BioTrade and the Impact Assessment System

As BioTrade activities are being implemented worldwide, there is a constant need to define and measure its contribution to sustainable development and the conservation/sustainable use of biodiversity in a harmonized and structured manner.

UNCTAD is developing the BioTrade Impact Assessment System (BTIAS) to address this need, considering its three basic approaches: value chain, adaptive management and ecosystem.

The BTIAS was finalized and agreed upon by partners in 2010. This was the result of several meetings, consultations and national and regional workshops with key partners and experts, as well as after the system was tested in Africa and Latin America.

The BTIAS Workshop held on March 2010 in Peru was a milestone as BioTrade partners agreed on the indicators and the way forward in finalizing the development and implementation of the system. The partners who participated in the workshop were the Union for Ethical BioTrade, PhytoTrade Africa, BioTrade programmes and Ministries of Environment of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, BioNativa and the Andean Community (CAN). During this workshop, partners also agreed to use this system as part of their activities such as in their monitoring and evaluation system.

The BTIAS comprises guidelines for partners to understand the concept of the system, as well as technical sheets per indicator to measure and track the social, environmental and economic impact of their activities.

The system includes ten indicators, divided into: environment (5 indicators), socio-economic (4 indicators) and governance (1 indicator) and can be implemented for BioTrade activities related to flora and fauna.

Through the system, data can be disaggregated by geographical coverage (region and global levels), type of activity (agriculture, NTFP, aquaculture, etc) and industry (food, cosmetic, handicrafts, etc), origin of the species (flora, fauna, CITES) and hectares. For more information, please read the BioTrade Information System technical paper.

In order to implement the BTIAS, BioTrade partners are currently developing the baseline of the system as the first step needed to start measuring the impact of BioTrade in the future. Also, these partners are working to adapt their Monitoring and Evaluation systems to include the BTIAS.

As part of the work being implemented within the BTIAS, UNCTAD became an Affiliate Partner of the "2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership" since April 2010.


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