The BioTrade Initiative of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held an online workshop on how legal and sustainable trade can support the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The workshop issued a set of recommendations on how to include trade in the new framework.
The workshop convened on 24 March 2021, under UNCTAD’s Global BioTrade Facilitation Programme, with the financial support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The workshop gathered more than 180 representatives, including government negotiators, business representatives, and other stakeholders to explore the interrelation between trade, biodiversity, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
According to the workshop report, the sustainable and legal trade of biodiversity-based products and services “creates incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and benefit sharing, supports cross-sectoral cooperation, mobilizes resources, and increases awareness for biodiversity.” It promotes sustainable consumption and production patterns, and supports the livelihoods of communities that rely on natural resources.
Online group discussions focused on sustainable and legal trade as a way for business engagement, measuring trade and biodiversity, standards and guidelines for trade and biodiversity, and achieving legal and sustainable trade through the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Recommendations included:
- Capitalize on the interest of the business community to engage in the framework by: using business-friendly language; providing the space for business platforms, networks, and associations to engage in the development, implementation, and review of the framework; and embedding business engagement in the revised National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs);
- Design the monitoring framework that would serve multiple purposes at global, regional, and national levels, and would include: conducting ex ante assessments; informing environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and strategic environmental assessments of trade policies; and ensuring that trade- and biodiversity-related information is part of the monitoring frameworks at global and national levels;
- Use standards and guidelines for trade and biodiversity to help raise consumer and business awareness on biodiversity and to contribute to outreach and communication, as well as to capacity development, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) along the value chains; and
- To make trade more sustainable, ensure that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework addresses the issue of perverse incentives and the generation of positive incentives, recognizes the importance of trade in supporting sustainable use and management of biodiversity, and improves legal frameworks, including for domestic trade standards and for implementing the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing.
Acknowledging that if done legally and sustainably, trade can contribute to a successful post-2020 global biodiversity framework, participants stressed that the BioTrade Principles and Criteria can serve as a “compass” for the engagement with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. They noted two approaches in the BioTrade Principles and Criteria that are “not featuring very strongly” but should be reflected in the updated zero draft: 1) the value chain approach; and 2) the adaptive management approach.
The outcomes of the workshop provide input to the third meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI), the 24th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), and the third meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The post-2020 global biodiversity framework is expected to be adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the CBD in Kunming, China, which is currently scheduled for October 2021. [Publication: Report of the Online Workshop on Trade and Biodiversity for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework] [Workshop UNCTAD Webpage]