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Sustainable Development

Trade & Environment

Trade has the potential to contribute to the highest possible level of global sustainable development, but only if social and environmental aspects are considered along with economic benefits. Attention has thus increasingly turned to the significant impacts of trade on the environment. Trade in environmental resources in the global market increases the international pressures on those resources, without necessarily taking account of non-market values of those resources at the national and local levels. Many chemicals, organisms, wastes and other materials traded can have significant environmental impacts, sometimes more than the importing country is prepared to manage. The growing international flux of energy, materials and information traded is a major force for globalization increasing the interdependence of countries and requiring more integrated approaches to both trade and environmental resource accounting and management (Dahl, 1994).


Dahl, Arthur L. 1994. Global sustainability and its implications for trade. GATT Trade and Environment Bulletin 9:87-89.


Emerging Issues


UNEP/DEWA/Earthwatch 1996-2003