The BioTrade Facilitation Programme Phase III (BTFP III) is implemented by UNCTAD with financial support from SECO (Government of Switzerland). Operational since July 2015, BTFP III aims to mainstream BioTrade in relevant multilateral, regional and national processes and strengthen the policy and regulatory environment for BioTrade sectors. This will allow key governments and companies to take advantage of policy options and strategies available for leveraging BioTrade sectors in support of sustainable development, with a particular focus on biodiversity, and poverty reduction. A key component of BTFP III is to support the elaboration of policy options for BioTrade-friendly implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing for BioTrade products while, at the same time, introducing incentives for businesses to fulfill them.
The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol
on October 12, 2014 is a milestone for multilateralism. The Protocol is a state-of-the-art multilateral environmental agreement that provides a legal platform for consolidating and expanding modern biodiversity-based business, and related access and benefit sharing between resource owners and users. It is expected that the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol will have important implications for the flow of genetic resources, research and development (R&D) based on genetic resources and natural biochemicals, and trade of products that are either biodiversity-based or derived from it.
BioTrade already includes, within its principles and criteria
, provisions on access and benefit sharing, in particular: Principle no.3 establishing that there will be an "equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of biodiversity", principle no.5 requiring all actors to comply "with national and international regulations" and principle no. 6 calling for the “respect for actors rights” when engaging in trade of biological resources. The Nagoya Protocol, as a legally binding instrument will affect BioTrade businesses and communities, which will have to adapt, comply with and take advantage of the new requirements.
Under BTFP III, UNCTAD is initiating activities to develop policy options on access and benefit sharing (ABS) systems under the Nagoya Protocol that would enable BioTrade activities, value addition, local production and transfer of technology. In this direction, UNCTAD commissioned a technical scoping study on "Facilitating BioTrade in a Challenging Access and Benefit Sharing Policy and Legal Environment: Options for Improved Action". This study is being produced by lead experts Mr. Manuel Ruiz Muller, Director of the Biodiversity Programme of the Peruvian Society of Environmental law (SPDA), and Ms. Veronique Rossow, Head of Research and Development, PhytoTrade Africa. The study will provide the basis for proposing policy guidance for governments, communities and business alike, when developing and implementing national frameworks on the Nagoya Protocol. The biodiversity based sectors analyzed in this study are food, personal care and phytopharma.
The technical scoping study will be subjected to a peer review exercise that will take place on 24 November 2015 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. At the meeting the main findings of the paper will be introduced by the lead authors and reviewed by the experts in order to improve upon the policy recommendations made. It will also be an opportunity to present the outline of a policy and methodological guide on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on BioTrade that will be used for UNCTAD’s technical cooperation and training activities in beneficiary countries.
Participation in the peer review is by invitation only.