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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

What is Biodiversity-Friendly Trade?

Earlier this year, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development updated their BioTrade Principles and Criteria.

These guidelines set out to help companies, governments and other organisations understand biodiversity-friendly trade and ensure they are operating in a way that supports these principles.

Biodiversity-friendly trade requires operations which do not contribute to the loss of biodiversity, that is the variety of flora and fauna in a particular ecosystem.

BioTrade specifically refers to the trade of goods and services of or derived from a country's biodiversity. The export of Australian native plants, for example, would be considered BioTrade. The export of alcoholic spirits made from Australian botanicals could also be considered BioTrade.

These principles have been around since 2007 but were recently updated in-line with new research on the subject.

There are seven principles which guide four approaches.

The principles are as follows:

P1 - Conservation of biodiversity

P2 - Sustainable use of biodiversity

P3 - Fair and equitable sharing of benefits

P4 - Socioeconomic sustainability

P5 - Legal compliance

P6 - Respect for actors' rights

P7 - Right to use and access natural resources

Each of these principles then have a number of sub-principles to guide their policies and practices.

The four approaches include value chain, adaptive management, ecosystem approach and sustainable livelihoods.

The value chain approach requires all business activities to deliver that good or service to ensure a commitment to biodiversity conservation. It is from here that we look at adaptive management and how to respond and react to uncertainty. The recent global health pandemic has highlighted our need for continued and improved adaptive management.

The ecosystem approach requires a holistic approach to both environmental and social sustainable development. This then relates into sustainable livelihoods which safeguards the poor and most vulnerable populations through ensuring development activities contribute to ensuring livelihoods for all.

When considering your organisation's commitment to Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life On Land, we recommend ensuring you have outlined your adherence to the BioTrade Principles and Criteria set-out by UNCTAD.

For assistance with developing such a document, contact Strategic Sustainability Consultants today!

This article was originally published on the Strategic Sustainability Consultants website.

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