Supply Capacity > United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Accessing BioTrade in the green economy

UNEP recognizes that BioTrade has the potential to be a significant contributing factor while countries are transitioning to a green economy. Through the Capacity Building for BioTrade (CBBT) project, UNEP is carrying out projects in Namibia, Nepal and Peru to assess the potential of BioTrade in helping these countries in their transition to a green economy.

The main purpose of the project is to build a framework of action that will strengthen these countries’ BioTrade-related national programs and promote an enabling environment for the transition to a green economy. The lessons learned during the CBBT project will be analysed and shared in individual country reports of Namibia, Nepal and Peru. The overall project will explore how the benefits of BioTrade can serve as incentives for the sustainable use and trade of biodiversity-based products as these have the potential to create employment opportunities and support rural livelihoods.

Opportunities for organic agriculture

UNEP is working with governments from around the world who are increasingly recognising that organic agriculture offers significant opportunities as a developmental tool. UNEP is studying the contribution that organic agriculture can make in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) in three key countries, Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine. Information was collected, two workshops were held in each country and a national report is being produced for each country. Based on those case studies and other sources, a regional synthesis will be produced. The synthesis report will review the agricultural conditions in the region, the current status of the organic sector, provide a discussion on how organic agriculture can contribute to the green economy and what are the opportunities and challenges, and make a number of recommendations.

Along with several partner organizations, UNEP has also published The Organic Business Guide, Developing Sustainable Value Chains with Smallholders, a supply side capacity business guide book, in English, French and Spanish. This guide is designed to help those involved in the set-up or management of an organic business that involves smallholders in low and middle income countries in order to increase the success rate among organic farming initiatives in these countries.

In collaboration with IFAD, UNEP is exploring the inter-dependence between smallholder farms and their environment and the action that is needed to support sustainable development in the face of food shocks and climate change. The paper will consider why smallholders are important and will examine the global context of increasing demand for agricultural produce, increasing climate volatility and the need to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services as the bedrock of production systems. It will also demonstrate how smallholder farm management can benefit ecosystems services while also recognising that smallholders can be responsible for ecosystem degradation. Finally the paper will consider the options for action to ensure that small holders can become a driving force in agriculture sustainability.