Fifth BioTrade Congress: Linking trade and biodiversity

To boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Summit on 23 September to meet the climate challenge. The UNCTAD Trade Forum is meant as a contribution to the Summit from the trade and developmental community. It will bring into focus the need for action on the means of implementation – finance, technology and capacity building – and the role of trade as an enabling factor in meeting this need and leveraging the various co-benefits – economic diversification, jobs, innovation, better management and communications.

During this forum, UNCTAD will be organizing the 5th BioTrade Congress: Linking trade and biodiversity to mobilize the global trade and environment community to halt biodiversity loss and generate the transformative change needed to achieve Agenda 2030 and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity of “Living in harmony with nature”. Discussions will explore how sustainable trade in biodiversity-based products and services can contribute to biodiversity conservation and discuss possible policy frameworks and incentive measures to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity-based products at all levels. In doing so, experts and business representatives will review major trends in sustainable sourcing, non-tariff barriers, ecolabels, transparency and packaging and their implications for biodiversity the conservation and sustainable use. Finally, the Congress will provide an opportunity to launch the updated BioTrade Principles and Criteria (P&C) and and will provide insights on the new company self-assessment tool developed jointly with ITC. It will also provide a space for SMEs and other suppliers from Africa, Asia and Latin America to present their products and share their experience with potential buyers and partners from Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas in an informal setting.

UNCTAD continues to play a central position on trade and biodiversity issues through its BioTrade Initiative that is being implement by governments and private sector actors and civil society in the development of sustainable supply chains of biodiversity-based products.  UNCTAD has been convening the BioTrade Congress since Rio+20 and has become the knowledge hub on trade and biodiversity issues, convening key stakeholders and providing substantive inputs to the development agenda such as the post 2020 global biodiversity framework.

During the congress, the UN Environment and UN Environment World Conservation monitoring Centre will launch the United Kingdom Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund: Trade, Development and the Environment Research Hub.

This Congress is organized under the BioTrade Programme: Linking trade, biodiversity and sustainable development funded by Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM).


5th BioTrade Congress: Linking trade and biodiversity (12-13 September 2019, Room IX)

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12 September 2019 

9.30–10 a.mRegistration and networking

10.00–10 30 a.m – Opening of the 2019 BioTrade CongressHead Operations SECO, DG of OECS/ Organisation of East Caribbean States (OECS), FFEM/ French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM)

10.30 a.m. –12 p.m – Setting the scene: Sustainable trade for biodiversity – reality or fiction?
This session will discuss the main results of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report, and how trade and businesses can contribute to preventing biodiversity loss and triggering a transition towards more biodiversity friendly economies and societies

12–1.30 p.m – Applying BioTrade Principles and Criteria
This session will address the challenges that BioTrade/biodiversity-based SMEs face followed by a presentation of the updated BioTrade Principles and Criteria. The session will provide insights on the new online tool for business self-assessment that is currently being jointly developed by UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

3–4.30 p.m – Are trade and biodiversity policy frameworks contributing to biodiversity conservation?
To achieve the change needed, policy frameworks need to be supportive, providing incentives and clear and transparent rules for the sustainable use of biodiversity and trade of its derived products. Panelists will discuss the major policy challenges, propose recommendations for better policies and suggest ways to reflect them in the post 2020 Aichi targets.

4.30–6 p.m – From cradle to sustainable markets
This session will focus on the growing importance of biodiversity in trade and markets. Panelists will talk about market trends, the role of consumers, and the challenges and opportunities raised for businesses in emerging economies.


Friday, 13 September 2019

9.30 a.m.–12 p.m – Post 2020 GBF – Driving the transformation towards biodiversity-friendly societies and businesses
This session aims to bring the trade, sustainable use and business perspective to the post 2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF). It will build on the documents prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and reflection papers by the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) Co-Chairs and the discussions from the previous sessions to provide inputs on possible milestones and tools to be considered.

Roundtable discussions on sustainable use, sustainable trade, and private sector engagement facilitated by UNCTAD (Lorena Jaramillo, Lika Sasaki and Frederic Perron-Welch)

12–1.30 p.m – From storytelling to story proving: BioTrade in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam
This session will showcase real experiences of BioTrade development in the Mekong region, focusing on how SMES from Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam are participating regional and global value chains. 

3–5.30 p.m – Buyers and sellers exchange
This session will provide a space for BioTrade SMEs and other suppliers from Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean to present their portfolio of natural products and ingredients, and share their experience with potential buyers and partners in an informal setting.

5:30 – 7:00 pm – Networking cocktail

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The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.

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