head of Department for Commercial Law, and Deputy Dean of the Law School. Rose holds a PhD in Environment and Natural Resource Governance from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; a Master’s Degree in International Comparative Law (With a Certificate of Academic Excellence) from the University of Florida, U.S.A and a Bachelor of Law Degree (LL.B, Hons.) from Makerere

University, Kampala, Uganda.

  • Canice James, ITU Generation Connect Americas Youth Envoy, CEO of NADIS

Passionate about software engineering, and advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals; Canice James leads teams of developers to design, build and deliver impactful solutions that empower and transform businesses and communities. He is the co-founder and CEO of NADIS, a climate action company using Remote Sensing and Satellite Imaging to monitor natural disturbances. Having worked as a lead software engineer within the Planning Department of Antigua and Barbuda's Ministry of Education, he has advised and built software to enhance the education system. He leverages this experience as he serves as the Chief Technical Officer of Project Jaguar - the Caribbean's online education platform hosting over 2000 regional courses. In 2019, he was selected to represent Antigua and Barbuda's industry of software at regional and international conferences and was one of 11 persons from the Caribbean selected to be a Talent in UNLEASH - the world's largest Innovation Lab for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is his mission to help build a thriving software industry in the Caribbean region - overflowing with talent and innovative products that compete globally.

  • Severin Sindizera, Global Coordinator, Indigenous Peoples Global Forum for Sustainable Development, IPGFforSD

He contributes to improving the living conditions of indigenous peoples by claiming respect for the rights of indigenous peoples after training organized by the United Nations OHCHR supporting a fellowship program for these discriminated people. After university in sociology, he was trained in several areas such as: project management, understanding and analysis of sustainable development issues, environmental rights, adaptation and mitigation as well as resilience climate change etc. He made several presentations in the UN Sessions in Geneva, New York and Nairobi to defend his community, indigenous peoples since 2011. From 2012, he contributed to the action program intended for the UN Secretary General for the development of the new 2030 agenda. He participated in the GPEDC meeting in Nairobi where he contributed as member of indigenous peoples at the African Forum to defend the policy of leaving no one behind. He has also contributed to CPDE as a member of the Advocacy and Policy Committee and the OECD-DAC SCO Reference Group from 2018. He is a member of the International Agri-Food Fusion Steering Committee. As Multi-Stakeholder Task Force, he is actually contributing in the preparation of the High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS. In Burundi, he is the focal point for indigenous peoples in the Global Environment Facilitation Small Grants Program (GEF / SGP) led by UNDP / UNOPS and a member of a steering committee of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund for health to fight against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS. Within the CCM, he acts as a member of technical monitoring committee.(source: Severin

SINDIZERA - IATI Virtual Community Exchange.

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