There is increasing recognition of the relevance of trade and trade-related policies and measures to current global biodiversity crisis. Trade can exacerbate biodiversity degradation and loss but it also has the potential to support conservation, sustainable use, and restoration—and related benefits to sustainable development.
The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework provides a fresh reference point for (re)examining how international cooperation on trade and trade policies could support the global biodiversity agenda.
Alongside, there is also an increasing focus on environment and sustainable development in the context of trade at national, regional, and multilateral levels. For example, climate and biodiversity related considerations are becoming more integral to bilateral and regional trade negotiations, with biodiversity-related provisions becoming a regular feature of regional trade agreements (RTAs). Furthermore, the interest in environment and sustainable development issues at the WTO has been growing, as demonstrated by the launch of three separate member-led initiatives in 2021 on trade and environmental sustainability, plastic pollution, and fossil fuel subsidy reform.
Together, these developments present an opportunity to explore how the trade and biodiversity agendas could be more mutually supportive, and how trade and trade policies could be harnessed to support the implementation of post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The discussions focused on opportunities, challenges, and feasibility of using specific trade policies and measures to support countries in the post-2020 GBF implementation, with a view to reaching net positive outcomes for both biodiversity and sustainable development.
This side event is co-organized by UNEP, UNCTAD, WTO, and TESS. This side event followed on a series held in July 2022 exploring a nature positive trade agenda to support sustainable development, which was organized under the UNCTAD-ITC “Trade and Biodiversity Series.”