Publication - Policy Brief

10 March 2023

Nature-Positive Trade for Sustainable Development

Trade and trade-related policies and measures can play a vital role in facilitating and promoting conservation, sustainable use, and restoration of biodiversity while supporting the critical economic and social dimensions of sustainable development.

This policy brief seeks to present a mutually supportive vision for biodiversity, sustainable trade, and sustainable development towards 2030 and beyond, using the World Trade Organization’s multilateral trade framework as its backdrop.

The brief provides an overview of the global biodiversity framework and how efforts to shape and implement this agenda are linked to trade and trade policies and measures. It focuses on identifying how work on sustainable trade at the WTO can contribute to the delivery of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, adopted in December 2022, while supporting sustainable development.

It argues that realizing these opportunities will require fostering 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.

The multilateral trade policy arena offers a variety of opportunities to strengthen cooperation on trade and trade-related policies and measures that could support the implementation of global biodiversity objectives and the delivery of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals by 2030—with sustainable trade as part of the solution.

Marianne Kettunen

Recommended citation: UNEP & TESS (2023). Nature-positive trade for sustainable development: Opportunities to promote synergies between the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and work on sustainable trade at the WTO. UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF) Trade, Development and the Environment Hub (TRADE Hub), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and Forum on Trade, Environment, & the SDGs (TESS).

This paper is co-published with