7th BioTrade Congress: Global governance for trade and biodiversity

7th BioTrade Congress: Global governance for trade and biodiversity
25 - 26 March 2024
Palais des Nations


The BioTrade Congress returns on 25 and 26 March, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland at the Palais des Nations (Room XVII), co-organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and partners. The Congress is a global gathering of trade and biodiversity experts and practitioners for a high-level exchange on key links between trade and biodiversity.

Biodiversity is an indispensable asset for Earth that provides essential resources to the livelihood of humankind. More than half the world’s population–over 4.3 billion people–depends on biodiversity for their livelihoods, with 70% of the world’s poor and vulnerable living in rural areas depending directly on it. Up to 40% of world’s land is degraded, one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction, and biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050.
Global action to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity has been reflected in goals and targets such as in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (The Biodiversity Plan), as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Trade is an indispensable component of national economies involving businesses, societies, and biodiversity. When trade is done sustainably, traceably and legally it can be a positive incentive for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and promote benefit sharing among all actors in the chain. More than half (55%) of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to an estimated $58 trillion, is moderately or highly dependent on nature. Also, more than half of the market capitalization listed on 19 of the world’s largest stock exchanges is exposed to material nature risks. However, while most of the world’s top 500 companies have a climate target, only 5% have one for biodiversity.


The 7th BioTrade Congress will discuss “Global Governance for Trade and Biodiversity” with the aim to propose policy recommendations and actions from government, business and civil society on how trade and trade policy can accelerate implementation of The Biodiversity Plan. The Congress will also feature exchanges and case studies on the biodiversity and socio-economic impact generated through the trade of biodiversity-based products, including BioTrade.

This event is part of the activities planned by UNCTAD and partners towards the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as UNCTAD’s 60th anniversary and its 16th quadrennial Ministerial Conference in 2025. The outcome of this Congress will also support the implementation of UNCTAD’s Bridgetown Covenant, The Biodiversity Plan and the SDGs.

Topics at the Congress will include, among others: 

  • Mainstreaming biodiversity into trade discussions and processes 
  • Trade, The Biodiversity Plan and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans 
  • Trade and biodiversity: case studies in equity and innovation 
  • Benefits of the blue economy – the seaweeds value chain 
  • The future of BioTrade: reflections and impacts at the national and regional levels 
  • Updates, special reports, and more 

Where will it take place?

The Congress will take place in-person at the Palais des Nations (Room XVII) in Geneva, Switzerland for two consecutive days on 25 and 26 March 2024 (day 1 sessions from 10:00 – 18:00 CET and networking cocktail beginning at 18:30, and day 2 sessions from 9:30 – 17:30 CET). For virtual attendance, participants can also register to watch the plenary sessions via Webex.

UNCTAD and partners are co-organizing the 7th BioTrade Congress under the Global BioTrade programme: Linking trade, biodiversity and sustainable development. This programme was launched by UNCTAD in 2018 with the support of the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.

Target audience

  • Government agencies working in the areas of trade, environment, biodiversity, and development
  • Experts and practitioners in the areas of trade, environment, biodiversity and development
  • United Nations agencies, NGOs, development agencies and other international organization working on biodiversity, sustainable development, climate change, and trade projects.
  • BioTrade and biodiversity-based companies 
  • Cooperatives, social enterprises and associations
  • Business associations, chambers of commerce
  • Academia


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UNCTAD, International Trade Centre (ITC), Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) and other partners

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