Nature-positive trade for sustainable development: How can trade support the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework?

A session at the Global Development Conference 2023: Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

(31 Oct – 1 Nov 2023) | Quito, Ecuador

Session date: 31 Oct

Session time: 14 – 15.30 (Quito)

There is increasing recognition of the role that trade and trade-related policies play in addressing the biodiversity crisis. Trade can exacerbate biodiversity degradation and loss, with about 30% of the global biodiversity footprint embedded in trade. Agricultural expansion in particular has been estimated to drive 88% of global deforestation, with only seven agricultural commodities with predominantly global supply chains — cattle, oil palm, soy, cocoa, rubber, coffee and plantation wood fibre — accounting for 26% of global tree cover loss from 2001 to 2015.

However, trade also has the potential to support conservation, sustainable use, and restoration—and related benefits to sustainable development. For example, trade in sustainable and fair products, such as certified coffee or cocoa, can provide better socio-economic stability and security for producers, generating both jobs and income while reducing pressure on biodiversity.  Furthermore, with global demand for natural ingredients for health products growing, these ingredients (e.g. baobab, turmeric, aloe vera) can have significant business potential, especially in high-end markets where customers are willing to pay more for sustainably produced and “fair-trade” goods.  As a result, an increasing number of global companies and retail chains are taking action to support products that can demonstrate sustainable production methods. According to the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in 2021 over 45 countries had programs or policies in place to promote sustainable trade in goods and services derived from biodiversity (i.e. “BioTrade”).

Therefore, the influence of trade and trade-related policies on the successful achievement of global biodiversity targets is significant, with links to some of the biggest agents of change including agriculture, pollution and climate change.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), adopted in December 2022, provides a fresh reference point for (re)examining the relevance of trade policy to the global biodiversity agenda and exploring how implementation of the new agenda could support both sustainable trade and sustainable development. In parallel, the increasing focus on environment and sustainable development in the context of trade, including at the WTO and as part of regional trade agreements, also presents an opportunity to discuss where trade policy could support delivery of the global biodiversity agenda.

Realising these opportunities requires developing a shared understanding between biodiversity and trade stakeholders of how different trade and trade-related policies and measures could be used so that they deliver benefits across all three agendas of biodiversity, sustainable trade, and sustainable development.

This session aims to support such understanding through sharing of information and knowledge, and exchange of views and ideas between key experts and institutions, with a particular focus on the insights from Latin America. Reflecting the GDN scope, the particular focus of the session will be on identifying key policy opportunities moving forward and related needs in the evidence-base supporting decision-making.

The session builds on UNEP-led policy paper “Nature-positive Trade for Sustainable Development” produced in collaboration with the Forum on Trade, Environment & the SDGS (TESS) published in March 2023. It draws its insights from two ongoing series of events: “Nature-positive trade for sustainable development” webinar series by UKRI GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub (TRADE Hub), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) BioTrade Initiative, and International Trade Centre (ITC) and a series of regional consultations on nature-positive trade led by UNEP in cooperation with UNCTAD and ICT in 2023.

Time In person / onlineQuestions
10minModerator: Marianne Kettunen, Senior Policy Expert and Advisor, TRADE HubIn personWelcome and scene setter by moderator: Why is it important to talk more about trade and biodiversity?
20min (10 + 10)PANEL 1: on trade policy as part of delivering Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)   Bianca Lisboa Da Camara Brasil | Programme Manager for Business Engagement, UN CBD               Beatriz Fernandez | Associate Programme Management Officer, UNEP Trade and Environment Hub          Online                     Online          Q1: How does trade feature in the new GBF? Are trade policies and measures considered as key tools to deliver biodiversity targets by countries in their national biodiversity strategies and actions plans (NBSAPs)? (5min) Q2: Moving forward, how could we – as biodiversity experts – support the uptake of trade policy and measures in the CBD process and for the benefit of GBF? (5min)     Q1: Top 3 key insights / messages from UNEP led regional consultations on nature-positive trade, from Latin American and beyond. (5min) Q2: Moving forward, how does UNEP plan to champion uptake of trade policy and measures to support biodiversity? (5min)  
20min (10 + 10)PANEL 2: on trade impacts on biodiversity   Paulo Durval Branco| Deputy Director, International Institute for Sustainability (IIS), Brazil / TRADE Hub       Iraoya Austine | Research Analyst at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and former Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)      In person               In person      Q1: Key trends in trade impacts on ecosystems in Latin America? (3min) Q2: What tools are available to address negative impacts and will they work, including the case of EU – MERCOSUR agreement and EU Deforestation Free Regulation? (7min)     Q1: What were the 3 key insights from modelling foreseen impacts of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on ecosystems and biodiversity in Nigeria? (5min) Q2: Would you recommend fellow experts to carry out such modelling exercise to understand better the impacts of trade agreements? Based on your experience, what 2 key lessons would you share? (5min)
20min (10 + 10)PANEL 3: on trade-related tools   Giovanni Ginatta | Biotrade expert and formal director of UNCTAD BioTrade in Ecuador         Caridad Maldonado | Sustainable trade expert at the Commission on the Promotion of Exports and Tourism in Peru (Promperu)                        In person                   TBC    Q1: What is the status of sustainable bio-based trade in Ecuador? What has the Ecuadorian government done to support and promote this – can you share 1-2 inspiring success stories? (5min) Q2: Your expert recommendations (two max) for further mainstreaming sustainable bio-based trade in Ecuador, to be included in NBSAP, to support both biodiversity and people? (5min)     Q1: What is the status of sustainable bio-based trade in Peru? What has the Peruvian government done to support and promote this – can you share 1-2 inspiring success stories? (5min) Q2: Your expert recommendations (two max) for further mainstreaming sustainable bio-based trade in Peru, to be included in NBSAP, to support both biodiversity and people? (5min)  
15minQA and discussion  
5minClosing the session  

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