BioTrade and Peacebuilding

UNCTAD/UNDP Joint Initiative on using BioTrade as a Reintegration Option for ex-combatants, associated and other conflict-affected groups

The UNCTAD/UNDP Joint Initiative was born as a result of the need of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop environmentally and socially sound economic alternatives in post-conflict settings.

Discussions to explore areas of mutual support between UNCTAD BioTrade and UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery started in October 2008.

The main goal of the proposed collaboration is to build on both programmes' expertise and comparative advantages to enhance their work on supporting peace, recovery and sustainable development and to providing practical and effective socio-economic alternatives, such as BioTrade, for areas recovering from conflict.

This involves working at different levels:

  • International: UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery and UNCTAD BioTrade

  • Local: UNDP Country Offices working on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and BioTrade partners working in the country/area.

Main Actitivities

Due to the rich biodiversity of Uganda and Indonesia that are post-conflict settings, UNCTAD BioTrade and UNDP BCPR are exploring and/or implementing ways to use BioTrade for the reintegration process. Specifically, efforts are focused in developing and strengthening the value chain of specific products that are linked to ex-combatants and associated groups. Furthermore, this Joint Initiative is also nourished from the experience developed by the Biocomercio Colombia in supporting value chains in its Amazon region.

In Aceh Selatan, Indonesia, UNDP and UNCTAD are working to promote the development of the nutmeg value chain since late 2010. This has been possible through seed funding facilitated by UNDP. The work has been implemented following the BioTrade value chain methodology, starting with an assessment of the region to identify and select promissory products/chains and later a workshop and field visit allowed the definition of intervention components.

In Uganda, activities carried out have assessed the feasibility for a BioTrade-DDR initiative in Northern Uganda with three promissory value chains (Shea butter, Gum Arabic and Aloe spps.). Funding is being sought for this intervention.


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