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Development Account Projects

Strengthening the capacity of policy-makers and business leaders in three BioTrade beneficiary countries in integrating REDD+ projects into BioTrade strategies


This project addresses the link between climate change policies, in particular REDD+ and biodiversity policies such as the strengthening of value chain of BioTrade products that create livelihood opportunities in forest areas and reduce deforestation. Several BioTrade countries including Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Namibia, Peru, and Uganda have requested UNCTAD BioTrade for guidance in incorporating REDD+ into their strategies. Through this UNCTAD-led effort, sustainable development opportunities could be seized from REDD+ initiatives by reducing deforestation while strengthening local economies directly dependent on biodiversity resources.

The project activities are in line with the UNCTAD section on the UN Strategic Framework for the period 2010-2011 – Subprogramme 3: International trade and will contribute to the fulfillment of expected accomplishment (e) Strengthened capacity of developing countries to formulate and implement mutually supportive trade, environment and sustainable development objectives, and to integrate sustainable development objectives in development strategies at all levels. Activities are also in accordance with the Accra Accord, paragraphs 100 – to consider climate change in its ongoing work of assisting developing countries with trade- and investment-related issues in development strategies and 102 to continue to build on its experience to enhance its Biotrade Initiative and to continue to support the creation of an enabling policy environment to foster private sector engagement in the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity.

UNCTAD, through the BioTrade Initiative has been working on BioTrade for over 15 years ensuring that objectives of MEAs such as the CBD and CITES are met. In implementing the objectives of the CBD, UNCTAD provides concrete examples on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity as well as the fair and equitable distribution of the benefits derived from its use. Case studies, examples and methodologies have been shared with the CBD Secretariat and events have been organized during its Conference of the Parties. The BioTrade Initiative derives its mandate primarily from UNCTAD's Plan of Action (Bangkok, 2002, Sao Paulo, 2004, Accra, 2008) and from the trade-related aspects of the CBD, specifically Article 10 on "Sustainable use of components of biological diversity" and Article 11 on "Incentive measures". UNCTAD has implemented its activities to address the Mandates mentioned, in particular those related to creating an enabling policy environment, incentive measures, private sector engagement, poverty alleviation and promoting/creating market for biodiversity-based goods and services.

This project builds upon the lessons learned from the previous experience in implementing BioTrade in Africa, Asia and Latin America and on UNCTAD's experience in enhancing developing countries' capacity to capture trade, investment and development opportunities under the climate change regime as well as their effective participation in the carbon market. This is complemented by extensive research on the implementation of REDD and REDD+ pilot projects.


To strengthen the capacities of three developing countries in formulating and implementing mutually supportive trade, environment, and sustainable development strategies in line with BioTrade and REDD+ practices.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Increased understanding of policy-makers and business leaders of the linkages between BioTrade and REDD+ projects in 3 BioTrade beneficiary countries – 1 country per Region: Africa (Namibia*), Asia (Indonesia*) and Latin America (Peru*)
  • Established South–South platform for sharing of information and best practices in the formulation and implementation of BioTrade and REDD+ projects

Implementation Status:

In 2012, activities have been focused in compiling information and discussing with potential partners in identifying countries that will be participating in the project. Particularly, discussions were held with BioTrade national partners as well as other agencies working in REDD and REDD+ to define synergies with the project, such as UN REDD, ECLAC and Forest Alive (Australian-based organization expert on REDD/REDD+).

An initial starting point will focus in developing a reference manual on potential REDD+/BioTrade activities and enrich it by developing a concrete REDD+ project, hence combining theoretical and practical experiences.  This is essential as this is a world pioneering project and no reference is yet available. Based on the partners' and countries' interest, as well as their capacities and REDD readiness, activities are planned for Brazil and Ecuador; a third country is still to be agreed upon. For Ecuador, relevant studies were compiled as well as discussions are underway to define the appropriate ecosystems and conditions where REDD+ and BioTrade activities can be combined and become mutually supportive.
In parallel, UNCTAD has identified experts and organizations with expertise on REDD and REDD+ projects to develop the REDD+ and BioTrade manual needed for the project. Discussions with partners are underway and in early 2013 the development of the manual will start.