A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

Vi Digital Library - Text Preview

20 Years of Biotrade: Connecting People, the Planet and Markets

Report by Jaramillo Castro, Lorena/UNCTAD, 2016

Download original document (English)

This publication gives a brief overview of the work done by UNCTAD on BioTrade and the BioTrade Initiative since 1996. The BioTrade Initiative, which includes over 20 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, has been promoting trade and investment in biological resources to further sustainable development and aid in poverty alleviation.

Connecting people, the planet and markets

Bi Trade

years of


The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material do not imply the expression of any opinion
whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country,
territory, city area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of its frontiers and boundaries.

Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, but acknowledgement is requested, together
with a reference to the document number. A copy of the publication containing the quotation or reprint,
should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat: Palais des Nations, 1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland.

This publication has been edited externally.

For further information on UNCTAD’s BioTrade Initiative please consult the following website:
or contact: biotrade@unctad.org

This publication, 20 years of BioTrade: Connecting people, the planet and markets, was compiled and prepared by
Lorena Jaramillo Castro, Economic Affairs Officer, UNCTAD secretariat, under the supervision of Bonapas Onguglo,
Senior Economic Affairs Officer, UNCTAD. Substantive support was provided by Neiva Rosa, UNCTAD consultant,
Lalen Lleander, Programme Management Officer, UNCTAD, David Vivas, Legal Officer, UNCTAD, and Lucas Assunção,
Head of UNCTAD’s Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (TED) Branch, UNCTAD.
This publication was edited by Vivien Stone and designed by Sarah Thompson, Watermark Creative.

UNCTAD would like to thank all the contributors to this commemorative publication marking 20 years of BioTrade.
The broad support given by all partners and practitioners over the last two decades has enhanced the recognition
of the role that BioTrade can play in achieving sustainable development, particularly regarding the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020.

UNCTAD gratefully acknowledges the support of the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) in the
development of this publication under the BioTrade Facilitation Programme III (BTFP III).

Guillermo Valles
Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities (DITC)






Acronyms 3
Foreword 4

BioTrade history and conceptual
framework 8
1.1. BioTrade – harmonizing trade, biodiversity

and livelihoods 9
Introduction 9
BioTrade countries 10
BioTrade sectors 11
BioTrade capacity and skills development 11
The next 20 years: Upscaling BioTrade and

the 2030 Agenda 12
1.2. BioTrade: An opportunity for synergy with

multilateral environmental agreements 13
Origins of the relationship between BioTrade

and MEAs 13
The Sustainable Development Goals and

MEAs 15
Concluding remarks 15

1.3. BioTrade: A market driver for sustainable
development 16

Introduction 16
Defining products and services 16
Reaching the market 17
Market trends and opportunities 18
Conclusions 18
1.4. Reflections on the drivers of economic

and financial sustainability in BioTrade
initiatives 19

Introduction 19
Key aspects and lessons learned for the

development of BioTrade initiatives 20
Future opportunities 21

BioTrade and people 22
2.1. BioTrade and livelihoods –

a possible synergy 23
Introduction 23
Connecting BioTrade and livelihoods of

grassroots actors 23
Key message 24
2.2. Ecoflora Cares: Jagua value chain

(Colombia) 25
Introduction 25
Implementation strategy 25
Upscaling the jagua value chain to enhance

local livelihoods 26
2.3. Achuar and Shuar communities and the

Chankuap Foundation: Resources for the
future (Ecuador) 27

Introduction 27
Enhancing local livelihoods through value

addition and trade of non-timber forest
products 27

Valuing culture – key to developing livelihoods
in the Ecuadorian Amazon region 29

2.4. Traditional knowledge as a business model:
Takiwasi and Ampik Sacha (Peru) 30

Introduction 30
A BioTrade business model that benefits

people and nature 30
Considerations on upscaling benefit-sharing

models 31
2.5. Sandalwood: Ethical sourcing of a unique

and valued fragrance (Sri Lanka) 32
Introduction 32
Setting up ethical sourcing of sandalwood

in Sri Lanka 32
Strengthening the sandalwood supply chain 33
2.6. Up in the mountains: Traditional herbal

remedy improves ethnic
minority communities (Viet Nam) 34

Introduction 34
Developing a value chain in the che-day herb 34

BioTrade and the planet 36
3.1 BioTrade and the CBD – supporting

conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity 37

Introduction 37
3.2 Natura and the Suruí Forest Carbon

Project (Brazil) 38
Science, biodiversity and trade 38
Investing in carbon credits to protect forests

and improve people’s lives 39
The future is now – challenges and
opportunities 39
3.3 EcuaFrog, WIKIRI and the amphibian pet

trade (Ecuador) 40
Introduction 40
How WIKIRI contributes to research and to

reducing amphibian depletion 40
The future of the sustainable trade of

Ecuadorian amphibians 41

3.4. Sustainability principles and criteria applied
to wild collection of non-wood forest
products (Kosovo) 42

Introduction 42
NWFP as a strategy to promote Kosovo’s

development 42
Ways forward in developing the NWFP sector 44
3.5. Traceability in orchids: A win-win tool to

enhance sustainable trade (Peru) 45
Introduction 45
Implementing a traceability system for orchids 46
Upscaling this experience at the national level 47


20 years of BioTrade




BioTrade and markets 48
4.1. BioTrade and market-driven strategies to

develop biodiversity-based sectors
and businesses 49

The impact of biodiversity and social
concerns in trade and development agendas 49

BioTrade actions to access national and
international markets 49

Concluding remarks 50
4.2. Developing inclusive and resilient

indigenous natural products sector
(southern Africa) 51

A bottom-up approach 51
Lessons learned 52
Way forward 52
4.3. Communitarian ecotourism: An idea full of

nature (Colombia) 54
Introduction 54
Colombia – a destination for peace

and nature 54
The real significance of communitarian
ecotourism 55
Conclusions 56

4.4. Promoting sustainable cocoa (Ecuador) 57
Background 57
Accessing international cocoa markets 58
Recommendations for enhancing markets

for associations of small cocoa farmers
in Ecuador 58

4.5. Novel food regulation: Beyond a technical
protocol? Sacha inchi oil (Peru) 59

Background 59
“Novel food” as a driver for collective action 60
Positioning sacha inchi 61
4.6. When all that is needed is a little push

(Viet Nam) 62
Introduction: The dedication of a Vietnamese

small business to reach big markets 62
Upscaling Vietroselle: Next steps 63

Partnerships 64
5.1. The role of partnerships in unlocking

BioTrade potential 65
Introduction 65
Orchestrating the governance of BioTrade 65
Partnerships as challenges and opportunities

for BioTrade 66
5.2. The BioTrade Initiative and CITES 67
CITES and BioTrade:
A long-standing partnership 67
Projects and achievements 67
Challenges and opportunities ahead 68
5.3 BioTrade – a resilience-building tool:

Helping states fulfil the pledge of leaving
no one behind 69

Background 69
Upscaling the UNDP-UNCTAD collaboration 69

5.4. Vision matters: BioTrade implementation
(Viet Nam) 72

Introduction 72
The BioTrade Implementation Group 73
Lessons learned from developing
partnerships in Viet Nam 73
5.5. Biodiversity-based businesses:

Leveraging new ecological economies 74
Introduction 74
Fostering partnerships – selected

Groupe Rocher case studies 74
Key lessons and recommendations in

developing effective partnerships 76
5.6. Enhancing the sustainability of the python

skin trade through innovative partnership 77
Python Conservation Partnership 77
Challenges and achievements of the
partnership 78
What can other partnerships learn
from the PCP? 78

Future challenges and opportunities 80
6.1. BioTrade and people 81
6.2 BioTrade as a conservation tool 83
Challenges 83
Opportunities 83
6.3 Emerging issues on markets for BioTrade

and biodiversity-based businesses 84
6.4. BioTrade and sustainable development 85
6.5. BioTrade, Aichi Targets and the SDGs 86
Aichi Targets and the SDGs 86
Connecting the SDGs and Aichi Targets 87
BioTrade and the SDGs 89

References 90
Notes Inside back cover



ABP Andean BioTrade Project
ABS access and benefit sharing
AGR access to genetic resources
B2B business-to-business
BIG BioTrade Implementation Group (Viet Nam)
BT P&C BioTrade Principles and Criteria
CAF Development Bank for Latin America
CBD Convention on Biological Diversity
CEI communitarian ecotourism initiatives
CEPNN Communitarian Ecotourism Programme in

National Parks (Colombia)
CITES Convention on International Trade in

Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora

COP/CoP Conference of the Parties
CORPEI Corporación de Promoción de

Exportaciones e Inversiones (Ecuador)
COSiRA Competitiveness of the Private Sector in

Rural Areas (Kosovo)
CSR corporate social responsibility
EFSA European Food Safety Authority
EU European Union
FAO UN Food and Agriculture Organization
FDA Food and Drug Administration (USA)
FEKIHD Federación Kichwa Huallaga Dorado (Peru)
FSAI Food Safety Authority of Ireland
GACP good agriculture and collection practices
GEF Global Environment Facility
GHG greenhouse gas
GIIB BioTrade Research and Innovation Group

GIZ Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale

Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for

GMP good manufacturing practice
GRAS Generally Recognized As Safe (USA)
HACCP hazard analysis and critical control points
IDP internally displaced person
ILCs indigenous and local communities
INP indigenous natural product
IPBES Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform

on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
ISO International Organization for

ITC International Trade Centre
IUCN International Union for Conservation of

JECFA Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food

MAFRD Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural

Development (Kosovo)
MAT mutually agreed terms
MEA multilateral environmental agreement

MINAM Ministry of Environment (Peru)

MINCETUR Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Peru)
MoU memorandum of understanding
NBSAPs national biodiversity strategies and

action plans
NFR novel food regulation
NGO non-governmental organization
NTB non-tariff barriers
NTF non-timber forest
NTMs non-tariff measures
NWFP non-wood forest products
PCP Python Conservation Partnership
PIC prior informed consent
PNN National Natural Parks (Colombia)
PROMPERU Export and Tourism Promotion Agency of

PTA PhytoTrade Africa
R&D research and development
REACH Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and

Restriction of Chemicals (EU)
REDD+ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation

and Forest Degradation, conservation,
sustainable management of forests and
enhancement of forest carbon stocks

SDGs Sustainable Development Goals
SECO State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

SFCF Suruí Forest Carbon Project (Brazil)
SMEs small and medium-sized enterprises
SPS sanitary and phytosanitary
SSIT Sete de Setembro Indigenous Territory

TBT technical barriers to trade
TK traditional knowledge
UEBT Union for Ethical BioTrade
UNCCD United Nations Convention to Combat

UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and

UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on

Climate Change
UNOCACE Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas

Cacaoteras del Ecuador (Union of Peasants
Organizations of Cocoa of Ecuador)

UNWTO United Nations World Tourism Organization
VIETRADE Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency
WHO World Health Organization


20 years of BioTrade

Twenty years ago, the BioTrade Initiative was launched as the UNCTAD
response to implementing the 1992 Earth Summit’s Agenda 21, the blueprint
for sustainable development action into the twenty-first century. The
BioTrade Initiative aims at promoting the conservation and sustainable use
of biological resources through international trade and investment. UNCTAD
coined the term “BioTrade”, which has become recognized in efforts to
promote sustainable development and poverty alleviation through trade and

The BioTrade Initiative facilitates and supports national, regional and international BioTrade
programmes, partnerships and businesses that have contributed to fighting biodiversity loss
while ensuring the sustainable use of biological resources and ecosystems. Activities are
implemented in close cooperation with the secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity
and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora on the
development of regulatory and institutional frameworks to prevent illicit trade in natural species and
to safeguard them.

The experiences, lessons and successes in the articles shared by BioTrade practitioners in this
commemorative publication attest to the reach of BioTrade and the BioTrade Initiative. There
are now ongoing BioTrade activities in over 20 countries. Efforts cover a range of products and
services in a variety of biodiversity-based sectors.

Building sustainable livelihoods, particularly for rural communities and marginalized groups, in
biodiversity-rich developing countries is central to the conservation and sustainable use of nature’s
resources. Thus, UNCTAD collaborates with Governments, the private sector and international
organizations in developing and promoting BioTrade programmes and businesses that adhere to
sustainable development principles, ethical sourcing of biological resources, access and sharing
of benefits, proper traceability of products derived from biodiversity and awareness raising of
the value of nature. Improving income earning opportunities for rural communities can also bring
added dividends such as consolidating peacebuilding in post-conflict areas.

Most recently, at the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development in Nairobi in July 2016, member States agreed on how the institution should
contribute to achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable
Development Goals by fostering inclusive trade and sustainable development policies. In the
Conference’s outcome document, the Nairobi Maafikiano, they agreed specifically to “promote
sustainable trade in biodiversity products and services to strengthen the sustainability of
biodiversity and foster sustainable growth, in close cooperation with other relevant agencies where
appropriate”. The agreement marks a new milestone in the evolution of BioTrade and will serve
as a the platform through which UNCTAD will act on the 2030 Agenda, especially Sustainable
Development Goal 15 which seeks to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial
ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land
degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.

Since 1996, UNCTAD has contributed to the evolution of a group of producers, processors and
retailers committed to conserving the biodiversity wealth of countries and guaranteeing sustainable
use of biological resources under fair and equitable conditions. Going forward, Sustainable
Development Goal 15 sets a path for UNCTAD and the international community to use tried and
tested approaches, such as those consistent with the BioTrade Initiative’s vision, to conserve and
use nature sustainably to meet the needs of present populations without jeopardizing those of
future generations.

Mukhisa Kituyi
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Fotolia: Sergey Belov



For over a decade, Switzerland, through the State Secretariat for Economic
Affairs SECO has been partnering with UNCTAD and other international and
national partners in the fields of the sustainable use of biodiversity. It has
done this from a trading perspective through the BioTrade Initiative and in
support of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The importance of biodiversity cannot be highlighted enough. Located mainly
in rural areas, it provides for the basic needs of the poor as well as essential
resources and services to industries. Currently, strong consumption trends

favor demand for sustainably sourced products and services, thus generating new opportunities for
biodiversity products and services, including BioTrade.

However, biodiversity is decreasing at accelerating rates, reducing ecosystems’ capacities to
provide their essential services for humans, affecting in particular those who depend most and
directly on those resources. Furthermore, in many developing countries rich in biodiversity,
conservation efforts are often not sufficiently taken into consideration. One promising way to
address this is to attribute economic value to biodiversity, by developing incentives both for
conservation and for sustainable use. Trade, if sustainably managed, can be a positive incentive by
generating income for local communities who sustainably manage their resources.

The BioTrade conceptual framework and approach, with their set of principles and criteria for the
sustainable use of biodiversity, can be a real change maker in favor of ecosystems and livelihoods
for the poor. The global sales of BioTrade value added products and services reached €4.3 billion
in 2015. A previously niche green market is transforming into a robust subsector of the economy
of many developing countries. Small and medium-sized enterprises, grassroots associations and
cooperatives, in particular, are the direct beneficiaries of this commercialization. They benefit from
increases in their income and improvements in their livelihoods.

In the coming years, SECO intends to continue and deepen its engagement with national and
international partners at different levels and on different issues. This is in line with Switzerland’s
commitment to double its financial engagement in favor of biodiversity by the year 2020.

The effort to harness the enormous market opportunities by engaging in trade of biodiversity
products is not an easy task. Establishing sustainable BioTrade value chains requires coordinated
and sustained work by a large variety of actors, from the public, private and academic sectors as
well as civil society. UNCTAD’s BioTrade Initiative supports partners – governments, companies
and civil society alike – to address these challenges and capitalize on the opportunities offered
by BioTrade. Only by joining forces at all levels, we can seize such opportunities in favor of
ecosystems and the livelihoods of the poor. This is a direct contribution to the implementation of
the Agenda 2030 and the SDG targets.

Raymund Furrer
Head of Economic Cooperation and Development
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO


20 years of BioTrade

UNCTAD, through its BioTrade Initiative is one of the oldest partners
contributing to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD). Formal cooperation between the CBD Secretariat and UNCTAD on
BioTrade goes back to October 1997.

There are good reasons for this long-standing cooperation. Parties to the
CBD recognized early on that BioTrade – which comprises all economic
activities related to the production and trade of biodiversity based products
under sustainability criteria – can provide important incentives towards the
conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In circumstances where

the risk of converting natural landscapes to other purposes is high, encouraging sustainable
use of natural resources can provide incentives to conserve biodiversity. Ensuring that the right
incentives are in place to promote sustainable use is critical for the effective implementation of
the Convention. In Article 11, the Convention encourages measures that act as incentives for
conservation and sustainable use, including measures that promote BioTrade.

The decisions and work programmes of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention contain
frequent references to BioTrade activities, including appreciative language with regard to the
activities of the UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative and invitations to continue its good work. There is
a growing number of BioTrade programmes at national and subregional levels. The BioTrade
Initiative and its partners have also supported the development of products based on fauna, food,
fashion, personal care products, nature-based tourism and REDD+ projects. In 2007, global
guidance on BioTrade, the BioTrade Principles and Criteria, was published, and other sector-
specific guidance material has also been produced. There is a growing network of BioTrade
partners, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Union for Ethical
BioTrade (UEBT), Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and PhytoTrade Africa, among others.

The BioTrade Principles and Criteria also include a reference to fair and equitable benefit sharing,
thus referring to the third objective of the Convention, and the focus of the Nagoya Protocol
on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits from their
Utilization to the CBD. The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol in 2014 creates opportunities
for developing business models that rely on sustainable use and increased knowledge of the value
of natural resources. It creates incentives for preserving genetic diversity, and biodiversity more
broadly, as well as associated traditional knowledge while providing the conditions for continuous
research and development on genetic resources.

With the middle of the United Nations Decade on Biological Diversity reached, and enormous work
ahead of us if we are to achieve the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, BioTrade provides
an opportunity for scaling up sustainable use of biodiversity. Thus, taking steps to strengthen
markets for BioTrade and putting in place supportive policies would help leverage the contribution
that BioTrade can make to meeting the objectives of the Convention. The need to further enable
the environment for BioTrade remains an important challenge, as we move to the next 20 years.
I would like to encourage more countries to benefit from the experiences developed in the last 20
years under the BioTrade Initiative.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias
Executive Secretary
Convention on Biological Diversity

Fotolia: Fotos 593



We would like to warmly congratulate the BioTrade Initiative of UNCTAD on
the launch of this 20th anniversary publication. This publication shows the
culmination of two decades of hard work and commitment in enhancing
environmental, social and economic sustainability in the trade of biodiversity-
related goods and services.

2016 is also the 15th anniversary of the cooperation between the BioTrade
Initiative and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES is both a global conservation
convention as well as a trade-regulatory body, whose mandate is to ensure

that international trade in CITES-listed wildlife does not threaten their survival. CITES recognizes
that commercial trade in certain wildlife may be beneficial to the conservation of species and
ecosystems, and/or to the development of local communities when carried out at levels that are
not detrimental to the survival of the species in question. CITES was described in the outcomes of
Rio+20 in 2012 as an international agreement that stands at the intersection between trade, the
environment and development, promotes the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and
should contribute to tangible benefits for local people. The BioTrade Initiative is an ideal partner in
advancing the joint endeavour of ensuring the conservation of species and enhancement of the
livelihoods of local communities, whilst also facilitating income-generating opportunities for those
compliant with the Convention’s requirements and national legislation.

Today, 182 Parties to CITES are making concerted efforts to regulate the international trade in
more than 35 000 animal and plant species, recording over one million trade transactions per
year. We remain committed to focusing on the Convention’s three pillars of legality, sustainability
and traceability, and our cooperation with UNCTAD and its BioTrade Initiative provides a strong
foundation to further improve the mutual supportiveness between trade and environment.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit held in New York in 2015 adopted the
SDGs, which envisage a world “in which humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which
wildlife and other living species are protected”, and many of the 17 goals and 169 targets in
the SDGs are of specific and common relevance to the BioTrade Initiative and CITES. In this
pivotal year for sustainable development, we must keep in mind the importance of strengthening
multilateral and cross-cutting cooperation to tackle increasingly interconnected global challenges.
We believe that the CITES-BioTrade Initiative collaboration is a great example of a how focused
and effective such collaborative effort can be.

John E. Scanlon
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Fundacion Fom


BioTrade history and
conceptual framework

Collection, production,
transformation and
commercialization of
goods and services derived
from native biodiversity
(species and ecosystems)
under environmental, social and
economic sustainability criteria.

The variety of life on Earth,
including the wide range of plants,
animals and microorganisms, the
genetic variety within
the species, and the
different ecosystems.

Sustainable Development
The SDGs, part of the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable
Development adopted in 2015,
are a global call to action. To end
poverty, protect the planet and
ensure all live in peace
and prosperity.

Business and biodiversity
83% of consumers expect
companies to have sourcing
policies in place that respect
12 000 companies in more
than 70 countries have signed
up to the United Nations Global
Compact, committing to greater
environmental (and biodiversity)
The number of companies that
report on biodiversity in their
annual reporting is growing.
36 of the top 100 cosmetic
companies and 60 of the top 100
food companies now mention

BioTrade impact in figures
Sales of BioTrade beneficiary
companies and associations

Strategic Plan for
Biodiversity 2011– 2020
and the Aichi Targets
BioTrade contributes
directly to 13 of the 20
Aichi Targets

BioTrade contributes
to almost all SDGs
Directly to 8 SDGs
Indirectly to
8 SDGs
to 94% of
the SDGs

Source: Adapted from Lojenga and Oliva, 2016.


€4.3 billion


5 million
Producers/farmers, collectors/
hunters, workers, among others

A significant increase from
US$40 million in 2003

Number of beneficiaries

BioTrade, biodiversity, Aichi Targets and SDGs: Facts and figures




of the world’s
poor depend
directly on

plant species
are consumed
by people as

of plant species
are used for

of species (and
their potential
uses) are still

Sectors involved in
BioTrade activities:
• Personal care
• Pharmaceuticals/

• Food
• Fashion
• Ornamental flora and fauna
• Handicrafts
• Textiles and natural fibres
• Sustainable tourism
• Forestry-based

carbon credit


Chapter I. BioTrade history and conceptual framework

UNCTAD, through its BioTrade
Initiative, has been promoting trade
and investment in biological resources
(biological resources and ecosystems)
to further sustainable development
and poverty alleviation in line with the
three objectives of the Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD):1

• Conservation of biodiversity;
• Sustainable use of its components;

• Fair and equitable sharing of benefits

arising from genetic resources.
Additionally, it contributes directly to
the achievement of conservation and
sustainable development objectives
of other multilateral environmental
agreements (MEAs). One such
agreement is the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES), to which UNCTAD has
provided support to promote legal,
sustainable and traceable trade in
endangered species. Finally, with
the adoption of Agenda 2030 and
the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs), the BioTrade Initiative will
contribute to the implementation of
almost all SDGs, notably SDGs 15, 17
and 12.
BioTrade refers to the collection,
production, transformation and
commercialization of goods and
services derived from native biodiversity
(species and ecosystems) under
environmental, social and economic
sustainability criteria. This should not be
confused with the conduct of “biotrade”
in general which does not necessarily
relate to “native” species and which
also does not adopt or implement
BioTrade’s frameworks or its tools/

To more fully develop this concept,
UNCTAD, jointly with international and
national partners and practitioners,
established the BioTrade Principles
and Criteria (BT P&C). These,
combined with the four distinctive
approaches (value chain, sustainable
livelihoods, ecosystem and adaptive
management),2 guarantee the
sustainability of the interventions. This
framework addresses the objectives of
biodiversity-related MEAs in the broader
context of sustainable development
and responsible business (Figure 1.2).
For instance, the BT P&C enable the
identification of social, economic and
environmental challenges and gaps of
beneficiaries that need to be addressed
through the implementation and
monitoring of customized workplans to
guarantee actions are sustainable.

BioTrade – harmonizing trade, biodiversity
and livelihoods

In 1996, UNCTAD created the term “BioTrade” and the BioTrade Initiative as an
instrument to enable countries to harmonize economic development with conservation
of biodiversity through the trade of goods and services derived from biodiversity. Over
the past 20 years, several organizations and companies in a number of countries have
engaged in implementing BioTrade across a variety of sectors.

Lorena Jaramillo,
Economic Affairs
Officer, UNCTAD;
Bonapas Onguglo,
Senior Economic
Affairs Officer,

Figure 1.1 Origin of “BioTrade”

UNCTAD created the term:
Bio + Trade

Development Trade




20 years of BioTrade

Figure 1.3 Countries implementing BioTrade

BioTrade countries
Over 20 developing countries in Africa,
Asia and Latin America now implement
BioTrade, its concept or methodologies,
with the support of national, regional
and international BioTrade partners
(Figure 1.3). Some companies working
in developed countries, such as France,
Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the
United Kingdom, are also working
under the BT P&C through the Union
for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT).
At the international level, UNCTAD’s
BioTrade partners include the CBD and
CITES secretariats, UEBT, the United

Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), International Trade Centre (ITC)
and the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), among others.
UNCTAD’s BioTrade Initiative receives
support from donors, in particular the
Swiss State Secretariat for Economic
Affairs (SECO)/Government of
At the regional level, partners include
the Development Bank of Latin
America (CAF), General Secretariat
of the Andean Community, Amazon
Cooperation Treaty Organization and
PhytoTrade Africa (PTA). At the national

level, partners include ministries of
environment and trade in Colombia,
Ecuador, Peru and Viet Nam, trade
promotion agencies in Ecuador, Peru
and Viet Nam, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) such as
HELVETAS Viet Nam, Alexander
von Humboldt Institute (Colombia),
Corporación Biocomercio Sostenible
- Colombia, Corporación Fondo
Biocomercio (Colombia), EcoCiencia
(Ecuador) and business associations
such as the BioTrade Implementation
Group (BIG) in Viet Nam, among others.

Figure 1.2 BioTrade conceptual framework: Mandates, principles and approaches

MDGs, SDGs Value chain

Sustainable livelihoods

Ecosystem approach

Adaptive management

P1. Conservation of biodiversity

P2. Sustainable use of biodiversity

P3. Equitable benefit-sharing

P4. Socioeconomic sustainability

P5. Legal compliance

P6. Respect for actors’ rights

P7. Clear land tenure and
resources access


CBD, CITES and other MEAS

Source: Adapted from UNCTAD, 2007a.

Mandates BioTrade Principles Approaches

Africa: Botswana,
Burkina Faso,
Ghana, Madagascar,
Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa,
Swaziland, United
Republic of Tanzania,
Zambia and Zimbabwe
Asia: Indonesia, Lao
People’s Democratic
Republic, Myanmar and
Viet Nam
Latin America:
Plurinational State
of Bolivia, Brazil,
Colombia, Ecuador,
Mexico and Peru.


Chapter I. BioTrade history and conceptual framework

BioTrade sectors
For beneficiary countries working
with BioTrade initiatives, a broad
variety of products and services can
be sustainably derived from their rich
biodiversity (Table 1.1). Within each
sector, efforts and resources are
prioritized and channelled into areas
where major social, environmental
and economic impacts need to be
achieved. The BT P&C are used to
guide interventions on the ground
and several tools, methodologies
and protocols have been produced
to support partners and programme
beneficiaries (e.g. SMEs, community-
based associations) in implementation.

BioTrade capacity and skills
UNCTAD and its partners have
focused on enhancing the capacities
and skills of BioTrade practitioners
for engaging in sustainable sourcing,
access and benefit sharing (ABS) and
trade in value added products and
services. Such training may include
legal and technical advice relevant
to BioTrade activities including the
regional and national implementation of
regulations, good practices, enhancing
harvesting and processing methods
and documentation. A master’s degree
programme and online courses have
also been developed and implemented
by the Catholic University in Peru and
UNCTAD, among others, in addition to
the development of tools, guidelines,
training material and documents. Topics
addressed and tools offered are shown
• Policy frameworks: Guidelines

to fulfil regulations, protocols,
management plans, ABS, etc.

• Market access: Market studies,
guidelines to develop and implement
marketing and promotion strategies,
guidelines on requirements to access
specific markets, etc.

• Value chain development:
Methodologies to prioritize sectors
and value chains, formulate
implementation strategies and
monitoring systems, etc.

• Managerial skills: Guidelines
to develop business plans and
feasibility studies, cost assessments,
traceability and documentation, etc.

Sector Type of product

Personal care Essential oils, natural dyes, soaps, cream
and butters, cosmetics, etc.

Pharmaceutical (phytopharma) Extracts, capsules and infusions from
medicinal plants, etc.

Food Fruits pulps, juices, jams, biscuits and
sauces, spices, nuts, tubers, snacks,
food supplements, meat from caiman
and fish, etc.

Fashion Skin and belts, bags from Caiman
yacare, etc.

Ornamental flora and fauna Heliconias, orchids, butterflies, etc.

Handicrafts Jewellery, decorative objects based on
native species, garments, etc.

Textiles and natural fibres Furniture and decorative objects based
on natural fibres, bags, shoes, etc.

Sustainable tourism Ecotourism, nature-based tourism,
community-based tourism, etc.

Forestry-based carbon credit

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Forest Degradation, conservation,
sustainable management of forests and
enhancement of forest carbon stocks
(REDD+), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
mitigation strategies for specific value
chains, etc.

Table 1.1 BioTrade sectors prioritized by countries and partners

• Social practices: Guidelines
to enhance the participation of
communities in decision-making
and value chain development,
implementing methodologies for
an equitable and fair distribution
of benefits across the value chain

• Environmental practices: Guidelines
to develop management plans and
resource assessments for flora and
fauna species, sustainable practice
guidelines for ecotourism and
community-based tourism initiatives,
protocols for the use of wild species,
including those listed under CITES
Appendices II and III.

The tools and methodologies
developed under BioTrade can be
adapted to country and region specific
circumstances and realities. These
can include additional approaches,
criteria or considerations to target
specific geographical locations and


20 years of BioTrade

The next 20 years: Upscaling
BioTrade and the 2030 Agenda
In the past 20 years, BioTrade has
expanded in terms of the number of
partners and practitioners involved,
sectors and geographical coverage.
BioTrade has been mainstreamed at
both national and international levels, for
instance in the Decisions of the Parties
to the CBD and CITES, discussions at
the United Nations General Assembly,
as well as within development banks,

the private sector, civil society and
markets. A strong network of partners
and practitioners has been established
and is being expanded continuously to
cover evolving needs of beneficiaries,
document lessons learned and address
relevant emerging issues. Further efforts
from BioTrade partners should continue
documenting, disseminating and
measuring its impact and contribution
to sustainable development, SDGs and
the Aichi Targets at all levels (Table 1.2).

Table 1.2 Lessons learned and emerging issues for upscaling BioTrade

“ BioTrade specializes in niche markets
and developing and
trading products
and services that
are economically
and socially and

Issue or lesson learned Further work or lessons learned

Holistic, integrated and
inclusive approaches which
are demand-driven

Continue emphasizing socioeconomic sustainability, fair and equitable sharing of benefits, and respect for
the rights of actors involved in BioTrade activities. Further work should also enhance the participation of and
liaison with indigenous and local communities, and in fostering horizontal and vertical integration of value
chain stakeholders and BioTrade practitioners worldwide. For demand-driven interventions it is essential to
develop workplans that comply with market requirements, are competitive and economically feasible, and
also fit the interests and needs of BioTrade beneficiaries.

Capacity building

Continue developing BioTrade methodologies, guidelines, training and technical assistance, implementing
new technologies and matching the circumstances and needs of beneficiaries.

Knowledge management

Establish and/or enhance systems for:
• Documenting and sharing good practices and experiences;
• Measuring BioTrade’s impact and contribution to the SDGs and Aichi Targets; and
• Identifying and addressing emerging issues relevant to BioTrade.

This enables practitioners to be updated, capture development opportunities and upscale their actions.
Further work is needed on linking BioTrade and climate change (e.g. implementing carbon-neutral value
chains), ecosystem services valuation, ocean economy, including marine ecosystems, and peacebuilding
and post-conflict recovery and supporting the national implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

Enabling policy
environment supportive of
BioTrade and its prioritized

Continuous work is needed to identify and address constraints related to gaps, lack of clarity, overlapping
and duplicity in regulations and roles of different government agencies. Similarly, it should also consider
addressing non-tariff barriers (NTBs) for prioritized products and services in target markets.

Raise awareness and mainstream BioTrade as an engine for achieving green growth in developing countries,
for valorizing their biodiversity potential, securing ABS, and enhancing their competitiveness
and differentiation based on the sustainable use of native biodiversity.

Competitive and
economically feasible
businesses and value

This continues to be a challenge when implementing BioTrade and requires access to funding, and
improvement of businesses practices. For example, carrying out research and development (R&D) activities,
improving processes and products, and liaising with universities and research organizations.

Globalization of value

Globalization enables the ability to access more customers for BioTrade products and services and, in
some cases, to reduce middle men. This can increase competition from other sourcing countries and foster
stronger quality and quantity control systems, documentation and traceability systems.

Accessing markets Identifying and learning about prioritized target markets are essential when developing value chains. Positive
market trends and business practices that favour environmentally and socially responsible products and
services are supportive of BioTrade. However, the challenges that BioTrade practitioners need to face relate
to evolving and/or stronger market requirements, for example sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) certificates,
labelling, novel food regulation (NFR) as well as the proliferation of certification schemes and consumer
confusion and/or mistrust due to false claims – greenwashing. Strong documentation and traceability
systems in compliance with international standards are becoming essential when accessing markets and
complying with national and international regulations.


Chapter I. BioTrade history and conceptual framework

María Luisa del
Río, Biodiversity
Officer, Strategic
Development of
Natural Resources,
Ministry of
(MINAM), Peru

This article focuses on the relationship of BioTrade with the
achievements and objectives of biodiversity-related MEAs and the
SDGs. It also highlights the growing recognition of BioTrade in the
decisions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the CBD and
CITES, from 1996 onwards.

Origins of the relationship between
BioTrade and MEAs
Launch of BioTrade – Lyon, France,
I remember as it was yesterday when
I first heard the word “BioTrade”
(BioComercio in Spanish). It was
November 1996, at the third meeting
of the COP to the CBD in Buenos
Aires, Argentina. UNCTAD launched
the BioTrade Initiative there, with the
aim of fostering trade and investment
in biological resources to achieve
sustainable development, in line with
the three CBD objectives: conservation,
sustainable use and equitable sharing
of benefits (CBD, 1992).

On that occasion, the initiative
was simply acknowledged in CBD
COP 3 Decision III/18 to “take into
consideration relevant work under
way in other forums, such as the
United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development …”.3 However,
following the launch, the Plurinational
State of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru
approached UNCTAD and discussed
the sustainable use of biodiversity. They
were convinced that only through the
sustainable use of the components
of biodiversity, that its effective
conservation could be achieved.
The task of setting up the BioTrade
Initiative was long, as the conceptual
framework needed validation and
experience needed to be developed.
1996 was the starting point, and
BioTrade was introduced formally as a
CBD decision 12 years later.
BioTrade and CBD COP decisions
During the CBD COP 5 in Kenya in
2005, sustainable use of biodiversity
was recognized as an effective
instrument to foster value in biological
diversity and Parties were “requested
to identify appropriate actions to assist
other Parties, especially developing
countries and countries with economies
in transition, to increase their capacity

to implement sustainable-use practices,
programmes and policies at regional,
national and local levels, especially in
pursuit of poverty alleviation” (Decision
V/24 §5) (CBD, 2000). Later at COP 7
in Malaysia, the Addis Ababa Principles
and Guidelines for the Sustainable use
of Biodiversity were approved, and
these constitute the conceptual basis
of BioTrade (Secretariat of the CBD,
In 2006 in Curitiba, Brazil, the Andean
countries, through Decision VIII/26
§9, introduced the BioTrade Initiative
into the CBD workplan on incentive
measures. It concretely “invites the
United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development, through its initiatives,
including, BioTrade Initiative, to continue
supporting the programme of work on
incentive measures of the Convention”
(CBD, 2006).
At CBD COP 9 in 2008 in Germany,
Decision IX/6 §13 related to incentive
measures “invites the BioTrade Initiative
of the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development to continue
its work on trade promotion for
biodiversity-based products which are
produced in a sustainable manner and
compatible with the three objectives of
the Convention on Biological Diversity,
through capacity-building, enhancing
market access, promoting enabling
environments and engaging relevant
public and private actors” (CBD, 2008).
Since the launch of the BioTrade
Initiative, progress made by the
Andean, Asian and African countries,
in particular, has underpinned the
conceptual framework and the
principles and criteria (expressed via
norms, strategies, programmes, and
pilot projects). In 2012, the achievement
that consolidated these efforts was
the first BioTrade Congress, run in
parallel to the CBD’s Biodiversity and
Business Platform. Recognition of
the role the BioTrade Initiative plays in

BioTrade: An opportunity for synergy with multilateral
environmental agreements1.2


20 years of BioTrade

promoting biodiversity is clear, indicated
by the support noted in COP 12
Decision XII/6, “cooperation with other
conventions, international organizations
and initiatives”. Decision XII/6 §18 “calls
upon the BioTrade Initiative of United
Nations Conference on Trade and
Development to continue to strengthen
its technical support to Governments,
companies and other stakeholders to
enable them to incorporate BioTrade,
as well as sustainable harvesting
practices within national biodiversity
strategies and action plans, as
appropriate, highlighting the importance
of BioTrade as an engine for sustainable
use of biodiversity and its conservation
through the involvement of the private
sector” (CBD, 2014a; Secretariat of the
CBD, 2015a).
However, more remains to be
achieved, especially considering the
new development context of the 2030
Agenda and the SDGs. The SDGs
framework invites the integration of
efforts, for example, SDG 17, “Revitalize
the global partnership for sustainable
development”. This can only be
achieved with strong commitment
in favour of global alliances and
Multilateral environmental agreements
provide for the best context for
cooperation and achievement of the
SDGs, in particular, those closely
linked to the objectives of the CBD
such as the CBD itself, CITES,4 and
the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar),
among others. These are part of the
seven biodiversity-related conventions
grouped under the Biodiversity Liaison
Group5 (Decision VII/26 §1 and §2)
(CBD, 2004).
Countries’ efforts to integrate MEAs’
governance recommendations and find
commonality with their obligations have
grown and, with this, concerns about
how to put them into practice in an
efficient and coherent manner, avoiding

duplication of effort. The study on
Elaboration of options for enhancing
synergies among biodiversity-
related conventions (UNEP, 2016)
states two tools: national strategies
and monitoring systems. However,
these are rather broad and do not
enable countries to find concrete
implementation procedures.
What makes BioTrade a useful
and valuable instrument to foster
synergies among these MEAs?
BioTrade’s conceptual framework and
approaches6 have come a long way
and BioTrade is now mainstreamed in
several arenas. For instance, BioTrade
is considered in norms (26839 Law
for the Conservation and Sustainable
Use of Biodiversity in Peru, 2001),
and in policies, strategies and plans,
such as the Peruvian Bicentennial
Plan (Plan Bicentenario), which
proposes a strategic action for 2021
to “Promote BioTrade initiatives
articulated with specialized high-value
markets” (CEPLAN, 2011). These
instruments provide strong support
for implementation, which integrates
additional efforts, generating broader
positive impacts.
For this reason, the author believes
that BioTrade is the most suitable
and effective way to sustainably use
biodiversity and its components.
Therefore, it should be considered
as an indispensable action to fulfil
the second objective of the CBD. It
is not a label or a new certification
scheme, a stakeholder cannot decide
to be organic or implement BioTrade
– organic is already integrated within
BioTrade, as are strategies to build
resilience, inclusion, an ecosystem
approach, innovation, technology, and
environmental and social justice.
A substantive difference is precisely
what it promotes through the value
chain and adaptive management
approaches, the conservation and

sustainable use of biodiversity and
its ecosystem services. Without
these elements, it would simply be
the commerce and export of natural
resources, without an integrated
view of the biodiversity cycles and
processes, in particular, regarding
native biodiversity. Furthermore,
BioTrade embraces the social aspect
by enhancing the livelihoods of people
living in rich biodiversity areas.
In developing a value chain, all
stakeholders are involved, generating
regional and bilateral cooperation.
Capacities at critical points of the
value chain are enhanced, exchange
of technology and knowledge for
innovation and value addition are
fostered, respect for traditional
knowledge (TK) and its norms is
promoted, livelihoods are enhanced,
and financial resources for activities
on the ground are mobilized. Clearly
in this scenario there is common
ground between BioTrade and the
implementation of MEAs.
The relationship between BioTrade
and the SDGs is undeniable when we
analyse BioTrade Principles and the
potential to support the implementation
of agreements such as the United
Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN
Convention to Combat Desertification
(UNCCD), Ramsar Convention, etc.,
or when we consider supporting the
integration of BioTrade in development
processes. This is more evident when
considering BioTrade’s potential to
link investment and conservation,
investment and benefit sharing, and
conservation and sustainable use of

“ BioTrade’s conceptual
and approaches
have come a
long way and
BioTrade is now
mainstreamed in
several arenas...



Chapter I. BioTrade history and conceptual framework

The Sustainable Development
Goals and MEAs
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development and the SDGs7 were
adopted on 25 September 2015
during the United Nations Sustainable
Development Summit in New York.
They can be viewed as the path to
achieve MEA synergies. For example,
SDG 15 (Life on land), “aims to
conserve and restore the use of
terrestrial ecosystems such as forests,
wetlands, drylands and mountains
by 2020. Promoting the sustainable
management of forests and halting
deforestations is also vital to mitigating
the impact of climate change. Urgent
action must be taken to reduce the
loss of natural habitats and biodiversity
which are part of our common heritage”
(United Nations, 2015). This text
acknowledges the main elements of
MEAs stated above.
Further, when considering SDG
15, Target 1, “By 2020, ensure
the conservation, restoration and
sustainable use of terrestrial and
inland freshwater ecosystems and
their services, in particular forests,
wetlands, mountains and drylands, in
line with obligations under international
agreements,” the common ground
found is in implementing BioTrade, its
Principles and Criteria to achieve this

How to guarantee this conservation?
Through the sustainable use and
recovery of ecosystems? With the
support of local populations, involving
local stakeholders? For example, by
working under BT P&C, the value
chains of cocoa, Brazil nut, sustainable
tourism and other biodiversity
components, are being enhanced.
SDG 12 relates to sustainable
production and consumption and is
also relevant to BioTrade. The target
states the urgent need to reduce the
ecological footprint through changes
in the patterns of production and
consumption of goods and services.
It also refers to changes in agricultural
patterns and the efficient management
of shared natural resources – a clear
synergy with BioTrade.

Concluding remarks
It is important to mainstream BioTrade
into MEAs, including into National
Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans
(NBSAPs). This can be achieved via a
three-step strategy:
• Developing a clear understanding of

how BT P&C can be implemented;

• Assessing the implication of each
of the Principles and Criteria within
BioTrade approaches (adaptive
management, ecosystem approach,
value chain and livelihoods); and

• Establishing how these approaches
can be implemented within NBSAPs
for each country.

It is also essential to document and
monitor BioTrade experiences and
impacts in social, environmental and
economic spheres, to feed into national
and international frameworks (e.g.
NBSAPs, national laws, strategies) as
lessons learned and best practices.
It is indispensable to relate the findings
above to the Aichi Targets and the
SDGs to establish common ground
between MEAs. The topics considered
relate to information and monitoring,
education, capacity-development,
governance, conservation and use
(rational, sustainable, etc.), among
others. These are elements that should
be integrated into each stage of the
value chain, fostering compliance
according to each MEA. Resilience,
adaptation, rational use of wetlands,
should also be considered as guiding
principles. Such an exercise will
renew the way we see MEAs, from
their international scope to their
implementation at the local level.



20 years of BioTrade

Rik Kutsch
Lojenga, Executive
Director, UEBT

BioTrade aims to promote sustainable development through trade
and investment in biodiversity. Turning BioTrade into a market driver
for sustainability has required defining opportunities for BioTrade
products, ensuring market access and staying on top of market
trends. Looking ahead, one priority is securing sufficient private
sector buy in.

The private sector is called upon
to engage as an active partner in
achieving the SDGs, adopted in
2015 by over 190 countries. The new
development paradigm put forth by
the SDGs requires business models
that consider the environmental, social,
economic and governance imperatives
(Sustainable Development Knowledge
Platform, 2015). Can such business
models also present opportunities for
innovation, competitive advantage and
commercial growth?
Since 1996, the UNCTAD BioTrade
Initiative has been working to promote
sustainable development through
trade and investment in biodiversity.
That is, the BioTrade concept is seen
as a market driver for sustainability,
ensuring trade contributes to one of the
most significant global challenges: the
conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity, based on a fairer and more
equitable sharing of benefits.

Defining products and services

BioTrade’s initial focus was, specifically,
on harnessing the growing interest in
genetic resources in the pharmaceutical
and biotechnology sectors, which
offered important economic
opportunities for biodiversity-rich
developing countries. The UNCTAD
BioTrade Initiative successfully
established a portfolio of regional and
country programmes in Latin America,
Africa and Asia. Yet, it quickly became
clear that research, development
and commercialization timelines and
investment costs in these sectors
could be significant. The development
potential of genetic resources would
only be realized over the long term.
Interest in natural products was also
diminishing among pharmaceutical
companies, in view of new
technological developments and legal
uncertainty stemming from discussions
over the misappropriation of genetic
resources and TK. These developments
affected efforts to promote BioTrade.

The focus of the BioTrade concept
– at least in terms of markets – thus
changed to other products and services
derived from biodiversity. The launch of
the first national BioTrade programme
in Colombia in 1998 already reflected
a focus on biological resources, rather
than genetic resources. Promoting the
inclusion of indigenous peoples, local
communities and local companies in
supply chains of natural ingredients –
extracts, oils and powders used by the
food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
industries – offered more short-term
and tangible benefits. Examples of
BioTrade ingredients include fruits
obtained through wild collection or
agroforestry (such as açaí berries
from the Amazon), herbs, flowers and
spices (such as hibiscus flowers from
Africa). BioTrade also started promoting
sustainable trade in plants and animals

BioTrade: A market driver for sustainable development1.3

Harvesting allanblackia in Ghana © UEBT


Chapter I. BioTrade history and conceptual framework

listed under CITES (e.g. Caiman yacare
leather from the Plurinational State of
Bolivia and alpaca wool from Peru).
Services such as ecotourism were
included in BioTrade programmes,
mainly in Latin America.
More recently, attention has focused
on biodiversity as a source of
innovation, partly driven by the work
of BioTrade partners such as the
UEBT and PTA. The 2010 adoption
of the Nagoya Protocol on Access
to Genetic Resources and the Fair
and Equitable Sharing of Benefits
Arising from their Utilization to the
CBD provided an international legal
framework for biodiversity-based
innovation and has increased interest
in fair and sustainable practices for
the development of natural ingredients
(CBD, 2014b). Consequently, the
UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative and other
BioTrade partners are again providing
technical support and guidance on the
issue of genetic resources. Currently,
BioTrade covers a mix of products
derived from biodiversity, both from
genetic resources and biochemical

Reaching the market
Biodiversity is now recognized as a
pillar in innovation and production
in a number of sectors. Moreover,
sustainability values can be a powerful
differentiator for a product or service.

Yet for BioTrade products and services
to reach markets, challenges must be
overcome in areas such as technical
and financial capacities, regulatory
frameworks and market uptake.
Experiences in BioTrade show
that sustainability is a particularly
valuable differentiator in the
business-to-business (B2B) sector,
offering opportunities for SMEs in
developing countries. However, these
companies often need support to
meet market requirements relating to
quality, volumes, constant supplies

and marketing. In 2003, UNCTAD
launched the BioTrade Facilitation
Programme, which brings together
various organizations in an innovative
partnership to promote the market
uptake of BioTrade initiatives. Other
international organizations such as
the ITC and CAF also established
programmes to support enterprises,
particularly SMEs, to overcome such
Regulatory hurdles to market access
are also not unusual, especially for
innovative ingredients for which less
information is available about safety

and proficiency. A well-known example
of such a hurdle has been the novel
food regulation (NFR) in the European
Union (EU), which poses a challenge for
those BioTrade initiatives that bring food
ingredients to the market with no history
of significant consumption in the EU
prior to 2007. The approval processes
for baobab fruit pulp, which were led
by PTA and supported by the UNCTAD
BioTrade Initiative, cost in the region of
€300 000.
Finally, the BioTrade concept and
products can only succeed with
sufficient market uptake. Private sector
interest in biodiversity and BioTrade
products needs to be promoted
and awareness raised. To this end,
UNCTAD and International Finance
Corporation supported the creation
of the UEBT, which actively promotes
business interest in the ethical sourcing
of biodiversity in the cosmetics, food
and pharmaceutical industries. It also
encourages private sector adoption
of the BT P&C, through the Ethical
BioTrade Standard, to ensure that trade
in biodiversity-based ingredients really
contributes to local development and
biodiversity conservation. Companies
that are members of UEBT adopt
Ethical BioTrade practices within their
own operations, and encourage such
practices among hundreds of suppliers
and supply chains.

By 2020, people around the world should be aware of the values of biodiversity. This is the ambitious goal set by the
CBD as part of its Aichi Targets. Since 2009, UEBT has published its annual Biodiversity Barometer, which provides
insights on trends on biodiversity awareness among consumers and on biodiversity reporting in the beauty and food
industries. The UEBT Biodiversity Barometer is a recognized indicator for measuring Aichi Biodiversity Target 1.
In reviewing eight years of UEBT Biodiversity Barometer research, there are surprising findings and critical lessons
to be learned. Ten findings are highlighted below:

1.The understanding of biodiversity is rising significantly.

2. Biodiversity is a global concept, with high awareness in emerging markets in Latin America and Asia.
3. People want to personally contribute to biodiversity conservation, but don’t know how.
4. Consumers expect companies to respect biodiversity, but there is little confidence that they currently do.

5. Transparency is important. Consumers want to know whether sourcing practices respect people and biodiversity,
and would like more information, preferably externally validated.

6. Brand reputation, authentic stories and images in brand communication convince consumers.
7. Millennials have the highest awareness of biodiversity and can identify brands that respect biodiversity.
8. Few international brands are positioned highlighting respect of people and biodiversity.
9. Corporate communication on biodiversity by beauty, food and beverage companies is on the rise, but still falls

short of expectations.
10. References to ABS are rising in corporate communications.

Box 1.1 Ten takeaways from eight years of UEBT Biodiversity Barometer

“ Regulatory hurdles to market access are
also not unusual...


20 years of BioTrade

The number of companies involved in
Ethical BioTrade is projected to grow
significantly in the near future. Indeed,
for BioTrade to be a true market driver
of sustainable development, a much
more significant uptake of the BioTrade
concept is still required across the
board: government policies, business
strategies and markets. As will be seen,
there are various trends that suggest
upcoming opportunities for BioTrade
partners to achieve such increased
take up.

Market trends and opportunities
UEBT identifies several market trends
that offer opportunities for BioTrade
activities in the years to come:
Firstly, consumers increasingly demand
that natural ingredients are used in
products, such as natural sweeteners,
colourants, fragrances, flavours,
preservatives or emulsifiers. Companies
are responding. In the food sector, for
example, more companies adopt a
“clean label” approach, which stands
for products with no artificial ingredients
and chemicals. This drives a trend to
use natural ingredients, particularly
new and innovative natural ingredients.
Similar trends exist in the cosmetics
Secondly, there are increasing calls
for transparency about the type of
ingredients used in consumer products,
the origins of these ingredients, and
the conditions under which they are
produced. This means traceability
from package to field, investment in

long-term supplier relationships and in
good social and ecological practices.
BioTrade offers an excellent conceptual
framework for such practices.
Thirdly, biodiversity awareness is
growing among consumers and
companies (UEBT, 2016). The term
biodiversity is relatively recent: this
explains why business and consumers
are only now starting to develop a
real understanding of the concept.
Yet, awareness and understanding
are expanding. In our increasingly
biodiversity-aware world, it turns out
consumers have high expectations
towards companies, and are likely
to make purchasing decisions that
respect biodiversity (see Box 1.1 for
an overview of the key findings of the
UEBT Biodiversity Barometer).
Finally, an important trend is the
emerging business models connecting
sustainable use of biodiversity and
ecosystem services. Sustainable
tourism, for example, minimizes the
negative impact on ecosystems
and incentivizes local environmental
stewardship. BioTrade and REDD+
strategies are also linked. In 2013,
Natura Cosmetics, a company involved
in BioTrade, purchased carbon offsets
from the Paiter-Suruí, an indigenous
people of the Amazon.

The drivers of sustainability are evolving,
with the balanced consideration of
social, environmental and economic
issues now firmly established as a

way for companies to be competitive,
innovative and profitable. The BioTrade
concept has pioneered such an
approach, but still faces certain
challenges. To fully reach its potential,
BioTrade needs more significant market
Market trends show an opportunity
for BioTrade. Demand for biodiversity
ingredients is increasing, as is the
interest in ethical sourcing practices
for these ingredients. The SDGs, the
Nagoya Protocol and other international
instruments are changing the regulatory
and policy landscape. This means that
countries, companies and associations
have an incentive to adopt and promote
BioTrade practices – as a contribution
to sustainable development and as a
business strategy.
The challenge is to get sufficient private
sector buy in. The role of initiatives such
as UEBT in convening companies and
assuring sustainable practices through
the Ethical BioTrade Standard is crucial.
A priority for the next 20 years should
be getting companies on board, so that
BioTrade can move towards significantly
impacting the way that markets and
consumers approach biodiversity –
making BioTrade a stronger market
driver for sustainability.

Research for developing new products © Fotolia: Lily


Chapter I. BioTrade history and conceptual framework

René Gómez-
García Palao,
Head, Green
Business Unit;
Federico Vignati
Scarpati, Principal
Marisela Vega
Zuleta, Consultant,
Department of
Environment and
Climate Change,

Financing for green businesses and BioTrade is a critical factor hindering the
development of the sector in Latin America and worldwide. The available financial
products are limited, and are not adapted to the characteristics of production cycles
and BioTrade businesses. Action is needed at different levels to address this limitation:
macro (by implementing public policies); meso (by strengthening value chains: R&D,
market access and targeted financial products); and micro (by increasing companies’

In recent years BioTrade has gained
importance internationally as a catalyst
for the conservation of biodiversity
and the generation of social inclusion.
Globally, there is a strong trend toward
markets related to BioTrade. At least 4
per cent of world trade, equivalent to
US$290 billion, included transactions
of biodiversity goods and services,
including BioTrade (Gómez-García
et al., 2014). Even more, BioTrade
has positioned itself as an important
management model, applicable to the
green business characteristics of Latin
America, as well as other regions.
It is in this context that CAF’s8
Department of Environment and
Climate Change joined forces during
2011–2015 with UNEP and the Global
Environment Facility (GEF), for the
development of the project “Facilitation
of financing for biodiversity-based
businesses and support of market
development activities in the Andean

Region” – the Andean BioTrade
Project (ABP). The project focused on
governance, market access, access to
finance and pilot project strengthening.
A major result was that sales of
beneficiary companies increased
65 per cent on average during the
period – a performance superior to the
average in similar industries. These
experiences demonstrated the capacity
of BioTrade’s sustainable principles to
promote development.9 In 2015, to
scale up the ABP and continuing with
its commitment to support innovative
endeavours devoted to green economy
transformation in Latin America, CAF
created the Green Business Unit.
It focuses on a portfolio of projects
linked to the ethical and sustainability
principles proposed by BioTrade.10

After five years involved in developing
economically viable biodiversity-based
businesses, a number of the key
aspects and lessons learned have been
identified which are useful for the future
development of BioTrade initiatives.

Reflections on the drivers of economic and financial
sustainability in BioTrade initiatives 1.4

BioTrade Forum and Roundtable at PeruNatura © PROMPERU


20 years of BioTrade

Key aspects and lessons learned
for the development of BioTrade
Experience shows that companies
which choose to shift to BioTrade are
able to respond to a rising demand that
may guarantee long-term competitive
advantage, and generate shared value
on the demand and supply sides of
chains. However, despite the significant
growth in BioTrade markets – business
turnover reached €4.3 billion in 2015
(Jaramillo, 2016a) – the initiatives
encompass market segments which
are small when compared with the
market for biodiversity-based products.
This requires companies seeking to
maintain and consolidate a position
in BioTrade to make major efforts
to train personnel in technical and
production issues, ensure their capacity
to enter the market, attend to market
needs, develop innovative products
and access differentiated financing
(green financing).11 All this is part of
the challenge that companies which
understand the benefits of BioTrade
are willing to overcome as they commit
and seek in BioTrade a new strategic
choice, based on a more ethical,
inclusive and sustainable business
Such efforts clearly need support, given
that most BioTrade companies in the
region are micro-SMEs with limited
capital and human resources, to make
key investments in applied research and
product development. In this context,
there are three important aspects to
consider to promote the economic
sustainability and competitiveness of

• First, improved access to financial
tools and services should be a major
priority since this is one of the most
critical barriers for BioTrade initiatives.
According to the CBD, during 2013,
financial institutions only granted 3.5
per cent of total financing to green
businesses. Furthermore, the existing
credit lines of “green” financing in the
region are usually related to energy
efficiency issues. Financial products
available to meet production segments
and, within these, BioTrade products,
are limited and the ones that exist
generally have high barriers to access
(guarantees) and unfavourable
financial conditions (rates, terms). All
these conditions limit the competitive
access to credit for BioTrade initiatives.
The lack of financing results in
low investment in innovation, thus
companies have limited markets and
uncompetitive offerings.

Financing for BioTrade initiatives
is a challenge that needs to be
overcome by working with both
BioTrade initiatives and the financial
sector. Companies often lack proper
organizational and accounting
administration which limits their debt
management. Although financial
institutions are interested in the
development of green financing credit
lines, the sector is generally unfamiliar
with the dynamics and potential

of products derived from native
biodiversity. Consequently, awareness
raising and technical advice for
financial institutions are important
to enhance their capacity to identify
and select business projects that
meet verifiably sustainable practices
and to understand the variety of
productive and business cycles of
green business and BioTrade. CAF
expertise, as a development bank,
has contributed to tackling this need
in several countries in Latin America.

• Second, it is fundamental to
strengthen value chains through
capacity building in organizational,
administrative and productive matters,
so as to allow the development of
highly productive business models
that are properly structured and
articulated, and eligible for financing.
Therefore, service providers are
essential to offer advice and guidance
in the initial stages of business start-
ups – usually lacking financing – to
develop strategic aspects of the
organization such as the acquisition
and implementation of certifications
and permits, brand development
and research for the development
of new products/processes. The
strengthening of value chains can
be effectively implemented through
strategic alliances and knowledge
exchange between enterprises and
similar organizations with successful
experiences and lessons learned.

• Third, taking into consideration that
markets are increasingly demanding
and competitive, investment in
innovation, and implementation of
quality and sustainable systems

“ BioTrade experience in Latin America is
quite innovative...

Processing of physalisQuality control systems for BioTrade products © Villa Andina© CAF


Chapter I. BioTrade history and conceptual framework

which support practices and increase
levels of supply, are fundamental for
the production of differentiated value
added products and services. This will
require the establishment of public-
private collaboration for research,
innovation and the implementation
of technologies and differentiation
schemes (e.g. certifications,
appellation of origin, etc.), and the
participation of BioTrade initiatives
in specialized commercial platforms,
trade fairs, and technological and
commercial missions. These activities
involve specialized knowledge and
high costs; thus, the role of the public
sector in the early stages is important.

Future opportunities
BioTrade is an innovative ethical and
biodiversity-friendly based business
model for overcoming some of the
most relevant income distribution and
biodiversity conservation challenges
in Latin America and elsewhere. It
presents itself as a coherent model
for responding to critical current
global priorities: loss of biodiversity
as well as climate change mitigation.
Equally, its contribution stands in the
transformation of the production base
and the distribution of wealth, by
generating social benefits. It is reached
through the inclusion and articulation
of community initiatives with more

commercially competitive enterprises
under value chain models, generating
new local development dynamics.
With a strong trend of 19 per cent
annual growth until 2020, biodiversity
goods and services with BioTrade
potential will have an approximately 33
per cent share of world trade (Gómez-
García et al., 2014). However, this
important growth opportunity requires
establishing support and cooperation
platforms that cover key aspects for
strengthening value chains. Building
business skills and facilitating access
to market for the proper development
of BioTrade companies is essential.
However, as noted above, leveraging
financial resources to drive BioTrade
initiatives needs to be a priority. This
can be accomplished through the
creation of financial instruments,
awareness-raising about opportunities
in the sector and the dissemination of
information regarding the availability of
financial assistance to initiatives. Equally
important is the creation of a strong
network of knowledge exchange in the
sector. Similarly, emphasis should be
placed on establishing and maintaining
a BioTrade community of practice with
expertise at different levels (macro,
meso and micro) which incorporates
relevant lessons learned, and explores
bolder and more systemic interventions
that may drive countries or even regions
into the sustainable, green economy.

At a higher level, policymakers in
interested countries should develop
an enabling policy and regulatory
environment conducive for BioTrade
businesses, with clear regulations that
consider the business circumstances
and which foster innovation through
market and tax incentives. Incorporating
biodiversity into public policies and the
overall economic development agenda
is still an emerging issue around the
BioTrade experience in Latin America
is quite innovative, as the region holds
the highest biodiversity rate per capita
in the world. It is by experimenting and
learning that BioTrade will increase
its practical know-how, the number
of businesses endorsing BioTrade
and build strategic alliances. CAF,
as a development bank, believes in
the economic feasibility of BioTrade
and confirms its engagement to
upscale its implementation jointly with
public and private sectors and civil
society. This collaborative approach
will create specific responses that
make sustainable development and
integration in the region viable by
promoting initiatives such as BioTrade,
as well as enhancing financial solutions
for green businesses.

Ecotourist enjoying the natural beauty of the Amazon ecosystems © Walter H. Wurst


20 years of BioTrade

2 BioTrade and peopleBioTrade has delivered positive impacts for its beneficiaries in the last two
decades. This section provides examples of initiatives being promoted by BioTrade
practitioners in Asia, Africa and Latin America, in the personal care, phytopharma
and food sectors. Beneficiaries are wide ranging, from indigenous communities,
women’s associations, product-based associations to communities who are
sustainably transforming their biodiversity into products and services. The trade
in BioTrade products and services increases these communities’ incomes and
enhances their capacity and ability to compete with differentiated value added
products and services that are traded in national and international markets.

BioTrade and people: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Case study Aichi Targets Sustainable Development Targets

2.1. BioTrade and livelihoods –
a possible synergy

2.2. Ecoflora Cares: Jagua value chain

1, 2, 4, 7, 16, 18, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15

2.3. Achuar and Shuar communities
and the Chankuap Foundation:
Resources for the future (Ecuador)

1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 16, 18, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15

2.4. Traditional knowledge as a
business model: Takiwasi and
Ampik Sacha (Peru)

1, 2, 4, 7, 16, 18, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15

2.5. Sandalwood: Ethical sourcing
of a unique and valued fragrance
(Sri Lanka)

2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 16, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15

2.6. Up in the mountains: Traditional
herbal remedy improves ethnic
minority communities (Viet Nam)

2, 3, 4, 7, 13, 16, 18, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15





Chapter II. BioTrade and people

BioTrade and people: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

BioTrade aims to enhance the livelihoods of people, particularly those
living in rich biodiversity areas and those dependent on biodiversity.
To do so, BioTrade practitioners have developed a variety of
services to enhance the social impact of interventions, including the
development of projects, guidelines and tools, among others, and a
number of lessons learned can be identified.


The Secretariat of the CBD states that
around 1.6 billion people depend on
forest and non-timber forest (NTF)
products for their livelihoods. Many
households in Asia, derived as much
as 50–80 per cent of annual household
income from NTF products, namely
from biodiversity resources (Secretariat
of CBD, 2014). This is also seen in
Latin America, where 75 per cent
of households depend directly on
biodiversity to meet their basic needs
for food and water, and to preserve
their culture (García Rodríguez et al.,

Connecting BioTrade and
livelihoods of grassroots actors
BioTrade’s philosophy centres
on providing livelihoods for poor,
particularly rural, communities and
people living in and depending on
biodiversity. Through its principles,
BioTrade promotes the equitable
sharing of benefits, respect for the
rights of actors involved, and develops
inclusive and transparent value chains
and sectors. Partners are engaged
in establishing or strengthening
cooperatives, producer associations,
community-based and/or micro-SMEs,
and strengthening their managerial
and supply management capacity. It
is complemented by enhancing local

value addition and trading activities to
provide higher incomes and prices for
their products and services. As of 2015,
almost 5 million grassroots stakeholders
have been integrated into over 3600
global and local value chains in a
variety of sectors and regions (García
Rodríguez et al., 2015; Lojenga and
Oliva, 2016; Rossow, 2015).
Success stories and lessons learned
are enabling the BioTrade concept,
methodologies and technical
assistance to adapt to the real and
dynamic circumstances and needs of
beneficiaries. These can be grouped
into the following:
• Inclusive and participatory

community-based approaches for
ensuring that needs, opportunities,
culture and circumstances of
grassroots actors are mainstreamed
into all activities. Fair and equitable
benefit sharing, transparent
discussions and decision-making
processes along the chain are also

• Market access and value chain
approaches to develop demand
driven interventions, enhance the
chain efficiency and reduce its
length (steps) by linking producers
to markets. Actions also strengthen
grassroots actors’ abilities to
manage their businesses and supply
chains, and provide them with
tools and financing to enhance the
competitiveness of their organizations
and products. Importantly, the
grassroots actors’ capacities are
assessed to establish their role and
the stage at which they should enter
into the value chain, and consider
a gradual approach, linking them
with local, then national and then
international markets.

BioTrade and livelihoods – a possible synergy

Lorena Jaramillo,
Economic Affairs
Officer, UNCTAD


“ BioTrade’s philosophy centres on providing
livelihoods for poor,
particularly rural,
communities and people
living in and depending
on biodiversity...


20 years of BioTrade

• Reintegration and post-conflict
recovery of ex-combatants,
affected communities and displaced
people into civilian life through
BioTrade activities. These income-
generating activities sustainably use
and transform unique biodiversity
into value added products and
services that are traded in national
and international markets. To
date, reintegration and post-
recovery activities have been mainly
implemented in Colombia and
Indonesia (Aceh Selatan).

• Risk diversification and enhancing
resilience by diversifying the use of a
limited number of species, increasing
the number of value added products
being developed and traded and
markets being served. Grassroots
actors should not depend on a
small number of traded products,
services and markets, to lessen
their vulnerability to supply/demand
shocks, climate change and natural
and conflict-related disasters.

Key message
BioTrade is a livelihood option for many
people across the globe. It provides
for developing tools and technical
assistance to fulfil the changing
needs of grassroots stakeholders
to commercialize their value added
products in national and international
markets. Integrated and participatory
approaches, ABS, carbon neutral
production process, circular economy,
environmental pressures and strong
competition, are some of the issues
that practitioners need to tackle in
order to provide real and long-term
livelihood options to grassroots
actors. Concretely, practitioners
should consider also the opportunities
provided by the 2030 Agenda and
the SDGs, as well as the Biodiversity
Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and its
Aichi Targets for mainstreaming
poverty alleviation, development and
conservation of biodiversity. Finally,
displacement, immigration, and the
existence of diaspora communities,
are also areas where BioTrade can
contribute, as shown with reintegration
and post-recovery activities, but also
as an interesting market segment for
products and services.





Chapter II. BioTrade and people

Juan Fernando
Botero, President,
Ecoflora Cares S.A.S.

Ecoflora Cares develops high-end natural colour solutions derived
from Colombian biodiversity for food and cosmetic applications.
Through the development of BioTrade practices in colla boration with
rural, indigenous and afro-descendent communities, the company
enhances livelihoods through sustainable use of the rainforest,
the conservation of valuable ecosystems and a fair and equitable
distribution of benefits.

Jagua fruit and natural colourants © Ecoflora Cares

Implementation strategy

Through extensive work over the last
eight years, Ecoflora Cares, with the
support of local communities under
the wild sourcing programme, has
identified, georeferenced and protected
close to 7000 jagua trees distributed
over 55 000 hectares. In 2015, 54
families from the Chocó and Uraba
regions sustainably harvested 150
trees. By 2018, the company aims
to increase sustainably harvested
trees to 12 500 by diversifying supply
chains and inviting 400 families from
new communities in other regions to
participate in the sourcing programme.
It also aims to increase the harvested
trees per hectare, conserve naturally
regenerated trees, and expand the
species population in depleted areas
near villages to facilitate harvesting
and logistics activities. The economic
impact is expected to generate 353
direct jobs for vulnerable youngsters
exposed to criminal groups or illegal
coca growers.
Ecoflora Cares is a trading member of
the UEBT and a Colombian pioneer in
fulfilling international and local access to
genetic resources (AGR) regulations. As

such, it is one of the first companies to
sign a formal commercial AGR contract
with the Ministry of Environment and
Sustainable Development representing
the Colombian Government. The
contract, signed on 16 December
2014, lasts for 20 years. The monetary
benefits comprise royalties to be paid to
the Colombian Government on turnover
produced by the blue colourant. The
ministry, through its local offices,
exercises all monitoring and auditing
regarding fulfilling contract obligations.
Ecoflora Cares’ non-monetary
commitments are:
• To carry out annual reporting and

awareness raising of the programme’s
progress with regional environmental
authorities such as local government
authorities (Corporación para el
Desarrollo Sostenible del Urabá and
Corporación Autónoma Regional
para el desarrollo social del Chocó)
and research institutions (Instituto
de Investigaciones Ambientales del

• To promote activities to strengthen
institutional development in the
communities and jagua supply

Ecoflora Cares: Jagua value chain (Colombia)2.2


Ecoflora Cares developed a unique
blue natural colour additive derived
from the jagua fruit (Genipa americana),
commonly found in tropical forests.
A pilot wild sourcing programme
considering the Ethical BioTrade
Standard was implemented with rural,
indigenous and afro-descendent
communities living in extreme poverty
in the Colombian Chocó rainforests.
This programme secured the
conservation of jagua trees and
their surrounding ecosystems, while
potentially improving by more than
50 per cent family incomes in sourcing


20 years of BioTrade

Activities with the local communities under the wild sourcing programme of Ecoflora Cares

Upscaling the jagua value chain to
enhance local livelihoods
There are several challenges and
opportunities in enhancing the
jagua value chain via BioTrade to
improve livelihoods of rural and ethnic
communities in the Chocó rainforest:
1. The Nagoya Protocol can provide

opportunities for the sector.
It encourages companies and
supplying communities producing
biodiversity derived products to work
together harmoniously to foster an
equitable, sustainable relationship.
Its principles encourage building
and strengthening communication
channels and processes in order to
understand each other’s realities,
objectives and challenges. However,
national legislation needs to be
set up in order to support such

2. Raising awareness in local
communities and indigenous
peoples regarding the intrinsic
value of the natural resources
available in their territories. Value
is a concept that must transcend
a simple conservationist approach
and be framed as an enabler of
better and more sustainable living
conditions. In order to foster this,
the government should encourage
entrepreneurship related to BioTrade
initiatives within communities.
BioTrade should be a means of
protecting ecosystems and a
powerful value builder for the people
inhabiting them.

3. Capacity building on sustainable
sourcing practices, quality control
and business fundamentals.
Most of the communities dwelling
in these dense biodiverse hotspots
do not have trading activities
with other regions, instead they

subsist by carrying out basic daily
activities such as fishing, small-scale
farming and exchange of goods
with neighbouring communities.
Training programmes on sustainable
sourcing practices, quality control
and business fundamentals should
be initiated to enable BioTrade
operations with industrial or urban

4. Strengthen control and forest
protection mechanisms in relation
to illegal and depleting activities.
Mining and illegal activities have
created false and illusive economies
in terms of salaries and expected
incomes in these communities.
This exerts very high pressure on
alternative livelihoods that may
compete with them in relation to
land, labour or forestry resources.
Therefore, organizations in rich
biodiversity countries with potential
for engaging in BioTrade should
support the creation and adoption
of more effective forest protection

5. Strengthen the perception of the
intrinsic value of natural resources
and traditional knowledge in
BioTrade projects. Sometimes
“value creation” or “added value” are
perceived exclusively as the process
of transforming a material into
something else; from raw material in
nature into a cosmetic application.
That view, although not incorrect, has
several limitations, especially when
it becomes the sole expectation
or desire of potential supplying
communities to transform nature-
sourced raw materials into semi-
finished or finished products. This
objective is perfectly plausible and
justifiable, but the BioTrade concept
may minimize the complexity behind

the supply and logistics operations
in which the knowledge of the
forest becomes these communities’
most prized asset – the only one
that cannot be either copied or
imitated and does not depreciate
in time. Protecting and preserving
that knowledge should be a key
point of discussion by institutions
and organizations shaping BioTrade
standards and regulations.

6. Guarantee market access for
the jagua colourant. Market
access is essential for the success
of any business, particularly at
the pre-commercial stage. To
trade the colourant in national
and international markets, it is
essential to obtain permits issued
by respective regulatory authorities.
The Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia
de Medicamentos y Alimentos
approved the sanitary permit of the
jagua colourant for the Colombian
market. However, this is not enough
as the international market is the
only one that can generate enough
demand to develop the jagua
supply chains and achieve the
company’s goals for 2018. In this
regard Ecoflora Cares has needed
to employ its scientific, technical,
regulatory and business knowledge
and capabilities to obtain the permits
for the target markets (e.g. from the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
in the United States of America, the
European Food Safety Authority
(EFSA) in the EU and the Joint Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/
World Health Organization (WHO)
Expert Committee on Food Additives
(JECFA) for inclusion in Codex

© Ecoflora Cares


Chapter II. BioTrade and people

Shuar women harvesting the native
peanut charak (Arachis hypogaea)

Adriana Sosa V,
Resources for the

The Chankuap Foundation: Resources for the future promotes sustainable
development and conservation of the forests located in Morona Santiago Province
(Ecuador) by the local Achuar and Shuar communities. This is achieved by developing
sustainable value chains under BT P&C, thus guaranteeing the availability of resources
for future generations.


The Taisha District of Morona Santiago
Province is home to the indigenous
Achuar and Shuar communities.
More than 80 per cent of the region is
primary forest – some 508 850 hectares
– and extremely rich in biodiversity.
The district also includes part of the
Kutukú Cordillera and Trans-Kutukú
areas, which are a biodiversity hotspot
(Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado
Municipal del Cantón Taisha, 2014).
In this area, cattle and agricultural
production is nascent but becoming
an economic alternative for families.
Cutting trees and selling illegal wood
is threatening the rainforest; a situation
which could be exacerbated by the
development of the Macas-Macuma-
Taisha Highway. If insufficient incentives
are provided to minimize this threat,
local human development may become
more complex. For communities where
the highway does not reach, air travel is
the only means of communication.
The Chankuap Foundation was set
up in 1996 in the Ecuadorian Amazon
at the request of local communities
wanting support to help promote
sustainable collection and production
activities to generate family income. It
focuses on native species used by the
Achuar and Shuar communities. The
foundation works throughout the value
chain of different products in order
to guarantee market access, and to
comply with requirements related to
volume, quality and continuity, and to
be a real response to one of the major
challenges: commercialization.

Enhancing local livelihoods
through value addition and trade
of non-timber forest products

To organize production in the area,
the foundation fostered the creation
of solidarity working groups. These

are non-legal organizations providing
training and technical assistance for
planning the production of species that
are transported to Chankuap’s modern
collection centre and transformation
facilities in Macas, the provincial capital.
From the beginning, the foundation’s
strategy focused on native species
that the communities know and use in
their gardens, such as: charak peanut
(Arachis hypogaea), achiote (Bixa
orellana), chili (Capsicum spp.), ginger
(Zingiber officinale), turmeric (Curcuma
longa), among others, which have
market potential at local, national and/
or international levels. For example,
it re-established native species such
as the charak peanut for which there
is an unsatisfied international market
demand. Also, other wild collected

species and derived products are
being encouraged, such as dragon’s
blood (Croton lechleri), ishpink (Ocotea
quixos), guayusa (Ilex guayusa) and
ungurahua (Oenocarpus bataua).
Management plans were developed
for each of the wild species to
guarantee their future existence. For
instance, ungurahua, used in the
personal care sector, is in high demand
and its management plan includes
the implementation of prevention,
protection, rehabilitation, mitigation and
rationalization methods for its use.
High value added products have
been developed by the Chankuap
Foundation. These include a cosmetic

Achuar and Shuar communities and the Chankuap
Foundation: Resources for the future (Ecuador)


“ More than 80 per cent of the region is
primary forest – some
508 850 hectares –
and extremely rich in

Fundación C



20 years of BioTrade

Chankuap Foundation’s cosmetic product range Ikiam Amazon Soul and production process

Figure 2.1 Chankuap Foundation sales 2004–2015 (US$)

© Fundación Chankuap

Source: Fundación Chankuap, 2016.

product range named Ikiam Amazon
Soul. These products were developed
to value native species and derived
products such as essential and fatty
oils from the ungurahua palm for use
in liquid soaps, creams, massage oils
and shampoos. Chankuap Foundation
products fulfil production norms (e.g.
good manufacturing practices – GMPs)
and voluntary requirements (organic
and fair trade certification) and the
foundation is a member of the World
Fair Trade Organization.
For 20 years, Chankuap has enhanced
the living conditions of approximately
650 indigenous families who are directly
involved in BioTrade value chains, with
monetary and non-monetary benefits.
The development of the charak peanut,
cocoa, ginger and organic turmeric
and ungurahua value chains have
had significant social, economic and
environmental impacts. The turmeric
and ginger were already available in
family gardens and the forest, and used
as medicine. The cocoa supported
is the native variety named fino y de
aroma. Currently, these are the most
sold products and are important
components in the total sales of the
foundation (Figure 2.1).
The selling of these products has
generated an average additional annual
family income of US$330 at producer
level. As a result of the technical
assistance and capacity-building
activities provided to the communities

by Chankuap, their products fulfil
market requirements related to quantity,
quality, continuity of supply and volume.
It is important to mention that these
products are not only sold to Chankuap
but also to other local buyers.
Chankuap also generates other social
benefits for the communities living in
difficult economic and social conditions.
In the city of Macas, the Chankuap
Foundation manages a school
programme for children (7–14 years)
who have dropped out or are struggling
academically, and provides them
with two meals a day. Finally, it also
raises awareness in the communities
on caring for the environment and
among consumers on responsible

An interesting case is the ungurahua
value chain, which was also supported
by the Ecuadorian BioTrade Programme
and fulfils 85 per cent of the BT P&C.
Specifically, regarding socioeconomic
criteria, the value chain fulfils all the
criteria and indicators in Principle 3:
Fair and equitable sharing of benefits
derived from the use of biodiversity;
Principle 5: Compliance with national
and international regulations; and
Principle 7: Clarity about land tenure
and access to natural resources and
knowledge (Buitrón, 2012). This is
due to the close relationship between
Chankuap and all value chain actors,
which is built on knowledge, trust,
continuous dialogue and mutual benefit
(Buitrón, 2012).


Chapter II. BioTrade and people

“ This is a different programme because
people learn,
sow and sell their
products. I feel
satisfied with the
work done...

Luis Shimpiukat, local
technician, Chankuap

Fundación C

Valuing culture – key to developing
livelihoods in the Ecuadorian
Amazon region
It is possible to develop NTF value
chains targeting markets that value
sustainable production processes and
products. This can directly enhance the
living conditions of small producers,
particularly those located in marginal
areas such as the communities
assisted by Chankuap. In developing
BioTrade, it is essential to respect and
value the culture of the communities
and how they use their resources and
their environment. This is fundamental
– their view of their environment, the
acknowledgement of its origin and the
distribution of the benefits that can be
generated from its use. Clear policies
should be formulated to enhance
research, use of biodiversity and ABS.
And these should be disseminated to all
actors involved, in order to promote and
strengthen BioTrade.


20 years of BioTrade

Lena Katzmarski,
Principal Advisor
PerúBioInnova (GIZ
Peru). Supported by
Flavia Noejovich,
Consultant; Manuel
Rojas, Technical
Advisor ProAmbiente;
Luis Rosa-Perez,
Technical Advisor
ProAmbiente, GIZ
Peru; Fernando
Mendive, Plant
Manager, Coordinator
of Takiwasi Scientific
Committee and
Director of Marketing,
Takiwasi Laboratory

The Laboratory for Natural Products (Takiwasi) and an indigenous producers’
organization (Ampik Sacha) implement a business model based on TK associated
with medicinal plants in the Peruvian region of San Martín, which benefits both people
and nature. This benefit sharing scheme improves the indigenous population’s living
conditions, recovers old traditions and promotes the sustainable use of the forest


It is estimated that Peru has more
than 1000 Amazon plant species
with commercial potential (FAO,
1994). Indigenous and local
communities (ILCs) are the guardians
of the knowledge associated with this
biodiversity. They have used these
plants to treat illnesses and fight
diseases, and maintain their health
over centuries.
Today, the pharmaceutical and
cosmetics industries develop popular
products based on ancient practices
and knowledge of plants’ properties.
It can be assumed that many species
with curative properties would have
never been identified for commercial
use without this immense TK base.
Within these industries, it is considered
vital that TK is valued appropriately as
stipulated in the Nagoya Protocol. The
latter regulates that access to genetic
resources be subject to prior informed
consent (PIC) of the ILCs involved,
ensuring they obtain fair and equitable
benefits arising from their use.

In this case study, TK on the use of
medicinal plants is shared very close
to home. In the Peruvian Amazon
region of San Martín, the indigenous
Federación Kichwa Huallaga Dorado
(FEKIHD) and the Laboratory for Natural
Products (Takiwasi) developed a local
benefit-sharing scheme. This scheme
contributes to conserving regional
biodiversity, recovering ancestral
knowledge and improving the living
standards of almost 1000 indigenous
(Kichwa) families in the region.

A BioTrade business model that
benefits people and nature

Takiwasi was established in 2007 from
a local NGO that offers alternative
treatments for drug addiction

based on local medicinal plants and
Amazonian TK. The surrounding
Kichwa communities provide the
raw material for the medicines and
cosmetics produced in its small plant
in Tarapoto, San Martín. These plants,
such as cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
and dragon’s blood (Croton lechleri),
are “accompanied” with an ancestral
knowledge about their properties and
uses. This knowledge resides in the
public domain and, as such, Peruvian
legislation neither obliges users to
obtain PIC from nor share benefits with
the communities. However, Takiwasi
recognized and valued the intellectual
contribution of the Kichwa communities
through a monetary and non-monetary
redistribution scheme.
With support from the project
PerúBiodiverso (co-financed by
SECO and the German Development
Cooperation, implemented by GIZ),
Takiwasi and FEKIHD developed a
business model based on BT P&C.
The communities provide the raw
material, but also actively participate in
the production and commercialization
of value added products. Therefore,
ancestral knowledge is re-valued
and the communities’ capacities are
Takiwasi also supports the communities
involved in so-called knowledge rescue
sessions with the yachakkuna (wise
elders from the community) to identify
remedies for illnesses and pains. Ampik
Sacha, an association of medicinal plant
producers supported by FEKIHD and
Takiwasi, develops and commercializes
products based on this knowledge.
Takiwasi provides technical assistance
to Ampik Sacha. To recover almost lost
knowledge, FEKIHD maintains various
demonstration plots and catalogues
recovered knowledge in a local
register. To conserve the biodiversity

Traditional knowledge as a business model:
Takiwasi and Ampik Sacha (Peru)122.4


Chapter II. BioTrade and people

Women from Ampik Sacha and Takiwasi products SUMAK® © Takiwasi

© Takiwasi

has resulted in a success story, Peru is
still confronted with various challenges.
How can existing national rules (such
as Law 27811 on the protection of
collective indigenous knowledge related
to biological resources) for sharing
associated knowledge with third parties
be put into practice and made more
adapted to reality? How can TK be best
protected? How can the expectations
of the communities be managed, and
interest and trust in this model be
maintained? These questions need
to be addressed within a solid legal
Equally important are considerations
related to sustainability and indigenous
culture. As medicinal plants receive
increased scientific and commercial
attention, there is increasing pressure
on the medicinal plants’ wild plant
populations. Commercial exploitation
may lead to overharvesting, posing
a serious extinction risk. At the
same time, communities need to
balance commercialization and auto-
consumption in order to maintain their
traditional indigenous health-care
regimes. Benefit-sharing schemes
should consider these aspects in order
to conserve the natural resource base,
and preserve indigenous medicinal
Peruvian public institutions at national
and regional levels are working on
regulating the wild harvesting of
medicinal plants, for example by
developing guidelines to prepare forest

management plans for the use of
NTF products and the re-valorization
of NTF species. International private
actors, such as the UEBT and the
FairWild Foundation, aim to incorporate
business aspects related to the
harvesting of wild plant species. At the
same time, scientists and policymakers
are proposing new procedures and
policies to safeguard culturally and
scientifically important plants.

In conclusion, this local model reflects
the BT P&C and illustrates their
implementation on the ground. Yet,
national regulations on benefit sharing
and TK are still not sufficiently clear
(nor fully implemented) to provide
a solid framework for these kinds
of benefit-sharing agreements. The
current national framework needs to be
further developed and substantiated
in the spirit of the Nagoya Protocol,
in coordination with international
organizations such as UNCTAD. The
described model provides the basis for
sustainable livelihoods for marginalized
groups, and a framework for a more
sustainable use of the natural resources
which could be used as inputs for this
new framework.

base, Takiwasi offers the communities
capacity building programmes on good
agricultural practices and forest and
plant nurseries management.
As a result of applying this business
model, three products are already
commercialized on the market:
• At local level, an ointment based on

an ancestral recipe commercialized
by the communities under their own
brand AMPIK®; and

• At national/international level, Takiwasi
Laboratory markets two herbal
infusions based on aromatic medicinal
plants under the brand SUMAK®.
The laboratory pays a royalty to the
communities on sales.

The key ingredients of this local benefit-
sharing scheme are mutual trust,
respect and equal relationship, and an
honest intercultural dialogue. These
aspects have shaped a shared vision
of how to protect and value ancestral
knowledge and to generate additional
income for the indigenous communities.
The result is an attractive business
model for all actors involved.

Considerations on upscaling
benefit-sharing models

In Peru, there is little awareness
about the legal framework for genetic
resources and associated TK, especially
in rural regions, where most ancestral
knowledge is found. Although the
present model of local benefit-sharing

“ Takiwasi recognized and valued
the intellectual
of the Kichwa


20 years of BioTrade

Indian sandalwood (Santalum album)

María Julia Oliva,
Senior Coordinator
for Policy and
Technical Support,
UEBT; Annette
Piperidis, Manager
Weleda AG

Sandalwood trees, which provide a unique and valued fragrance for perfumes and
cosmetics, are under threat in many natural habitats. For several years, a project
undertaken by Weleda in the highlands of Sri Lanka has been contributing to the
protection of sandalwood trees, as well as to the livelihoods of local communities
involved in their planting and harvesting.


Sandalwood has been used as a
fragrance for thousands of years.
Due to its rich, woody and lingering
fragrance, sandalwood remains an
important ingredient in perfumes and
cosmetics products. Yet interest in
the essential oil, extracted from the
heartwood, has resulted in over-
harvesting of the slow-growing
sandalwood trees. This is particularly
true for Indian sandalwood (Santalum
album). This tree, native to the Indian
subcontinent but now more widely
grown, is considered “vulnerable” in the
International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened
Species. Actions to counter illegal
harvesting, while also promoting local
livelihoods, include the sustainable
planting and harvesting of sandalwood.
The Weleda project on sandalwood,
now entering its seventh year, is an
example of how Ethical BioTrade can
advance such objectives.

Setting up ethical sourcing of
sandalwood in Sri Lanka

In 2009, Weleda, a Swiss-based
company producing natural and organic
beauty products and anthroposophic
medicines, and a UEBT member,
launched a project for the organic and
sustainable cultivation of sandalwood
in Sri Lanka. Sandalwood is used as
an essential oil and fragrance for a
range of Weleda products, including
its Pomegranate skin care line. For
Weleda, it is fundamental that the
sandalwood oil used not only comes

Sandalwood: Ethical sourcing of a unique and valued
fragrance (Sri Lanka)2.5

“ I hope that others will follow our lead and
that the project will
inspire them to adopt a
sustainable approach
to producing this
precious oil...








Chapter II. BioTrade and people

from organic and sustainable sources,
but also contributes to increasing the
number of sandalwood trees in Sri
Lanka and to the livelihoods of local
In this context, Weleda formed a
partnership with a local family-owned
company. Together, they found an
old, abandoned tea plantation in the
highlands of Sri Lanka. There, next to
100-year-old tea bushes, grew almost
1000 sandalwood trees, including
young saplings. The trees had spread
naturally thanks to birds carrying seeds
and had thrived on the steep terrain
protected by the wide root systems of
the tea bushes. With the support of
Weleda, the company invested in the
land and techniques for organic and
sustainable harvesting of sandalwood.
For example, only trees older than 15
years are used for oil production and
between 8000 and 10 000 new trees

Sandalwood nursery in Sri Lanka

are planted every year, to not only
conserve but increase the number
of trees.
In line with the Ethical BioTrade
Standard – based on BT P&C – the
Weleda sandalwood project also has
a strong social component. Weleda
signed an agreement committing to
the project and to sourcing exclusively
from this company for a number
of years. It has also supported the
creation of a plant nursery and a
training and education centre for the
collectors. This centre focuses not
only on sandalwood, but also on the
cultivation of vegetables, tea and
cinnamon trees. This is to ensure that
a variety of crops is cultivated – key to
local food security and to diversifying
local incomes. For example, the local
company now independently harvests
and commercializes other crops, with
an organic certification.

Strengthening the sandalwood
supply chain

There are many challenges ahead.
Growing sandalwood remains
difficult. It takes many years for the
tiny sandalwood seedlings in the
plant nursery to be large enough
for harvesting. More than half the
seedlings may not survive the first
months. Nevertheless, the Weleda
project is yielding valuable lessons.
Such knowledge is also contributing
to broader research in Sri Lanka,

including on identifying the best parent
trees and finding the most suitable
cultivation environments.
There are also challenges in the
processing of sandalwood oil. The
distillation process can be complex.
Weleda’s local partner has a distillery
only 130 kilometres away, but it
takes over six hours by car. Around
100 kilograms of wood must be
transported to yield one litre of
essential oil. Security measures are
required for both the plantation and
the distillery. There is a significant
problem with poachers, who target
wild and cultivated sandalwood trees.
In this sense, local partners highlight
that the project came “at just the
right time”. It is clear that if efforts to
conserve and propagate sandalwood
are not taken, there is a risk that these
beautiful and fragrant trees will be lost
for ever from the hills of Sri Lanka. At
the same time, Sri Lanka has recently
emerged from a civil war and there is
great need for investment in additional
and improved livelihoods. As noted by
the Sri Lankan project partner, “I hope
that others will follow our lead and that
the project will inspire them to adopt
a sustainable approach to producing
this precious oil” (Leuenberger, 2013).


© Krish Dulai


20 years of BioTrade

Figure 2.2 Rising demand for che-day

Linh Nguyen,
Officer, BIG

As one of the top pharmaceutical companies in Viet Nam, Traphaco
demands a large supply of natural herbs for its production of herbal
medicine. Applying the BioTrade framework has helped it develop
a sustainable supply chain and build trust with local authorities and
communities, as well as enhance its reputation.


Dzao is an ethnic minority group in
northwest Viet Nam. Even though their
origin is uncertain, they are one of
the few ethnic groups that possess a
plethora of TK, especially on medicine.
Che-day (Ampelopsis cantoniensis),
a native plant of the region, has been
traditionally used by Dzao people
to treat digestion-related diseases.
The method of pre-processing and
fermenting che-day into tea or medicine
is a secret that has been kept within the
community for generations.

Developing a value chain in the
che-day herb
Meanwhile, 370 kilometres away
in Hanoi, R&D departments of
pharmaceutical companies work day
and night to find ways of using natural
herbs and help city dwellers suffering
from pollution, hectic lifestyles and
constant stress to maintain their well-
being. Traphaco took up this trend. In
fact, the company started researching
and manufacturing medicines using
natural herbs when the economy

started to boom two decades ago.
Back in the 1990s, Traphaco launched
several products, using well-known
herbs, for Vietnamese consumers.
These products experienced
skyrocketing sales. They placed the
Traphaco brand in the consumers’
mind, and the company gradually
progressed to become one of the
top pharmaceutical companies in the
Traphaco studied che-day together
with scientists from the National Board
of Science. By 2003, the company
had successfully formulated che-
day into soft capsules with high
concentration generating higher
effectiveness compared with other
forms. Ampelop, the name of the
capsule, was considered a product with
many benefits for gastric and intestinal
inflammation common in Viet Nam
(Pham, 2004). However, the sustainable
supply for che-day needed to be
solved before Traphaco could upscale
Ampelop production. As the Dzao
people, main collectors of che-day,
were far away in Lao Cai province, the
company decided to begin by buying
from traders or middlemen.












Up in the mountains: Traditional herbal remedy improves
ethnic minority communities (Viet Nam)2.6

Source: Ta, 2013.

Che-day © BIG

Procurement of Ampelopsis (in tons)


Chapter II. BioTrade and people

After launching, Ampelop was well
received by consumers with annual
sales of 4–5 billion VND (Vietnamese
dong) (US$180 000–230 000) and
became one of Traphaco’s bestsellers.
Again, this challenged the company
since che-day was wild collected only
three months a year and if people
collected large quantities, the plant
could be depleted. That brings us to
the story of how Traphaco became
a beneficiary of the Swiss-funded
BioTrade project in 2012.
Traphaco visited Muong Hum, a
commune in Lao Cai province with 170
Dzao households, to consult with the
local authorities and the community,
and identify and select 60 households
to establish a cooperative group. These
households had fewer livelihood options
compared with the rest inhabitants
of the commune. Later, Traphaco
and the cooperative signed a supply
contract for che-day. Traphaco sought
help from local experts at the National
Institute of Medicinal Materials and
the BioTrade project (implemented by
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Viet
Nam) to set up a training programme
for the cooperative. The issues covered
included the sustainable cultivation of
che-day so as not to depend solely

on wild collection, and to harvest it
in a way that allowed the plant to
regenerate for the next harvest season.
Additionally, Traphaco, in collaboration
with the BioTrade project, developed
a set of standard procedures following
the good agriculture and collection
practices (GACP) guidelines of the
WHO. In this way, the company and the
cooperative could ensure the quantity
and the quality of che-day, without
depleting resources and the ecosystem.

Sure enough, the Dzao community in
Muong Hum benefited. By applying
BioTrade and WHO GACP, they can
sustainably harvest che-day up to
nine months per year and receive a
better price for their product (20 per
cent higher). The direct contract with
Traphaco raised the income of the
Dzao community, nearly doubling
from US$200 to US$400 for 30
days’ collection per year (Ta, 2013) in
comparison with US$130 (People’s
Committee of Lao Cai province, 2014),

Traphaco training farmers © BIG

which is the average monthly income
in the region. This enabled them to
cover expenses for food, health and
their children’s education. Additionally,
in order to protect the TK of their
community, the contract established
that the pre-processing and fermenting
step would be implemented by the
Dzao community in Muong Hum
themselves; Traphaco would only
provide the equipment.
The value chain of che-day in Lao Cai
province set an example for Traphaco
to expand to other regions with other
ingredients. The company now has
four value chains in the country. With
the opportunities also come some
challenges. Since the regulation system
in Viet Nam is complex, which might
discourage natural herbal enterprises
interested to switch to sustainable
production and implement sustainable
practices as it requires massive and
constant effort. Hopefully, BioTrade
committed enterprises similar to
Traphaco would be capable of
overcoming the obstacles; enhancing
their status as pioneering Vietnamese
pharmaceutical companies.

“ With the opportunities also come some


20 years of BioTrade

3 BioTrade and the planetBioTrade has benefited and positively impacted biodiversity in different biodiversity-
based sectors and regions through the development of methodologies, guidelines,
training courses, as well as enhancing governance to support its conservation and
use. This section provides examples of initiatives being promoted by BioTrade
practitioners in Asia, Africa and Latin America, working on orchids, non-wood forest
products, amphibians and forest carbon initiatives. Beneficiaries are using their
native biodiversity in a manner that contributes to conservation.

BioTrade and the planet: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Case study Aichi Targets Sustainable Development Goals

3.1 BioTrade and the CBD – supporting
conservation and sustainable use
of biodiversity

3.2 Natura and the Suruí Forest
Carbon Project (Brazil)

3, 4, 7, 11, 18,19, 20 1, 2, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15

3.3 EcuaFrog, WIKIRI and the
amphibian pet trade (Ecuador)

4, 5, 12, 13, 19 12, 15

3.4 Sustainability principles and criteria
applied towild collection of non-
woodforest products (Kosovo)

2, 4, 7, 19 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15

3.5 Traceability in orchids: A win-win
tool to enhance sustainable trade

3, 4, 12, 13, 19 9, 12, 16





Chapter III. BioTrade and the planet

BioTrade and the planet: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Braulio Ferreira
de Souza Dias,
Executive Secretary,

Given the growing importance of biodiversity-based products in
global, regional and local markets, BioTrade is an important tool to
support implementation of the CBD and its three objectives. The
commercial use of biodiversity under BT P&C is a commendable way
to seize this opportunity and benefit people, markets and the planet.


Economic activities related to the
production and trade of biodiversity-
based products in a manner that
addresses all three elements of
sustainability (environmental, social and
economic) is referred to as BioTrade.
In 2013, at least 4 percent of world
trade consisted of biodiversity-based
products and services, including
BioTrade products (Gómez-García et
al., 2014). While still a niche market, the
trade of products sustainably derived
from biodiversity has grown significantly
in the past decade. One driver of this
growth is the fact that consumers are
increasingly concerned, and aware of,
the environmental and social impacts
of their purchasing decisions. BioTrade
can thus play an important role in
contributing to the implementation of
the CBD and the Strategic Plan for
Biodiversity 2011–2020.
In 1993, the CBD entered into force
with three objectives: the conservation
of biological diversity, the sustainable
use of the components of biological
diversity, and the fair and equitable
sharing of benefits arising out of
the utilization of genetic resources.
The work of the UNCTAD BioTrade

Initiative has been recognized in many
decisions of the COP to the CBD as
an important contribution to achieving
the sustainable use of biodiversity
and, by harnessing the commercial
interest in using biological resources,
to generating incentives for biodiversity
The basis of BioTrade activities
and products are flora and fauna,
such as flowers, nuts, fruits, seeds,
the skin of amphibians and other
wildlife, but also ecosystem services
such as ecotourism. Many of these
products and services are produced
by local communities as a source of
income, while others have been used
by the pharmaceutical, food and

beverage, and cosmetic sectors in the
development of new products. Ensuring
that biological resources are used in a
sustainable manner is crucial for these
business sectors since the economic
benefits can be generated only for as
long as these biological resources are
available. Protection of biodiversity
is therefore at the very heart of any
BioTrade activity.
Unfortunately, however, many countries
are losing biodiversity at extremely
alarming rates. The fourth edition of
the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO4)
(Secretariat of the CBD, 2014) provided
a mid-term assessment of progress
in achieving the Strategic Plan for
Biodiversity 2011–2020 and its 20
Aichi Biodiversity Targets.13 The report
found that there has been progress

towards meeting some components
of the Aichi Targets, but that in most
cases, additional action is urgently
required to achieve the Strategic Plan
for Biodiversity.
BioTrade can play a vital role in
achieving the Strategic Plan for
Biodiversity. Interest in commercial use
of biological resources is a powerful
incentive for encouraging biodiversity
conservation. There is considerable
potential for growth of this sector: the
global market for biodiversity-based
businesses, including BioTrade, is
projected to triple by 2030 (Gómez-
García et al., 2014). The effective
mainstreaming of biodiversity and
ecosystem services into economic
and governmental sectors as well
as across society is key to scaling
up BioTrade. This includes various
elements: raising awareness of the
value of biodiversity among consumers,
businesses and governments so that
biodiversity criteria are effectively
included in purchasing decisions;
improving the enabling environment
for BioTrade through policies and
legal frameworks; removing trade
barriers; streamlining certification and
labelling of products; and strengthening
supply chain management towards
enhanced sustainability, traceability
and accountability. These factors are
indispensable to the long-term success
of BioTrade and its contribution to
conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity. These elements could
be achieved through the concerted
efforts of governments, international
organizations, BioTrade companies and
local communities to support effective
BioTrade promotion and market
As we work together to achieve the
goals of the CBD, it will be important
to take steps to support the role of

BioTrade and the CBD – supporting conservation and
sustainable use of biodiversity3.1

“ As we work together to achieve the goals
of the CBD, it will
be important to take
steps to support the
role of BioTrade...


20 years of BioTrade

In 2013, Natura purchased carbon units from the Suruí Carbon
Forest Project contributing to the conservation of endangered
rainforest in Brazil. It also aimed to co-fund the implementation of
the Suruí’s 50-year “life plan” to create a sustainable economy. This
initiative is part of Natura’s Carbon Neutral Programme, committed
to neutralize 100 percent of its GHG emissions since 2007.

Talía Manceira
Coordinator, Natura
Ivaneide Bandeira
Cardozo, Kanindé,
Strategic Partnerships
Coordinator; Almir
Narayamoga Suruí,
Political Activist and
Suruí Tribal Chief,
Associação Metareilá;
Vasco Roosmalen,
Executive Director
ECAM; Kachia
Techio, Indigenous
Advisor, Associação

Science, biodiversity and trade

Sustainability challenges instigated
Natura14 to innovate its way of
doing business. In 2000 Natura
made the decision to incorporate
Brazilian biodiversity as a driver
for its technological R&D platform.
Establishing local partnership networks
and combining science with the TK of
Amazon communities, it created jobs
and generated income opportunities
for collectors’ families, benefiting all
stakeholders involved. In addition,
it strengthened the maintenance of
rainforest economic development,
fostering its conservation.
In 2007 Natura launched the Carbon
Neutral Programme to neutralize GHG
emissions that cannot be reduced by
the company’ own efforts. Through
a tender process, Natura started to
invest in offsetting projects aimed
at also generating positive social
and environmental impacts. In this
context, the first sale of forest-carbon
credits generated by the first REDD+

initiated by an indigenous community
(Paiter-Suruí) took place, providing an
innovative template for other indigenous
people across the Amazon.
The Suruí Forest Carbon Project
(SFCP) aims to halt deforestation and
associated GHG emissions in an area
under intense deforestation pressure,
in the Sete de Setembro Indigenous
Territory (SSIT) (Figure 3.1), located
in the so-called Brazilian Amazon’s
“deforestation arc”, in Rondônia and
Mato Grosso states (IDESAM, 2011;
Jaramillo et al., 2016). This protected
area covers 248 000 hectares of forest
and faces several conflicts related to
illegal deforestation resulting from agri-
business interest in converting forest
into pasture and agriculture crops.

Figure 3.1 Sete de Setembro Indigenous Territory

Source: Soares,
Note: IL refers to
indigenous lands.

“ The reality faced by this kind of initiative
is tough...

Natura and the Suruí Forest Carbon Project (Brazil)3.2


Chapter III. BioTrade and the planet

Investing in carbon credits to
protect forests and improve
people’s lives

The SFCF is an initiative led by the
Paiter-Suruí, who were searching for
financial mechanisms to implement
their forest conservation strategy,
while improving their quality of life, and
preserving their traditional culture and
The initiative supports the maintenance
of carbon stocks in the standing
forests and consequently in the entire
biodiversity in the SSIT and involves
six associations composed of Suruí
people (IDESAM, 2011). In 2013,
Natura bought 120 000 verified carbon
units from the project (Jaramillo et al.,
2016). The revenue from this sale,
managed by the Suruí Fund, is invested
in their 50-year “life plan”, which aims
to improve the indigenous people’s life
quality and enhance forest conservation
and traditional practices within the
locality. Among eight main activity
areas, this alternative economy fosters
sustainable activities that generate
income from coffee, banana, Brazil
nuts, cattle, tourism, babaçu (Orbignya
speciosa) and fish farming (IDESAM,
2011). To ensure understanding among
the associations and their participation
in the project a free PIC process was
conducted, according to the Brazilian
legal framework (Ávila, 2010). The
activities also target fauna conservation
monitored by indigenous agents who
collect data and guide the community
on the importance of biodiversity

conservation. SFCF also supports the
strengthening of indigenous women’s
craft activities to promote income
generation, culture value and conserve
local biodiversity through the sale of
products in a shop in the indigenous
The future is now – challenges and

The implementation of the SFCF project
has elements to catalyse biodiversity
conservation and sustainable
socioeconomic development by the
sales of carbon credits and BioTrade
products and services (e.g. derived
from NTF products or sustainable
tourism). This arrangement generates a
virtuous circle: sales’ income is invested
in structural actions that strength
sustainable supply chains and foster
local development and livelihoods in
harmony with nature.
However, the reality faced by this kind
of initiative is tough. The combination
of forest conservation and sustainable
forestry depends on several factors
and mutual willingness of traditional
populations, the government and
private sector. There is clearly a
demand for biodiversity-based
products, but also a gap between
suppliers (in many cases small
farmers, collectors, indigenous and
quilombolas – descendants of Afro-
Brazilian slaves) and demand from
the marketplace. Many suppliers have
difficulties in meeting quality and volume
requirements or establishing traceability

systems. Others suppliers lack formal
organizational governance and demand
complex logistics that discourage
the private sector in establishing
commercial agreements.
In order to build a bridge between
biodiversity-based suppliers and the
market, structural actions are needed in
two areas:
• Government level: Establish policies,

laws and legal instruments that give
legal certainty for organizations and
companies practising BioTrade.

• Local level: Invest in social capital
and capacity-building programmes
for suppliers so that they can be
protagonists of their development,
drive innovation and monitor their
activities through a robust plan of
forestry management, processing
units to increase aggregate value
and valorization of biodiversity-based

Furthermore, it is important to highlight
that BioTrade products and forest
carbon projects (such as the SFCF)
involve communities with complex
sociocultural arrangements. Therefore,
it is necessary that the stakeholders
involved have a relationship beyond
commercial transactions, enabling joint
creative solutions to overcome the
possible barriers that may arise in this
kind of economic activity.

Amazon rainforest © Fotolia: gustavofrazao


20 years of BioTrade

María Dolores
Guarderas, General
Manager, WIKIRI S.A.


Ecuador is a megadiverse country with
569 amphibian species known to date.
This extraordinary diversity is threatened
by extinction. According to IUCN
(IUCN, 2008) more than one third of
the world’s amphibians are threatened
or extinct, and the largest numbers
of endangered species occur in Latin
America. In Ecuador no less than 200
species are on the IUCN Red List.
Global warming, pathogens, habitat
destruction and a cocktail of other
factors are conspiring to undermine
the survival of amphibians. The illegal
traffic of amphibians has contributed to
declines as well.
Generally, the amphibian pet trade
has been characterized by illegal and
unethical practices, including the
capture of wild frogs and subsequent
smuggling, false claims of either captive
breeding or sustainable farming and
unsustainable catch quotas (Brown
et al., 2011). In this scenario, WIKIRI,
through its EcuaFrog brand, provides
an ethical and legal option, aiming to
contribute to reverse the depletion of

How WIKIRI contributes to
research and to reducing
amphibian depletion

Wikiri and EcuaFrog were launched to
provide urgent action and to implement
new, creative and multidisciplinary
efforts to reverse extinction trends.
It brings a new form of ethical and
sustainable commerce to combat
wildlife trafficking. It incorporates
science and social responsibility into
the mindset of a business focused
on providing high quality products to
the amphibian pet trade in line with
BioTrade Principles. The price of
products covers the production costs
of implementing high quality standards
and good practices for animal

WIKIRI is an Ecuadorian BioTrade company that breeds and
exports amphibians worldwide. Under its EcuaFrog brand, it sells
laboratory- and farm-bred amphibians and other related products
to the pet trade. This pioneer and innovative scientific enterprise
produces bio-knowledge and does business to help fund research
and conservation of Ecuadorian amphibians.

Box 3.1 WIKIRI and EcuaFrog

WIKIRI has several products under
the brands EcuaFrog, SelvaViva,
EcuaGrillo, among others.
WIKIRI currently exports 16 species
and seven morphs of frogs for the
pet market. The most demanded
species is the Little devil poison frog
Oophaga sylvatica, which currently
has three commercial morphs: Paru,
Diablo and Pata Blanca.
WIKIRI supports conservation and
research programmes, one being
executed by Centro Jambatu
(Center for Amphibian Research and
Conservation) – Otonga Foundation.
It is a non-profit NGO committed
to habitat protection, research,
conservation and education.
Source: http://www.anfibioswebecuador.ec/
and www.otonga.org.

breeding, and financing for research
and conservation of amphibians. To
date, WIKIRI has developed unique
technological advances to improve the
breeding and conservation of 16 frog
species in Ecuador that are threatened
with extinction, including some CITES-
listed species.
WIKIRI collaborates with a variety of
Ecuadorian scientists, especially from
Centro Jambatu (Box 3.1), whose
support is fundamental to developing
novel breeding techniques to raise
large numbers of critically threatened
populations. The scientists have
utilized techniques to enrich the frog
habitats, restore frog populations in
degraded forests and developed ex
situ breeding strategies (in laboratories)
for endangered species. One of
WIKIRI’s key breeding technique is
to provide a proper diet, including
dietary supplements, and to mitigate
development and metabolic issues
associated with captive frogs. Jointly,
WIKIRI and Centro Jambatu have been
successful in developing technologies
to breed and raise endangered
harlequin frogs of the Atelopus genus
and marsupial frogs of the Gastrotheca
genus, among others. This a big
step forward for ex situ conservation
programmes of harlequin and marsupial
frogs in Latin America, where more than
100 species are critically endangered.
Much of the in situ work is done in the
Otonga Foundation’s private reserve,
Otokiki, which is managed by WIKIRI
and is located in the Ecuadorian Chocó
region. In this reserve, WIKIRI manages
and studies Oophaga sylvatica (Paru
morph), Agalychnis spurrelli, Cruziohyla
calcarifer and Hypsiboas picturatus.
Studies analyse the natural history
of these frogs in enhanced habitat
conditions. Based on the findings,
WIKIRI has recruited larger sized
juveniles and enough surplus animals
for the pet trade. Consequently, it

EcuaFrog, WIKIRI and the amphibian pet trade (Ecuador)3.3

WIKIRI laboratory in Quito, Ecuador





Chapter III. BioTrade and the planet

does not rely on stocking from wild,
smuggled frogs. The same is the
case for five frog species which are
successfully raised ex situ in WIKIRI
facilities, either in laboratories in Quito
or farmed near Santo Domingo de los
Tsáchilas. For example, several morphs
of Epipedobates tricolor and E. anthonyi
are bred and raised in Quito, whereas
two morphs of the little devil poison
frog (Oophaga sylvatica), are bred in
Sapoparque La Florida, near Santo

The future of the sustainable trade
of Ecuadorian amphibians

Since its launch in 2011, WIKIRI (www.
wikiri.com.ec) has become a pioneering
amphibian breeder and research
company working under the BioTrade
WIKIRI will continue financing and
helping to develop research and ex
situ conservation programmes to
understand more about the amphibians’
behaviour and dynamics and improve
their wild populations. They will also
promote the sharing of experiences
and knowledge to improve breeding
practices globally. WIKIRI is promoting
legal trade of these species by working
with government authorities to develop
monitoring and traceability systems in
order to reduce frogs smuggling.
The company’s long-term growth and
success depends mainly on access
to and expansion of the legal and
sustainable pet trade for amphibians,

Critically endangered harlequin
frogs (Atelopus elegans,
Atelopus balios, Atelopus sp.).
These species are part of the ex
situ management programme
called Arca de los Sapos of
Centro Jambatu, of the Otonga

Tricolour poison frog raised by
WIKIRI (Epipedobates tricolor,
cielito morph). This population
has suffered significantly due to
illegal trafficking.


Sun’s glass frog
aureoguttatum). This is a new
species released to the legal pet
trade by WIKIRI in 2015.

Diablito (little devil) poison frog
raised by WIKIRI (Oophaga
sylvatica, diablo morph).
Populations of this morph are
suffering massive declines in
northwestern Ecuador.

Andean marsupial frog
(Gastrotheca riobambae) raised
by WIKIRI. Laboratory-raised
frogs will be used to reintroduce
into their previous habitat around
Quito, Ecuador.

which will directly impact its profitability.
To access this market, the company
needs to address, inter alia, the
following challenges: delays in obtaining
research and trade permits, fears of the
spread of pathogens, smuggling and
difficulties working in conflict areas (e.g.
Otokiki). Despite all of these, WIKIRI is
convinced and committed to engaging
in BioTrade as an effective tool for not
only the conservation of amphibians,
but also of hundreds of flora and
fauna species which characterize a
megadiverse country like Ecuador.


20 years of BioTrade

Klaus Dürbeck,
Director; Stefan
Lermer, Project
Manager, Klaus
Dürbeck Consulting

In Kosovo, the National Strategy on Non-Wood Forest Products
(NWFP) Sector 2014–2020 and its associated action plan have been
developed to cope with the country’s economic challenges with the
support of GIZ/COSiRA. One instrument to strengthen its economy
is the sustainable wild collection of NWFP, based on UNCTAD BT
P&C, GACP (WHO, 2003) and the FairWild Standard (FairWild
Foundation, 2010).


About 20 000 individual collectors,
100 sub-operators and around 10
processing companies are part of
the NWFP sector in Kosovo. It is
also an important source of income,
especially for women and minorities
in rural areas. The current GIZ project
“Competitiveness of the Private Sector
in Rural Areas” (COSiRA), based on the
National Strategy on Non-Wood Forest
Products (NWFP) Sector 2014–2020
(henceforth “National Strategy”), is
supporting the sector’s stakeholders
implementing challenging activities
related to NWFP management in
Kosovo (MAFRD, 2014). The project
aims to generate rural income through
sustainable wild collection of NWFP.
So far, 62 economically valuable plant
species have been identified.

NWFP as a strategy to promote
Kosovo’s development
The economy of Kosovo faces many
challenges. The main objectives
of its government are: to reduce

Objectives of Pillar I:
Capacity building for resource
owners (private and public),
resource users and collectors.
• Pre-university vocational education

for forestry profiling;
• Development of sustainable training

systems for sustainable wild

• Intersectoral mobilization for raising
awareness of the importance of
NWFP; and

• Assessment and improvement
of needs for scientific research

Objectives of Pillar II:
Resource management for resource
owners and resource users.
• Capacity development at Kosovo

Forest Agency and National Park

• Identification of access rights;
• Development of sustainable

management plans for Kosovo
forests and national parks; and

• Development and implementation of
a licensing and permit system.

Objectives of Pillar III:
Organization of the private sector,
including private forest owners,
companies and entrepreneurs.
• Promoting establishment of

• Creating a favourable business

• Providing possibilities for the private

sector to undertake management of
public forests; and

• Initial land consolidation processes.

Source: MAFRD, 2014.

Box 3.2 Pillars, objectives and activities for implementation of the NWFP strategy

high unemployment and poverty, to
strengthen public institutions and
infrastructure, and to improve the
business climate. Addressing these
objectives, the Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Rural Development
(MAFRD), the Ministry of Environment
and Spatial Planning and the Ministry
of Trade and Industry have developed
different strategies to improve the
country’s economic development
(MAFRD, 2014).
The National Strategy aims to develop
rural areas through the sustainable
use of natural resources (Box 3.2). It
also coordinates activities of all actors
(public, private and donors) in this
sector, which absorbs a significant
amount of labour in almost all rural
areas of the country. A focus is set
on income-generation activities for
the rural population and enhancing
sector/regional competitiveness. It also
balances the production of goods with
the conservation of nature through the
sustainable use of biological resources,
in compliance with international
environmental agreements and rules.

Sustainability principles and criteria applied to wild
collection of non-wood forest products (Kosovo)3.4


Chapter III. BioTrade and the planet

Figure 3.2 Non-wood forest products value chain in Kosovo

The strategy also supports Kosovan
institutions and the private sector
• Practical implementation of a

collection permit issuing scheme for
areas under the administration of
the Kosovo Forestry Agency and the
National Park Agency;

• Incorporating NWFP in forestry
management plans as well as national
park management plans;

• Technical support to the University
of Pristina to refurbish the National
Herbarium, and collectors’ plant
monographs to identify and collect
appropriate species for commercial
use; and

• Developing and disseminating
a concept/outline for botanical
identification manuals.

The strategy and associated action
plan follow the principles of the FairWild
Standard, WHO GACP and UNCTAD
BT P&C, as well as its management
plan guideline (Becerra, 2009a) to
protect and use NWFP in Kosovo on
a sustainable basis. Furthermore, the
FairWild Standard is the certifiable
implementation standard in national

parks and forest management units
which enables the use of NWFP in a
sustainable way for the environment,
the fair share of benefits to rural
communities, and the value addition
for companies active in the sector
(Figure 3.2).
In this context, the COSiRA project is
supporting the sector’s stakeholders to
overcome challenging activities related
to sustainable management of natural
resources. Particularly, it:
• Legalizes and monitors sustainable

wild collection;
• Complies with national and

international requirements related to
protection of the environment and
implementation of fair and social

• Further positions and strengthens
the integration of national value chain
stakeholders into relevant international
chains, for example with products
derived from Primula veris, Juniperus
communis, Fragaria vesca and
Vaccinium myrtillus; and

• Attracts and facilitates investment for
enhancing value added activities in
the country.

Source: ProFound- Advisers in Development, 2015.


laus D
ürbeck C


“ So far, 62 economically
valuable plant
species have been

Fragaria vesca.


20 years of BioTrade

Juniperus communis growing wild in Kosovo. Primula veris.

Ways forward in developing the
NWFP sector

Although Kosovo is not a party to
MEAs such as CITES and CBD, it is
aware of these as well as the 2030
Development Agenda and the SDGs.
Based on NWFP resource management
for Sharri National Park and pilot
forest management units, the resource
owners are in position to commit
the necessary human and financial
resources to implement and police the
respective resource management plans.
Through a national stakeholder working
group, including private forest owners,
a discussion forum with civil society is
functioning between forest owners and
users to transform the resource use
of NWFP into a value added format
based on the FairWild Standard as a
management standard, which is based
on the WHO GACP (WHO, 2003).
COSiRA/GIZ is spearheading the
implementation of the National
Strategy by supporting actors such
as concerned ministries to establish

product identity;substantiating botanical
identification through the National
Herbarium in Pristina, in collaboration
with the Herbarium of the Botanische
Staatssammlung in Munich, Germany,
as an international reference.
The main lessons learned in the context
of the COSiRA activities in implementing
sustainable wild collection are:
• The formation of a national

stakeholder working group proved
crucial in identifying and activating the
stakeholders concerned and working
through inputs from international
experts providing information and
training along with active participation
at working group meetings.

• Supporting the trust building
process with the development of
the National Strategy allowed all
stakeholders active participation and

• Product identity proved to be
the cornerstone; this required
refurbishment of the National
Herbarium as a reference point
for resource owners and users for
conservation and sustainable use and
resulted in renewed recognition for
the institution.

• The trust building for access to
international markets through
the participating companies was
strengthened through product
documentation based on the
principles of the FairWild Standard.

Recommendations to further upscale
the sustainable management and
trade of NWFP, as an engine to
promote sustainable development and
conservation of biodiversity are:
• The consensus in the National

Strategy by the members of the
national working group offers
the structure for investment in
conservation and sustainable use
of wild resources in Kosovo through
sustainable wild collection based on
the FairWild Standard.

• Overcoming the limitations on human
and financial resources to allow
successful implementation.

• The training of different stakeholder
groups as forest guards and
customs on processes for botanical
identification, resource assessment
and management, requires additional
efforts in policing the implementation
by well informed, motivated

“ The National Strategy aims
to develop rural
areas through the
sustainable use of
natural resources...


laus D
ürbeck C



laus D
ürbeck C



Chapter III. BioTrade and the planet

Vanessa Ingar,
BioTrade Specialist;
Harol Gutiérrez,
CITES Specialist,
Ministry of
(MINAM), Peru

Implementing traceability systems in the trade of ornamental plants
is one of the major issues in strengthening the control of legal trade
and its regulation. Thus traceability is a fundamental element in
ensuring the conservation and promotion of BioTrade practices.
Through a Peruvian case study to setup and implement an orchid
traceability system project, the benefits and challenges can be seen.


The international trade in ornamental
plant species is one of the major
pressures related to the conservation
of wild orchid populations (MINAM,
2014). In Peru, market potential is
based on the diversity of orchids,
estimated at 2600–3000 species. The
richest resource areas are located in the
Amazon region (Brako and Zarucchi,
1993; Roque and León, 2006). The
trade in orchids adhering to CITES
requirements, has an important market,
which can support the sustainable
use of biodiversity. In Peru the legal
framework that guides this trade is
the Forest and Wildlife Law 29763,
which focuses on the sustainable
use of artificial orchid reproduction
centres, and regulating and penalizing
illegal trafficking and trade of wild
species. However, the control and

documentation mechanisms that enable
species’ mobilization from reproduction
centres, where orchids are nurtured to
the final destination (consumer), such as
forestry transportation permits, do not
allow the complete history of the orchid,
from the nursery to commercial outlet,
to be tracked. Consequently, crucial
information to assure the origin and
monitor the trade from an authorized
nursery is lost.
In San Martín – one of the richest
orchids regions and considered an
emerging market for ornamental
species – the first traceability initiative
for orchids was initiated with the
support of the PerúBiodiverso project
(SECO/GIZ). The results of this
project demonstrated the advantages
of traceability and the positive
perspectives it offers for sustainable
and harmonized trade in line with

Traceability in orchids: A win-win tool to enhance
sustainable trade (Peru)3.5

Cattleya orchids in a nursery in Peru ©SERFOR


20 years of BioTrade

biodiversity conservation and BioTrade
Principles. In Peru, the National Forestry
and Wildlife Service (Servicio Nacional
Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre), as
the CITES Management Authority,
is responsible for the legal trade of
wild species that are reproduced on
land, assuring species traceability
and managing the administrative
requirements of CITES.

Implementing a traceability system
for orchids

The pilot project implemented the
traceability mechanism for the trade in
orchids for one of the biggest nurseries
in the San Martín region, Vivero Agro
Oriente. It developed information
management tools and a monitoring
standard, using a unique codification/

identity. This assured the traceability
of the orchid from collection to final
consumer. Initially, technology and
capacity challenges, such as the
manual organization of registers into
a unique database raised problems
related to the identification of parental
breeding stock, management of non-
identified clones and control of lost
crops, among others.
Once the project ended, each orchid
species in the nursery was identified in
detail through a systematized inventory,
technical sheets, GTIN-13 standard
code, images and documentation of
the species’ unique characteristics. In
a master database, all the information
related to providers, clients, employees,
transportation and others was
available and adequately identified and
registered. One relevant result was the
improvement of the nursery’s entry and
exit control of plants from production
centres. This highlighted the importance
of the traceability proposal as a key
tool in strengthening existing control
mechanisms, and enhancing inspection
and tracking processes being led by
the CITES Management Authority, as
well as clarifying the difference between
the nursery’s estimated and real orchid
production. The nursery is currently an

orchid exporter fulfilling all the required
permits and its governance structure
enables the monitoring and tracking of
species origin.
Productive conservation based on
sustainable use of biodiversity is one
of the most efficient conservation
alternatives – with the correct
management and controls. In this
context, ornamental plants trade can
be used as a good model of productive
conservation, if legal trade based
on artificial cultivation is facilitated.
Decreasing the risk of illegality (wild
harvest) ensures that trade is not
detrimental to wild populations, but this
requires strengthening and promoting
mechanisms of traceability.

“ Productive conservation based
on sustainable use
of biodiversity is
one of the most
efficient conservation

Cyrtochilum sp. ©MINAMOrchid’s breeding in a laboratory







Chapter III. BioTrade and the planet

Mormodes rolfeana

Comparettia sp.



Upscaling this experience at the
national level

Traceability systems in ornamental
nurseries are an essential support to
assure the sustainable trade of species.
However, this has to be combined
with other control and command
mechanisms and regulatory frameworks
for successful implementation.
It not only enables more effective
monitoring, regulation and control,
but also improves the operation of all
actors involved. The Peruvian CITES
Management Authority,with technical
support from the Scientific Authority
(Ministry of Environment), should
promote traceability system projects in
the next few years as a mechanism for
strengthening CITES processes, limiting
illegal trafficking and trade in orchids, to
guarantee sustainable use.
Furthermore, these systems enable
national orchid nurseries to have a
competitive advantage when accessing
international markets. Traceability
not only enhances transparency and
the reputation of nurseries and their
products (orchids) with clients and
governments, it also enables them
to have a competitive marketing
and positioning tool at local and
international level. This is a win-win
situation for all actors involved in the
orchid value chain.


20 years of BioTrade

4 BioTrade and marketsThrough BioTrade, its beneficiaries – companies, associations and projects –
are placing their products and services not only in national markets but also
regional and international ones across a variety of biodiversity-based sectors.
This section includes case studies working with flora and ecosystem services
(sustainable tourism) in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

BioTrade and markets: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Case study Aichi Targets Sustainable Development Goals

4.1 BioTrade and market-driven
strategies to develop biodiversity-
based sectors and businesses

4.2 Developing inclusive and resilient
indigenous natural products sector
(southern Africa)

2, 4, 7, 16, 19 8, 9, 12, 15

4.3 Communitarian ecotourism: An idea
full of nature (Colombia)

1, 2, 4 8, 12, 15

4.4 Promoting sustainable cocoa

2, 3, 4, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15

4.5 Novel food regulation: Beyond a
technical protocol? Sacha inchi oil

4, 19 9, 12

4.6 When all that is needed is a little
push (Viet Nam)

4, 7, 19 9, 12, 15

Fotolia: D

itriy D



Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

BioTrade and markets: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Lorena Jaramillo,
Economic Affairs
Officer, UNCTAD

BioTrade, which fosters the sustainable use and trade of biodiversity-
derived products and services, contributes to development and
trade agendas by addressing biodiversity loss and poverty. For
over 20 years, UNCTAD, its partners and practitioners, have been
building a BioTrade enabling environment, strengthening value chain
actors’ capacities to trade value added products and services, and
facilitating access to key markets.

The impact of biodiversity and
social concerns in trade and
development agendas

BioTrade is considered as a market-
driven incentive for the sustainable use
and conservation of biodiversity and
the equitable sharing of the benefits
generated by its use and trade. It is also
recognized as such in several UNCTAD
and MEA mandates. For instance, it
responds to the trade-related aspects
of CBD Article 10 on sustainable use,
11 on incentive measures and Aichi
Target 3. Similarly, CITES-UNCTAD
collaboration recognizes the role
that economic incentives play in the
sustainable resource management.

The growing trends for sustainable,
natural, environmentally and socially
responsible consumption and
production patterns trigger the sale
of BioTrade and other biodiversity-
based products and services.
Raising awareness and valorizing
biodiversity is also a way of creating
and developing markets and seizing
market opportunities (UNCTAD, 2013).
For example, consumers wish to know
more about the sourcing practices of
the ingredients and services purchased,
as shown by the 2016 Biodiversity

Barometer. Similarly, the importance of
biodiversity is increasingly recognized in
trade agreements such as the Trans-
Pacific Partnership that includes, inter
alia, the commitment of its partners to
combat wildlife trafficking, illegal logging
and illegal fishing (Office of the United
States Trade Representative, n.d.).
These trends are an important driver
for BioTrade and its goal of conserving
biodiversity, promoting sustainable
livelihoods and creating broader
sustainable development opportunities.

Market access for biodiversity products
is increasingly affected by non-tariff
measures (NTMs). Some NTMs are
used as commercial policy instruments
(e.g. subsidies, trade defence
measures), while others stem from
non-trade policy objectives (e.g. food
safety and environmental protection)
(Erasmus et al., 2014). “NTMs may
have restrictive and distorting effects on
international trade. This can comprise
complex technical barriers to trade
(TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary
(SPS) measures” (Cadot et al., 2015)
that are difficult to comply with.

BioTrade actions to access
national and international markets

Accessing markets, particularly
premium ones, motivates BioTrade
and biodiversity-based businesses to
continue implementing the sustainability
principles. It also provides businesses
with resources to continue their
operations. Exporters’ understanding
of and compliance with requirements
(SPS regulations and standards)
from key markets, are essential to
accessing them. Standards, such
as ISO (International Organization
for Standardization), hazard analysis
and critical control points (HACCP),
GMP, Globalgap and WHO GACP,

BioTrade and market-driven strategies to develop
biodiversity-based sectors and businesses4.1

“ Accessing markets, particularly premium
ones, motivates
BioTrade and
businesses to
continue implementing
the sustainability


20 years of BioTrade

are also used in the market place.
Additionally, voluntary sustainability
standards are increasingly key to
accessing premium markets. Strategies
implemented by BioTrade partners
across the globe include tackling and
understanding consumers’ preferences
and distribution channels, and reaching
out to buyers with value added, high
quality and differentiated products and
services. Experience has shown the
need to be inclusive, involve a broad
number of national and international
organizations and experts, and
guarantee the flow of information and
benefit sharing among all value chain

BioTrade’s value chain approach leads
to fulfilling market requirements. This
has helped in the development of
a BioTrade-friendly enabling policy

• Enabling policy environment:
Identifying and addressing policy
gaps and duplication at national and
international levels, as well as market
barriers that are negatively affecting
the trade of BioTrade products and
services. For instance, understanding
and complying with regulations or
voluntary requirements from target
markets can be challenging for SMEs
from developing countries. SPS or
TBT requirements, particularly for
new biodiversity-based traditional
food products, such as the EU NFR
have resulted in time-consuming and
significant costs due to trials and risks
assessment that have been funded
jointly by the companies, BioTrade
partners and other donors. Similarly,
new regulations such as the Nagoya
Protocol are essential to create a
policy environment that complies
with international requirements and
supports BioTrade and implements its
principle on ABS.

• Market access: Developing
collaborative models and programmes
(e.g. B2B, public-private partnerships,
business associations), participating in
trade fairs and in buyer-seller missions
aiming to facilitate market linkages of
SME providers of BioTrade products
and services with potential buyers
at national and international levels.
Technical assistance programmes,
coaching and funding have been

conceived for instance to develop
substantive supporting documents
(e.g. material safety datasheets) and
implement traceability systems. In
some countries, partners organized
specialized trade fairs, such as
Perunatura, or the promotion of
country-flag products.

• Geographical indications and
appellation of origin: Recognize
and identify typical characteristics of
a product or service or development
process integrating specific know-
how, such as the “cacao arriba”
appellation that was developed by
the National BioTrade Programme
in Ecuador with the support of the
Ecuadorian Intellectual Property
Institute, UNCTAD, cocoa producers,
companies and research associations
(Jaramillo, 2012).

• Market differentiation schemes:
Formulate and implement company
branding and product standards
focusing on “sustainability”,
“biodiversity” and “social, inclusive and
fair trade”, speciality products, and
even “peacebuilding and post-conflict
recovery” concepts. Standards and
certifications may be tools to address
the emergence of consumer demand
for more information and more
“sustainable” products and services,
and production processes, improve
the quality and traceability of the
products, and the fulfilling of regulatory

developments and the development
agenda (SDGs, climate change,
natural resources depletion). R&D also
plays a key role, for instance with the
development of new products and
enhanced product differentiation.

• Enhancing consumer awareness:
Focusing on this area by highlighting
the social and environmental benefits
of BioTrade products and services in
order to enhance the market for them.
This is implemented in Viet Nam. The
Biodiversity Barometer contributes
and measures consumer awareness in
relation to biodiversity.

• Access to market information:
Involves not only market intelligence
with specialized studies and websites,
but also technical assistance and
capacity-building activities, and
specific market access guidelines,
among others.

• Access to finance: Creating funds,
accessing venture capital and enabling
commercial banks to develop specific
credit lines such as CORPEI CAPITAL
(Ecuador) or the New Ventures
Biodiversity Investor Forum for the
Andean-Amazonian region (UNCTAD-
CAF-World Resources Institute)
to promote concrete investment
opportunities through venture
capital in bio-businesses (https://

environment, and the formulation
and implementation of several tools
and activities to access national and
international markets. Partnerships have
been essential for BioTrade, for instance
working with trade promotion agencies
from developing countries, such as the
Export and Tourism Promotion Agency
of Peru (PROMPERU), Corporación
de Promoción de Exportaciones e
Inversiones from Ecuador (CORPEI)
and the Uganda Export Promotion
Board, as well as trade promotion
programmes or centres from developed
countries, such as the Dutch Centre
for the Promotion of Imports from
Developing Countries and the Swiss
Import Promotion Programme, and
international agencies, such as ITC.
Box 4.1 provides some examples of
actions taken.

Concluding remarks

Accessing and creating markets for
biodiversity products and services
is a complex and complicated issue
that requires enhancing the capacity
of value chain actors and keeping up
to date with market and consumer
requirements. However, it is also the
basis for developing profitable, long-
term commercial businesses, using
these products and services sustainably
and enhancing the livelihoods of the
sourcing communities.

Box 4.1 Actions taken by BioTrade partners to access markets


Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

For any entrepreneur in the world, the route to success is a challenging journey that
requires patience and methodology. For a start-up located in a developing country,
supporting tools are often yet to be designed. To reach the stage of business viability,
joining forces remains the key starting point that has become the credo in PTA’s
proposition to its members.

Véronique Rossow,
Head of Research
and Development,
PhytoTrade Africa

Baobab and kigela

A bottom-up approach

PhytoTrade Africa is a membership-
based trade association that was
created in 2001 in southern Africa.
At that time, its main objectives were
to mutualize all the efforts and funding
needs of various stakeholders working
on the same local indigenous plant
species, then to bring and share
technical and market support through
a regional value chain approach.

This BioTrade initiative started around
the marula oil value chain, but soon
expanded to additional southern African
species. Fifteen years later, it connects
more than 55 SMEs (producers) across
eight countries (Botswana, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa,
Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe),
representing more than 12 500 local
collectors (PTA, 2015). In terms of
products, its members are involved
in the valorization of around 10 focal
species,15 mainly NTF products that
occur in several southern African
countries. In preparation of a robust

diversification strategy for the regional
indigenous natural product (INP)
sector, PTA has also gathered data on
many pipeline species that have been
identified to represent a commercial
interest, particularly for the food
and cosmetic sectors. For further
information, see Figure 4.1.

One recurrent commonality throughout
the PTA network is the very strong
commitment entrepreneurs have
towards the sustainable use of
biodiversity (e.g. with the establishment
of resource management plans),
together with investment in developing
long-term business relationships with
their collectors/harvesters. This goes in
line with BioTrade Principles which are
embedded into PTA’s charter.

Such dedication towards social
and environmental impacts has a
transactional cost, which PTA mitigates
by providing a range of technical
and commercial supports, therefore
fostering its network’s competitiveness.

Developing inclusive and resilient indigenous natural
products sector (southern Africa)4.2

“ Among the many challenges of such a
bottom-up approach,
a few are quite critical
to ensuring long-
term commercial

Natal mahogany © PhytoTrade Africa

© PhytoTrade Africa


20 years of BioTrade

Lessons learned

Among the many challenges of such
a bottom-up approach, a few are
quite critical to ensuring long-term
commercial success. Looking back
at the two most iconic value chains
that PTA has supported (marula oil
and baobab powder), two strategic
steps are pre-requisite for entering into
any new product development:

• At grassroots – patience and
methodology. From the identification
of the species, to the first scaled
production, the level of investment
is high in terms of time, as well as
financially. Many investigations have
to be conducted, ranging from
resource assessments, commercial
potential, to technology and
equipment evaluations. It took eight
years, many sample tests and several
process evaluations to go from local
artisanal small oil production to a
scalable marula oil production that
had reproducible and marketable
specifications (CRIAA SA-DOC,

• For market access – caution and
methodology (again). The local
market is often the first target of
new product sales. But it is unlikely
to be sufficient to allow profitable
revenues. When preparing business
plans, most SMEs target export

sales, where consumer purchasing
power is higher than in the country
of origin. Depending on the industrial
sector and geographical zone,
entering a new market implies fulfilling
specific NTMs such as regulatory
compliance or label certification. The
cultural and geographical distances,
combined with the complexity of
some compliance procedures make
it difficult for a single producer to
prepare for such compliance alone.
The related costs could also put
at risk the return on investment (or
simply its viability) for any business.

PTA had started the procedures two
years before obtaining the EU NFR and
United States of America Generally
Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status
for the baobab fruit powder in 2008.
This involved mobilizing several of its
members in three different countries,
to provide representative samples from
their respective production in order to
build a meaningful regulatory dossier.
This value chain approach allowed
decreasing risks and costs at each
business level, while also benefiting
non-members, who could then access
the EU and United States markets at
marginal costs.

The enthusiasm and reward that bring
the first successes are quickly followed
by the need to ensure businesses

In its “incubating” endeavours, and
to strengthen its network, PTA has
more recently started to build a
strategy of higher resilience throughout
its membership. This adaptive
management goes from developing
“fit for purpose” diversification
strategies, to capturing as much
added value locally as possible.

Way forward

In the African region, the future of this
“bio-economy”16 is highly dependent
on national policies to support local
innovation and entrepreneurship
(Lombard, 2015). It remains challenging
to connect small local producers with
international players. Such imbalance in
strength has to be decreased through
various processes, involving: efficient
capacity-building training, suitable
access to finance, and mainstreaming
business resilience when developing
inclusive value chains. The entry into
force of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS
plays an important role in providing
legal tools to foster fairer and win-win
business relationships. At the forefront
of Nagoya Protocol implementation,
through its network, PTA has an
advocacy role that has certainly
become even more critical for its
members and the entire INP sector.

Flowers and fruits from indigenous natural products Martha K. Kangandjo-Negumbo,
Manager of the Eudafano Women’s
Cooperative (Namibia) at a trade
fair in Europe

© PhytoTrade Africa


hytoTrade A


Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

Figure 4.1 PhytoTrade Africa


20 years of BioTrade

Developing communitarian ecotourism in the Parques Nacionales Naturales de
Colombia (PNN) (National Natural Parks of Colombia) is a valuable tool for social
assessment and recognition of the benefits of nature; and becoming one of the most
significant inputs to consolidate BioTrade. It is a process of commercial innovation
based on natural and cultural assets that has adapted itself in a dynamic way to the
global market’s demands, which are growing significantly.

Juliana Hoyos
Specialist, National
Natural Parks of
Colombia, Ministry
of Environment
and Sustainable

Translated by
Carolina Valbuena
Osorio with the
support of Lorena
Jaramillo, UNCTAD


BioTrade includes cultural identity
and natural diversity as fundamental
elements of sustainable development
and the conservation of the natural and
cultural heritage in Colombia. More
universally, positioning environmental
businesses in the sustainable economy
depends on societies’ production
and consumption patterns, and the
appreciation and recognition of the
benefits that people derive from nature.

For the past 20 years, the growth of
nature-based tourism in the global
market has increased (UNWTO, 2010)
and enhanced the essential role of
local communities in the conservation
of natural resources (Kiper, 2013).
This article shows the experience of
a group of entrepreneurs inspired by
communitarian ecotourism who have
successfully positioned themselves as
one of the most recognized biodiversity
conservation programmes in Colombia
(PNN, 2015).

Colombia – a destination for peace
and nature
Colombia stands out as one of the 10
countries with the highest biodiversity

in the world. This privileged position
forces the government to formulate
policies defining the country’s land use
and productive development. These
policies recognize the importance of
biodiversity to consolidate peace and
development scenarios.

Given the exceptional conditions of
Colombian nature and culture, each
PNN is unique in terms of geography,
biology and culture. It is a perfect
scenario for the contemplation and
enjoyment of ecotourism activities.17
Colombia receives 4.2 million foreign
visitors per year, of which only 10 per
cent visit a PNN (PROCOLOMBIA,
2016). Over the past decade, the
Colombian tourism sector has
experienced a 12.7 per cent growth,
becoming the second highest income-
generating activity in the country, after
minerals and oil exports (Revista Dinero,
2015). Nature-based tourism maintains
a positive behaviour in comparison to
other sectors, as for instance, PNN
visits registered a 6 per cent growth
in 2015 (Figure 4.2). This represents
approximately one million foreign and
national visitors. Likewise, the number
of visitors grew by 11.7 per cent in the
first quarter of 2016 (PNN, 2016c).

Figure 4.2 Visitor numbers to National Natural Parks in Colombia (2013–2015)

Source: PNN, 2015.

Communitarian ecotourism: An idea full of nature

“ Ecotourism is a major sector with
great potential for
Colombia. More effort
is needed to enhance
its development
and openness to
international markets
in a sustainable


Naturales de Colombia

870 000

890 000

910 000

930 000

950 000

970 000

990 000



Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

The real significance of
communitarian ecotourism

The opportunities to create value
through the tangible and intangible
attributes of nature are infinite. Diversity
is considered the principal attraction of
many destinations chosen by travellers
wishing to experience local culture
and nature (e.g. annually 6.4 million
European travellers are interested in
communitarian ecotourism (UNWTO,
2016). The UN World Tourism
Organization (UNWTO) points out
that tourism is a social, cultural and
economic phenomenon that requires
a long chain of production; making
tourism one of the most inclusive
economic activities at the global level.

Differing from conventional tourism,
communitarian ecotourism enlarges the
social scope, claiming the role that local
communities play in the conservation
of the heritage (Comité Interinstitucional
de Ecoturismo, 2007). In Colombia, the
Communitarian Ecotourism Programme
in National Parks (CEPNN) started as
a conservation strategy over a decade
ago with seven parks in the Andean,
Caribbean and Pacific regions (Figure
4.3).18 Each CEPNN must:

• Improve or maintain the conservation
status of the PNN

• Promote the social valorization of

• Generate benefits that improve the
local communities’ quality of life (Bio-
comercio Colombia, 2014).

Since 2008, 10 communitarian
ecotourism initiatives (CEIs) have been
implemented; each includes a contract
for the provision of communitarian
ecotourism services and actions. Within
the CEPNN and with the support of
the GEF-CAF-UNEP Andean BioTrade
Project “Facilitation of financing for
biodiversity-based businesses and
support for market development
activities in the Andean region”
(Biocomercio Colombia, 2014) each
CEI enhanced their knowledge and
skills to develop BioTrade businesses,
implement sustainability principles
and criteria (e.g. BioTrade) and good
ecotourism practices. Additionally, they
diversified their economic activities by
developing products and value chains
associated with ecotourism such as
handicrafts. A knowledge sharing
scenario was created among them,
which enhanced their skills related to
commercial and promotional strategies
and the implementation of business

Ecotourism chains of value

Handicrafts chains of value

Source: PNN website: www.parquesnacionales.gov.co.

Figure 4.3 National Natural Parks in Colombia

Humpback whale © Fundación Yubarta


20 years of BioTrade

plans, aiming to enrich their capacity
to develop nature-based tourism

By the end of 2014, the number of
visitors to the six CEIs increased by 4.6
per cent from 2013 to 2014 generating
US$313 000 in sales, and with 95–97
per cent visitor satisfaction registered
for the past three years (figures 4.4
and 4.5) (PNN, 2016c). Similarly,
four of the six CEIs increased their
revenues by almost 54 per cent. Under
the CEPNN, 80 per cent of the CEIs
promoted their initiative to domestic
and international markets by raising
awareness and implementing promotion
and commercialization activities,
including using new technologies and
social media (Twitter, Facebook and
Instagram).19 Furthermore, the number
of PNN has increased to 11 located in
seven departments (Figure 4.3).

Today, communitarian entrepreneurs
focus on obtaining a sustainability
certification for their activities,
enhancing their language skills and
diversifying their products, activities
and services. This is achieved by
enhancing the participation of different
actors in the ecotourism value chain
and fostering the empowerment of local


Ecotourism is a major sector with great
potential for Colombia. More effort is
needed to enhance its development
and openness to international
markets in a sustainable manner.
Competitiveness of the sector is a
challenge that requires investing in
infrastructure and equipment as well
as in human talent. These efforts
must strengthen communities’
entrepreneurship and organizational
capacities, to enable them to manage
their assets and financial resources
and promote their touristic product.
Furthermore, they need support to
enhance their research and innovation
capacities to develop new ecotourism
products fulfilling sustainability
standards (e.g. BioTrade). They also
need to establish a network between
public, private and civil society to avoid
duplicating efforts.

From the business point of view,
designing the touristic experience
implies the synergy of multiple elements
to enhance positioning, development
and innovation of the product.
Naturar Iguaque (2015) stated: “We
(should) stop selling beds and food to

Figure 4.4 Visitor flows to communitarian ecotourism destinations

Figure 4.5 Revenue (2014)

0 200 000 400 000 600 000 800 000 1000 000 1200 000 1400 000


PNN Corales del Rosario

PNN El Cocuy

PNN Utría

PNN Chingaza

SFF Iguaque

SFF Otún Quimbaya

0 50 000 000

100 000 000

150 000 000

200 000 000

250 000 000

300 000 000

350 000 000


PNN Corales del Rosario

PNN El Cocuy

PNN Utría

SFF Iguaque

SFF Otún Quimbaya

Source: PNN, 2016a.

Source: PNN, 2016b.

promote a unique experience, based
on co-creation,20 establishing the
‘visitor’s experience’ in the heart of the
communitarian ecotourism promise”.
Close interaction with local communities
is essential to generate positive
change between public and private
actors at local, regional and national
levels. It is also important to generate
a positive response in safeguarding

the natural resources. This approach
fosters enlightened private participation
in conservation. It is a tool for
territorial planning and environmental
management of PNN.

The CEPNN has a strong institutional
and business insight that fosters the
role of BioTrade in the development of
the Andean region. It also encourages
the inspiring idea that BioTrade is not
just an idea in Colombia but a reality.

Los Nevados, Laguna © Juan Manuel Torres


Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

UNOCACE, a cocoa producers’ association, has been working since 1999 to
enhance the livelihoods of small cocoa farmers and their surrounding biodiversity in
the coastal provinces of Ecuador. It focuses on producing and exporting high quality
and differentiated cocoa beans to niche markets in Europe and the United States of
America. It also shares its experience and knowledge to strengthen the cocoa sector.

Freddy Cabello,
Manager, UNOCACE


The Union de Organizaciones
Campesinas Cacaoteras (UNOCACE)
is an organization that is part of the
Ecuadorian Popular and Solidarity
Economy (Economía Popular y
Solidaria) created in 1999. It currently
groups 927 small cocoa farmers with
4157 hectares of national high quality
cocoa (Theobroma cacao) know as
fino de aroma. Their cocoa plantations
are located in four provinces (Guayas,
Los Ríos, El Oro and Bolívar) and are
managed under BioTrade Principles.
They are also in line with organic, fair
trade, biodiversity-friendly requirements
and post-harvest processes resulting in
a very high quality product.

The strategy of combining cocoa crops
with biodiversity enabled UNOCACE to
participate in BioTrade activities, starting
in early 2000 with the Ecuadorian

National BioTrade Programme
and later in 2011 with the Andean
BioTrade Programme. This support
enabled UNOCACE to consolidate its
commercialization strategy for organic
and fair trade cocoa, access high-
quality markets in Europe and the
United States of America; resulting
in an increase in the income of its
members. Particularly, the biodiversity-
friendly strategies implemented under
BioTrade, more than doubled the
annual productivity of family cocoa
plots, from 200 to 500 kilograms per
hectare. The goal is to achieve 1000
kilograms per hectare per year.

UNOCACE has also been providing
technical assistance to other cocoa
producers’ associations in managerial
and quality programmes for enhancing
sustainable cocoa farms under BT P&C
(CORPEI/MAE, 2014).

Figure 4.6 New York Stock Exchange price versus UNOCACE’s producer
price at farm (January 2013 to June 2016)




















































































































































































































© Freddy Cabello

Promoting sustainable cocoa (Ecuador)4.4



20 years of BioTrade

Accessing international cocoa

UNOCACE is strongly focused on
accessing international markets for its
high quality cocoa. It has developed
public-private partnerships with
European chocolate manufacturers,
which recognize the uniqueness of its
cocoa developed under environmentally
and socially responsible practices.

Currently, one of the main markets
accessed is the Swiss chocolate
industry, which captures 60 per cent of
UNOCACE’s production with a premium
price (free on board) of over US$1000
per metric ton. This has enabled cocoa
farmers to earn a stable income and
price, avoiding the normal shift in
prices related to commodities. In many
cases, cocoa farmers receive an even
higher price than that stated on the
New York Stock Exchange, a situation
not normally seen in the Ecuadorian
cocoa sector or other cocoa producing

In 2015, the difference on the price
paid to cocoa farmers and the stock
exchange price resulted in an additional
income of approximately US$235 000
(Figure 4.6). This continues to motivate
UNOCACE members to implement
projects that enhance the quality and
productivity of the cocoa farms while
working under BioTrade Principles.

Recommendations for enhancing
markets for associations of small
cocoa farmers in Ecuador

Cocoa is a strategic economic sector
for Ecuador because it represents a
major source of export revenue and
employment. For 2015, export revenues

from cocoa surpassed US$749 million
(260 540 metric tons) and employed
around 120 000 producer families
(ANECACAO, 2016). It is also a
pioneer sector as it established the
first Ecuadorian appellation of origin
for cocoa “Arriba” in 2008. UNOCACE
and other producers and sector
associations supported UNCTAD and
the Ecuadorian BioTrade Programme
in the two-year process to gain the
appellation (Jaramillo, 2012).

It is important to foster and create
policies that improve the productive
practices of cocoa farms and develop
policies to upscale and support
environmentally and socially responsible
cocoa farms which may also improve
cocoa production systems. This is
illustrated in the UNOCACE experience
which is significantly improving the
livelihoods of cocoa producers and
implementing biodiversity-friendly
systems (e.g. agroforestry).

Another important aspect is to identify
niche markets for associated species
found on cocoa farms and their derived
industrialized products. This will further
increase the producer families’ incomes
and cash flow.

Other recommendations that can also
enhance market access for small cocoa
producers are:

• Knowing your target markets and
consumers so that the product and
your business model match consumer

• Enhancing the quality of the
product is an ongoing task, and
should be combined with social
and environmental considerations
throughout its value chain.

• Identifying and implementing
mechanisms to provide a stable
purchasing price for cocoa producers.

• Establishing commercial and long-
term partnerships with buyers that
value the uniqueness of UNOCACE’s
social and environmental cocoa
beans. However, it is important to
diversify buyers, to avoid dependence
and minimize risk. UNOCACE has
been working on this point, and
has accessed new markets such as
Canada and also has six new buyers,
resulting from BioTrade support
(CORPEI/MAE, 2014; CAF, 2014).

• Implementing strategies to
diversify product ranges, for
instance developing value added
(e.g. cocoa liquor and nibs).

• Formulating and implementing
strategies on an ongoing basis to
enhance the income of associated
producers, i.e. by identifying niche
markets for other products produced
on their farms and increasing
their value added through agro-



Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

In 2013, four Peruvian sacha inchi firms joined efforts to overcome one of the most
important trade barriers to accessing the European market for natural products: the
authorization as a novel food. This is a considerable milestone and has led to increased
integration of this value chain; yet steps to enhance its governance are necessary.

Nathalie Gil,
Technical Advisor
Lena Katzmarski,
Principal Advisor
with the support
of Manuel Rojas,
Technical Advisor
ProAmbiente, GIZ


Plukenetia volubilis L., commonly
known as sacha inchi, inka peanut
or just inka nut, is a wild oleaginous,
climbing plant native to the Amazon
region. In Peru, it is naturally distributed
in the Amazon regions of San Martín,
Ucayali, Huánuco, Amazonas, Madre de
Dios and Loreto. Peruvian indigenous
communities have recognized the
exceptional properties of sacha inchi for
centuries, and use it for cosmetics and
health purposes (IIAP, 2016).

During the last decade, sacha inchi was
domesticated in Peru, and San Martín
is the main cultivation area. Initially,
national and regional authorities, and
afterwards BioTrade projects such as

PerúBiodiverso (co-financed by SECO
and German Development Cooperation,
implemented by GIZ), promoted its
development (Box 4.2). Also, during
the first stage of UNCTAD’s BioTrade
Facilitation Programme (2003–2008),
sacha inchi was a priority value chain
selected to implement the BT P&C.

On the international market, sacha
inchi vegetable oil is considered a true
“superfood”, being one of the richest
sources of omega-3 fatty acids and
it contains high amounts of protein,
fibre and antioxidants (Flores and
Lock, 2013). It is used as a dietary
supplement, especially for vegetarians
and vegans. Sacha inchi is also sold in
the form of protein powder and as
a snack.

Box 4.2 The PerúBiodiverso project and sacha inchi

Between 2007 and 2013, the PerúBiodiverso project (SECO/GIZ jointly with
the Peruvian Government) continued supporting the promotion of BioTrade
in Peru. The project focused, inter alia, on developing the sacha inchi value
chain at regional and national levels. It established and institutionalized the
regional sacha inchi round table in San Martín; supported three sacha inchi
companies through public-private partnerships and accompanied the novel
food application process for sacha inchi oil to access to the EU market.

Sacha inchi © Jonas Köppel

Novel food regulation: Beyond a technical protocol?
Sacha inchi oil (Peru)4.5


20 years of BioTrade

“Novel food” as a driver for
collective action

Currently, more than 50 Peruvian
firms export sacha inchi products in
the form of oil, powder, snacks or
seeds to the United States of America,
Europe and several Asian countries,
attaining different market segments
(conventional, organic). Exporting firms
identified the EU market as particularly
promising for this natural ingredient.
Yet, in order to access it with processed
sacha inchi products such as oil or
powder, the exporters are faced with a
market requirement: the EU NFR No.
258/9721 that acts as a barrier.

In order to enter the EU market with
sacha inchi oil, four Peruvian firms
(Agrodindustrias Osho SAC, Amazon
Health Products SAC, Roda Selva
SAC,22 Olivos del Sur SAC) – all
working under BioTrade Principles –
submitted an application to the Food
Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
This application was for substantial
equivalence of their sacha inchi virgin
oil (from Plukenetia volubilis L. seeds)
to “Inca inchi” virgin oil derived from
the same plant which is already sold
in the EU market. The latter has been

recognized as an equivalent to
linseed oil.

The first step to obtain the novel
food authorization was establishing
a multisectoral technical committee,
comprising PROMPERU, the Ministry
of Foreign Trade and Tourism
(MINCETUR), the National Sanitation
Authority, and the Peruvian Institute
for Natural Products. It was supported
by the project PerúBiodiverso. The
commission’s task was to rigorously
collect and systematize the required
scientific information on sacha inchi
(taxonomic description, distribution,
phytochemical information) to develop
the dossier on its oil, which was to be
submitted to the FSAI.

Other existing platforms were also
crucial for obtaining the novel food
authorization. At the national level,
the BioTrade Research and Innovation
Group (GIIB), formed in 2008, was
the nexus between the participating
universities and the private sector.
Jointly with the Cayetano Heredia
National University, the GIIB developed
the sacha inchi oil nutritional
composition information – the basis
of the dossier. At the regional level, the

round table on sacha inchi, established
in 2006, initially served as a negotiation
platform for producers’ organizations
and firms in San Martín. Later, this
round table provided the ideal space
for the articulation of the regional actors
(producers, firms, universities) during
the preparation of the dossier.

In September 2014, all these efforts
culminated in a favourable opinion by
the FSAI on the equivalence of sacha
inchi virgin oil to linseed oil, allowing the
four Peruvian firms to export their oil to
the EU. PROMPERU, with the help of
PerúBioInnova (co-financed by SECO
and German Development Cooperation,
implemented by GIZ), documented this
experience in a manual for Peruvian
firms preparing the novel food dossier
(EU regulation 258/97), before the new
regulation enters into force (Box 4.3).

Sacha inchi products

In November 2015, the EU adopted
a new regulation on novel foods
(2015/2283) that aims to centralize
the authorization procedure and
covers additional products to those
in the previous regulation. The
European Food Safety Authority
will be responsible for the scientific
risk assessment. Under this new
framework, the authorization
procedure for a novel food should
be reduced from about three years
to 18 months. It facilitates access
to the EU market for traditional
foods from non-EU countries
having a demonstrated history of
safe food use (safe consumption
of this novel food by a significant
number of the country’s population
for at least 25 years). Although the
aim is to simplify the application
process, EFSA draft guidance
documents suggest that scientific
analyses for the dossier will be
more exigent. The regulation comes
into force on 1 January 2018.

Source: European Commission, 2016.


“ Exporting firms identified the EU
market as particularly
promising for this
natural ingredient...

Box 4.3 New EU regulation on
novel foods


Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

Table 4.1 Peruvian exports of sacha inchi oil to the EU market (US$)Positioning sacha inchi
Before 2013, it was widely agreed
among public institutions such as
PROMPERU, and sacha inchi firms,
that the novel food authorization would
open up promising market opportunities
for Peruvian firms. Yet, according to
official statistics, sacha inchi oil exports
have not increased since approval. One
firm was able to increase its exports;
two other firms (Roda Selva SAC and
Olivos del Sur SAC) are no longer
exporting (Table 4.1).

Although it is too early to finally
assess the impact of the novel food
authorization, there are concerns about
the future of the Peruvian sacha inchi
oil value chain. First, several Asian
countries have developed long-term
strategies to provide sacha inchi and its
derivatives to the international markets,
presenting fierce competition to the
“original” Peruvian sacha inchi. Second,
Peruvian stakeholders have shown
very slow reaction in capturing the
opportunities arising from accessing the
EU market for this product.

Certainly, reaching consensus among
the main players responsible for

Company 2014 2015 Trade evolution

Amazon Health
Products SAC

US$133 399 US$182 942 37.14 per cent

Osho SAC

US$195 108 US$181 697 -6.87 per cent

Source: PROMPERU, 2016.

Processing of sacha inchi © GIZ

the novel food authorization can be
considered a significant milestone.
The multisectoral committee enabled
collective actions and generated trust
between the parties, and disseminated
the rules of this market requirement.
Currently, such collaborative efforts are

Governance was particularly
important for the creation, transfer
and dissemination of the knowledge
generated, yet lost its importance
when authorization was obtained.
Hence, further efforts should focus
on strengthening the value chain’s

Led by the public sector and
implemented in coordination with
the private sector, a long-term
competitiveness strategy for sacha
inchi must be developed to enhance
this value chain and capture EU market
opportunities. Additionally, efforts
should continue to foster R&D in order
to support innovation in production and
transformation stages, to implement
efficiency indicators and to protect
biodiversity. Finally, processes to certify
the origin or the creation of a collective
brand have to be initiated in order
to position the Peruvian sacha inchi
products in niche markets.


20 years of BioTrade

Going natural is a worldwide trend that sparks many opportunities for suppliers of
natural ingredients. Coming from a country rich in biological resources that can be
used as natural ingredients, Vietroselle found itself in a place where they just needed
a little help to seize success.

Linh Nguyen,
Officer, BIG

Introduction: The dedication of
a Vietnamese small business to
reach big markets

It was a hot sunny day in May when
Lam was watching trucks loaded with
diep-ha-chau (phyllanthus amarus)
leaves coming in through the gate.
Looking up at the burning sun, he felt
lucky that diep-ha-chau could be sun
dried today instead of machine dried,
saving his company a lot of energy.
“The heat of the middle of Viet Nam
is not always bad after all”, he said
(personal communication with Hoang
Xuan Lam, Director, Vietroselle).

Lam together with his wife, Tuyet-Anh,
own Vietroselle, a company specialized
in providing natural herbs as ingredients
for the pharmaceutical, food and
cosmetics industries. Founding the
company back in the 1980s, they took
small steps in cultivating natural herbs
by cooperating with local farmers.
Working hard to earn the trust of
the farmers and to obtain their first
purchasing contracts, Vietroselle is

now a recognized supplier in the natural
herbs sector.

Foreseeing the inevitable trend for
quality, Vietroselle started implementing
international standards to their
cultivation and production processes.
They and their technical staff
researched all aspects, from the basics
like which fertilizers to use, how much
water to provide, to how to document
the process; until they could develop
standard cultivation procedures for
every herb they had. Training farmers
on these procedures was not easy as
they were used to their own practices.

The hard work paid off when Vietroselle
established a contract with international
buyers from Europe, Japan and Taiwan,
Province of China, even though the
move to high quality considerably
raised their manufacturing costs and
their prices. Some of their products
even exceeded the buyers’ quality
requirements, motivating buyers to pay
a higher price than initially offered. At
the time, Vietroselle decided against

Diep-ha-chau (phyllanthus amarus) © BIG

When all that is needed is a little push (Viet Nam)4.6

“ Working hard to earn the trust of the farmers
and to obtain their first
purchasing contracts,
Vietroselle is now a
recognized supplier
in the natural herbs


Chapter IV. BioTrade and markets

establishing a domestic network as
most local manufacturers preferred low
priced imported ingredients from China,
and 80 per cent of its revenues came
from exports (Ta, 2013).

Vietroselle was involved since the
beginning of the UNCTAD/SECO
funded BioTrade project developing of
BioTrade activities within the natural
ingredients sector in Viet Nam. Given
Vietroselle management’s commitment
to sustainability and its business
potential, the company’s diep-ha-chau
supply chain was selected as a pilot
project. Firstly, Vietroselle received
technical assistance to obtain WHO
GACP certification; and for gaining
membership of UEBT. Secondly, the
company was trained in a variety
of topics, including marketing,
communication and trade promotion.
Thirdly, Vietroselle and other companies
were supported to participate in
relevant national and international
trade fairs. Last, but not least, the
BioTrade project initiated a forum for
manufacturers to get together and
constructively discuss issues and ideas.
The project involved 10 pioneering
companies working with herbal
medicines/ingredients and accounting
for about 80 per cent of domestic
market share. These companies
discussed their own strengths and
weaknesses, and planned for their own
as well as the sector’s development.
Now, the manufacturers no longer
consider each other as rivals, as in the
past, but as suppliers of ingredients

Lam and Tuyet-Anh in their factory

Vietroselle and other Vietnamese
companies at an international
trade fair

they cannot produce. Consequently, a
mechanism for trading among BioTrade
companies was facilitated for the first

Upscaling Vietroselle: Next steps

In 2015, Vietroselle obtained WHO
GACP certification for the cultivation of
diep-ha-chau and UEBT membership,
which enhanced its competitive edge.
With its own funding, Vietroselle is
now committed to implementing both
of these certifications in other value
chains. Also, the skills acquired during
the training under the BioTrade project
enhanced their skills and confidence
to proactively seek new contracts
instead of passively waiting to be
contacted by buyers. Additionally, the
manufacturers’ forum was formalized
into a platform called the BioTrade
Implementation Group (BIG), which
created opportunities for Vietroselle to
become a supplier for several domestic
manufacturers. Consequently, most
of Vietroselle’s products are now sold
domestically, representing around
80 per cent of their sales, while their
exports also have grown but at a
slower rate. As a result of the BioTrade
project, Vietroselle’s sales increased
four times in just three years between
2012 and 2015 (HELVETAS Swiss
Intercooperation Viet Nam, 2015).

The future looks very bright for
Vietroselle, but there are still plenty of
tasks to undertake. As their sales are

growing in the national market, they
need to strengthen their distribution
channels to reach more customers.
More importantly, their competitive
edge of certified standards compliance
will add no value if customers do not
understand the meaning. Much more
dedication and investment are required
to raise awareness of Vietnamese
consumers and the sector about the
advantages of their products and about
BioTrade, which Vietroselle cannot do
alone. Through BIG, Vietroselle will
join efforts to improve the sustainable
sector in general; and hopefully, over
time, raise Viet Nam’s profile globally
in this important arena. They also aim
to mobilize the government and other
stakeholders to join their dream.




20 years of BioTrade

5 PartnershipsDeveloping partnerships is essential to achieving sustainable development, and
addressing emerging issues that have an impact on biodiversity and BioTrade.
For instance, partnerships can help address new developments in MEAs (such as
the Nagoya Protocol), the SDGs, peacebuilding, and accessing international markets
(e.g. trade agreements, NTMs, commercial partnerships, etc.). This section provides
examples of partnerships being established by a variety of stakeholders with the
aim of promoting the sustainable use of biodiversity and/or BioTrade. It includes
examples from Asia, Africa and Latin America across a variety of sectors.

Partnerships: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Case studies Aichi Targets Sustainable Development Goals

5.1 The role of partnerships in
unlocking BioTrade potential

5.2 The BioTrade Initiative and CITES 2, 4, 12, 13, 19 1, 2, 12, 15, 17
5.3 BioTrade – a resilience-building

tool: Helping states fulfil the pledge
of leaving no one behind

2, 4, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15,
16, 17

5.4 Vision matters: BioTrade
implementation (Viet Nam)

1, 4, 16, 19 8, 9, 15, 17

5.5 Biodiversity-based businesses:
Leveraging new ecological

2, 4, 7, 16, 18, 19 1, 2, 8, 9, 12, 15, 17

5.6 Enhancing the sustainability of
the python skin trade through
innovative partnership

2, 3, 4, 6, 13, 19 1, 2, 9, 12, 15, 17



Chapter V. Partnerships

Partnerships: Case studies and their contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Paulo Branco, Vice
Coordinator; Lívia
Menezes Pagotto,
Mario Monzoni,
Coordinator; Daniela
Gomes Pinto,
Researcher, Center
for Sustainability
Getulio Vargas

The governance of biodiversity-based endeavours, including BioTrade, requires
the orchestration of diverse actors and multi-level incentives in terms of regulation,
finance, technology and capacity building. In a scenario of growing demand for
biodiversity-based products and services, partnerships will play an important role in
further strengthening frameworks, mechanisms and networks to scale up BioTrade,
from both supply and demand sides.

BioTrade reflects many of the most
complex challenges society faces
today, especially in natural resource-
based developing economies. It can
be of great value in overcoming the
persistently incentivized misalignment
between sustainable use of natural
resources and economic growth, rural
development and international trade.
It is amidst these challenges that many
opportunities for BioTrade lie. In seizing
these, BioTrade can contribute to
unlocking long-term development in line
with the 2030 Sustainable Development
Agenda and SDGs (12, 15 and 17)
(UNCTAD, 2015a; UNCTAD, 2016a).
In this context, partnerships are being
recognized as a fundamental element
to foster cooperation among actors
for achieving all SDGs.23 Similarly,
partnerships will play an important
role in BioTrade initiatives.

Orchestrating the governance
of BioTrade
The governance of BioTrade, and
biodiversity-based endeavours, requires
orchestration of diverse actors and
multi-level incentives due to its value
chains and characteristics (Becerra,
2009b). This means engaging public
organizations (at international, national
and subnational levels), private sector –
ranging from transnational corporations
(TNCs) to SMEs – development banks,

civil society (including NGOs, think
tanks and academia), and indigenous
and local communities in a common
framework aiming at putting biodiversity
and livelihoods at the heart of trade
agendas and increasing the likelihood
of achieving the SDGs.

In a scenario of growing demand
for biodiversity-based products
and services (UNCTAD, 2013) and
increasing pressures on natural
resources (UNEP, 2012), partnerships
will play an important role in further
strengthening governance frameworks,
mechanisms and networks to scale up
the BioTrade agenda, from both supply
and demand sides. Therefore, further
advancements may be reinforced
in terms of regulation, governance,
finance, technology and capacity
building to foster the climate for
common solutions.

From the regulatory framework
perspective, partnerships between
governments, the private sector and
civil society are essential for enhancing
BioTrade-related international trade
and MEA implementation at national
level (Chandra and Idrisova, 2011). This
means that all countries can implement
the appropriate policies, mechanisms
and institutional architecture for taking
advantage of BioTrade opportunities.

Partnerships are also key for enabling
multi-level and multisectoral governance
dedicated to more innovative, inclusive
and participatory arrangements
(including market-based, self-regulation
and/or co-regulation) (Hepburn, 2006).
This may enhance the already existing
set of environmental, social and
economic sustainability criteria that
guides the commercialization of bio-
based products and services such as
BioTrade (UNCTAD, 2007a).

The financial system may be of
great value in two ways. Firstly, by
freeing access to finance to enhance

The role of partnerships in unlocking BioTrade potential5.1

“ BioTradereflectsmanyof the most complex
in natural resource-
based developing


20 years of BioTrade

processes, equipment and facilities
and to develop value added products
in compliance with market
requirements. Secondly, by providing
market information, guarantees and
loans suitable to SMEs’ needs, on
one side, and TNCs, on the other, in
favour of more equitable value chains
(Jaramillo, 2012; Klein et al., 2014).

Lastly, the implementation of measures
towards capacity building for enhancing
supply chain management under
social and environmental concerns,
technological development and data
and monitoring, may greatly contribute
to innovative arrangements in order to
strengthen BioTrade practices across
sectors and among countries while
conserving nature.

Partnerships as challenges and
opportunities for BioTrade
Existing experiences from developing
and developed countries highlight the
importance of building partnerships
when dealing with biodiversity and
BioTrade, as a means to match societal
demands, priorities and expectations
towards sustainable development.
More specifically, BioTrade initiatives
require more than “one size fits all”
solutions. They mobilize a broad
number of stakeholders in view of the
need to capture different approaches,
knowledge and expertise, such as
entrepreneurship, innovation, value
chain and ecosystem thinking, while
considering the local circumstances
of beneficiaries.

In this context, partnerships are
fundamental for a global BioTrade
strategy that fosters economic growth
and reinforces intergovernmental
commitments (e.g. CBD and CITES)
and, at the same time, contemplates
development opportunities for local
communities from developing countries
based on the sustainable use of

In a globalized world where everyone
has the right to have a say – from
natural resource-based traditional
communities to consumers –
collaboration via partnerships will
be crucial for addressing emerging
issues that will impact the biodiversity-
based and BioTrade global scenario.



Chapter V. Partnerships

Johannes Stahl,
Scientific Support
Officer for Fauna;
Tom De Meulenaer,
Chief, Scientific
Services Team;
Haruko Okusu,
Chief, Knowledge
Management and
Outreach Services,
CITES Secretariat

CITES Secretariat and UNCTAD’s BioTrade Initiative have a long-standing collaboration
starting in 2001 and formalized by a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2010.
This article presents selected experiences developed to conserve CITES-listed
species, improve livelihoods of the poor in remote and marginal areas, and promote
opportunities for businesses that comply with CITES requirements in Latin America,
Africa and Asia.

CITES and BioTrade: A long-
standing partnership
The cooperation between the UNCTAD
BioTrade Initiative and the CITES
Secretariat started in 2001 with the
general objectives of enhancing the
conservation of the CITES-listed
species, improving livelihoods of
poor people in remote and marginal
areas that harvest and trade these
species, and promoting opportunities
for businesses that comply with
CITES requirements and national
legislation. Identifying and promoting
economic incentives for the sustainable
management of, and trade in, CITES
Appendices II- and III-listed species,
and ensuring that benefits are shared
with local communities, are of major
importance in this cooperation.

In order to formalize and strengthen this
cooperation, UNCTAD and the CITES
Secretariat signed a MoU in 2010. As
part of the MoU, the CITES Secretariat

works with the BioTrade Initiative to
encourage consultations between
BioTrade focal points and CITES
authorities when including species listed
in the CITES Appendices in national
BioTrade programmes. The BioTrade
Initiative and the CITES Secretariat
also cooperate in facilitating capacity-
building in developing countries on
issues relating to the organization of
the value chain for species listed under

Projects and achievements
Since 2001, several CITES Parties,
including the Plurinational State of
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and
Uganda, have selected CITES-listed
species as a component of their
national BioTrade programmes.24 These
Parties have received strong assistance
from UNCTAD for conducting wildlife
trade surveys, developing adequate
CITES-implementing legislation and

The BioTrade Initiative and CITES5.2

© Fotolia: Franck Monnot


20 years of BioTrade

making non-detriment findings for trade
in selected species.

As a result of ongoing cooperation,
CITES requirements have been
incorporated in UNCTAD BioTrade
procedures, such as the selection
of product groups and value chains,
and the development of tools for
engagement of the private sector, etc.
UNCTAD BioTrade also developed,
in close cooperation with the CITES
authorities in selected countries in
which it operates (i.e. the Plurinational
State of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador,
Peru and Uganda), guidelines for the
sustainable management of wildlife
products for enterprises engaged in
wildlife trade. In Peru, for example,
these guidelines were focused on
Arapaima gigas (UNCTAD, 2007b;

Furthermore, the BioTrade Initiative
supported a number of studies on
CITES-listed species to strengthen
their sustainable management by local
stakeholders. Research involved, inter
alia, Caiman yacare in the Plurinational
State of Bolivia; Arapaima gigas in Peru;
vicuñas in the Plurinational State of
Bolivia and Peru; orchids in Colombia
and Peru; and wildlife trade in Uganda,
focusing on birds, reptiles, insects and
amphibians. The BioTrade Initiative
also sponsored joint workshops on the
sustainable trade in Arapaima gigas,
Caiman yacare and turtles.
The BioTrade Initiative and CITES
are also cooperating in the field of
traceability of specimens of CITES-

listed species in international trade. In
this context, in 2013–2014, they jointly
commissioned a scoping study on
traceability systems for international
trade in South-East Asian python
skins, which analysed existing marking
and tracing systems, and options for
an economically feasible traceability
system that can confirm the legal
origin of snake skins. The study
findings formed the basis for specific
recommendations to the CITES Animals
Committee and Standing Committee.
In 2015, the BioTrade Initiative started
a project to look into the traceability
of CITES-listed medicinal plants in
the Greater Mekong subregion, and
of ornamental plants in the Andean

The main thrust of CITES is to ensure
that international trade in listed species
is sustainable, legal and traceable.
The partnership with the BioTrade
Initiative allows Parties to explore
practical examples and best practice
on how to work with various value
chain partners to maximize benefits
for rural communities from such legal,
sustainable and traceable trade in
CITES-listed species.

Challenges and opportunities
Parties to CITES have been advancing
discussions that touch upon the areas
of cooperation between CITES and
the BioTrade Initiative. These include
the development, implementation and
improvement of traceability systems

for CITES-listed species, and work
on livelihoods. The latter resulted in a
handbook to assist Parties to undertake
a rapid assessment of the effects of
the application of CITES decisions on
livelihoods in poor rural communities,
and to consider how to mitigate any
negative effects.

The topics of traceability and livelihoods
were discussed in detail at the
upcoming 17th meeting of the CITES
Conference of the Parties (CoP17,
Johannesburg, September–October
2016). It is expected that these issues
will gain further momentum following
CoP17, as more generic traceability
advice will be developed, and an
increasing number of countries and
stakeholders will focus on collecting
evidence for potential impacts on
livelihoods of CITES-listing decisions,
while also exploring the opportunities
of sustainable income and resources
provision through long-term species
conservation strategies.

In a broader context, the approach
followed by the BioTrade Initiative
has demonstrated that species
conservation and poverty reduction can
be delivered together. For this reason,
the BioTrade Initiative has been, and will
continue to be, a key partner for CITES.

“ The main thrust of CITES is to ensure
that international
trade in listed species
is sustainable, legal
and traceable...

Bletia catenulata © MINAM


Chapter V. Partnerships

Policy Specialist,

BioTrade has the potential to bring trade and investment to biodiversity-rich countries
affected by conflict and displacement. It can be a tool to increasing the economic
self-reliance and resilience of displaced persons and host communities while
safeguarding biodiversity.

collaboration was initiated in late
2010 within the framework of post-
conflict peacebuilding efforts when the
United Nations was supporting the
implementation of a number of peace
agreements. It complemented initiatives
to reintegrate large groups of returning
conflict-affected groups, such as ex-
combatants and associated groups,
internally displaced persons (IDPs) and
refugees. Several post-conflict countries
in Africa, Latin America and Asia have
ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity.
Their natural resource sector offered
enormous potential for generating
attractive jobs and income generation
opportunities for returnees.

BioTrade as a peacebuilding tool
was therefore tested in Aceh Selatan,
Indonesia, where UNDP partnered
with UNCTAD to help the government

and local communities revive local
economic activity. Together they sought
to develop value chains of culturally
significant products for marginalized
groups, including women. Nutmeg
(Myristica fragrans Houtt), or pala in
Bahasa Indonesia, was the native
species selected because it formed part
of the biologically diverse forest gardens
that had belonged to the Aceh Selatan
communities for generations. The crop
had suffered considerable deterioration
during the war and had a promising
market demand. Several products
made from the nutmeg fruit and seed,
such as candies and syrup, spice
and essential oil, had the potential to
generate income again, improving the
livelihoods of communities, as explained
in Box 5.1 (Jaramillo, 2016b).

Technical assistance to strengthen
the nutmeg value chain included the
establishment of Forum Pala and a
producers’ cooperative able to access
potential buyers and connect to
domestic and international markets.
Such interventions demonstrated
how the rich biodiversity available
could contribute to the livelihoods of
marginalized groups and in the recovery
of communities in an economically,
socially and environmentally sustainable
way. The approach also helped increase
social cohesion through dialogue and
trust building among key stakeholders.
Lessons included the importance of
engaging the private sector dependent
on biodiversity products early on to
best address sustainability issues and
capitalize on investments they were
able to make.

Upscaling the UNDP-UNCTAD
Although peace agreements are still
negotiated today, as recently seen in
Colombia, the Philippines and Myanmar,
“never-ending conflicts and large
numbers of semi-permanent refugees”

BioTrade – a resilience-building tool: Helping states fulfil
the pledge of leaving no one behind5.3



20 years of BioTrade

from Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of
Iraq, Somalia, Syria and many other
countries have become more frequent.
Humanitarian responses also end up
becoming protracted and care and
maintenance systems insufficient
and inappropriate for dealing with the
increasingly urban displaced population.
Lacking solutions, refugees and IDPs
either have to become, de facto, locally
integrated or have no choice but to
move forward as “migrants”. Large
regional movements of migrants and
refugees to Europe and other parts of
the world have brought international
consensus around the need to adopt
comprehensive international responses
that also address the root causes
(UNGA, 2016, §12).

Host governments and local authorities
are increasingly faced with the reality
of having to accept that many of the
displaced will not return home either
because conditions for return do not
exist or because after so many years,
host countries and communities
themselves have become the migrants’
new home. In this new context, the
pressure is on humanitarian agencies
to work differently and jointly with
development actors from the beginning
to enhance the displaced persons’ and
their hosts’ own coping mechanisms.
Open ended external humanitarian aid
is expected to give way to investing
in the resilience of displaced persons,
communities, institutions and systems.

Box 5.1 The UNDP-UNCTAD project in Indonesia (2010–2011)

The UNCTAD-UNDP project on
BioTrade in Aceh Selatan began in
2010, to complement economic
reintegration support for women
ex-combatants and conflict-
affected communities. BioTrade
concepts and methodologies were
used to contribute to practical
and environmentally friendly
socioeconomic alternatives for
generating employment and income
based on the sustainable use of
nutmeg and the commercialization
of its derived products (Ruhanawati,

As part of the project, constraints
that limit the development of the
value chain were identified jointly with
all the value chain actors, including
grassroots communities, traders,
industries, government, academia
and NGOs. The nutmeg crop’s
exposure to pests and diseases was

one of the major concerns prioritized
during the assessment phase and
actions were developed to tackle this
issue. Other key issues considered
were the organization of the sector
through the creation of the nutmeg
forum (Forum Pala or Forpala) and
cooperative; enhancement of the
quality of nutmeg and its derived
products; and an increase in product
diversification (UNCTAD, UNDP,
UNEP, 2010). Access to markets
was also a key concern in the project
implementation, where contacts and
cooperation were made with global
leaders in the fragrance and flavour
industry (as potential buyers), import
promotion initiatives, market experts
and other stakeholders who were part
of UNCTAD’s BioTrade network.

The project opened up opportunities
for implementing integrated
approaches on environment, peace,

reintegration and livelihood recovery
in Aceh Selatan. Forpala has emerged
as an organization that now leads the
development of nutmeg in the Aceh
Selatan. Forpala continues to operate
even after the conclusion of the
UNDP-UNCTAD project over five years
ago. Currently, financial and technical
support to Forpala is being provided
by the United States Agency for
International Development Indonesian
Forestry and Climate Support project,
together with local government

For further information on project
implementation and lessons
learned, see Jaramillo, 2016b
(available at: http://unctad.org/en/
Source: Extracts from Jaramillo, 2016b.

Development actors have therefore
gained a more prominent role over
past years, so humanitarian funding
can be phased out and channelled
again primarily to new emergency
settings. Development agencies have
increasingly assisted national actors to
integrate solutions to displacement in
national strategies and plans. Because
the needs of IDPs and refugees are
invariably indistinguishable from those
of their vulnerable hosts, programmes
have tended to target these groups
jointly. Addressing displacement is
increasingly understood in the context
of broader national and regional poverty
and development strategies and

Nutmeg fruit, sweet and a woman collector in Aceh district. © L Jaramillo


Chapter V. Partnerships

Achieving economic self-reliance and
livelihoods solutions for displaced
persons has become a must,
including in refugee-hosting countries.
Constraining environments are turning
into conducive spaces for economic
activity in Colombia, Jordan, Kenya,
Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of
Tanzania and Zambia. Access to work
permits and the possibility to jump-
start small businesses need to be
supported by increasing access to
credit and markets. BioTrade can also
complement these resilience-building
efforts as part of the comprehensive
solutions led by development actors
in displacement contexts that are also
biodiversity rich. It can help move away
from the aid-centric view of livelihoods
that does not recognize the agency and
capacities of displaced persons.

BioTrade can be a vehicle for improving
the livelihoods of displaced populations
and host communities while conserving
the environment, in line with Agenda
2030 and the SDGs. UNCTAD can
play a role by connecting the local and
international markets for biodiversity
goods and services sustainably
produced by the displaced and their
hosts. The question is to find the right
mix of policy interventions to lead
to greater self-reliance and income
generation, favouring tax returns in
the medium term as well as economic
growth and development in the long

Development actors can assist
governments in identifying the right
policy mix, as well as contributing to
the implementation and monitoring
on the ground of relevant strategies
and programmes. They can also help
devise the right set of cross-sectoral
measures that can build resilience
among the poorest and excluded
displaced persons and members of
host communities, so no one is left
behind. The Solutions Alliance on
Ending Displacement25 is looking at very
concrete ways of engaging the private
sector in this effort (Solutions Alliance
Secretariat, 2016). It provides an entry
point for action. Integrating companies
owned by displaced persons into the
value chains of larger companies is one
practical area for the UNCTAD BioTrade
Initiative to engage in biodiversity-rich
countries, such as Uganda, United
Republic of Tanzania and Zambia,
where national groups have been
formed. ©



20 years of BioTrade

In Viet Nam, BioTrade is becoming familiar to many players in the natural ingredients
sector. This awareness is the result of three years’ endeavour. Tackling a number of
obstacles in a developing country, BioTrade has proven that it is an excellent initiative
offering such sectors as natural ingredients a way to sustainably use biodiversity to the
benefit of local communities.

Officer, BIG Viet Nam

Viet Nam, a tropical country with an
extensive coastal area, is a country rich
in biodiversity. More than 4000 species
of plants have been found with the
potential to become ingredients for the
food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics
industries (Nguyen and Vuong, 2012).
However, certain challenges limit the
development of the natural ingredients
sector, including:

• Dwindling supply of many wild plants
due to overexploitation;

• Low profit generated by local
communities from the sale of their

• Limited awareness among local
communities of the importance of
biodiversity conservation;

• Volume constraints for good quality
ingredients leading domestic
manufacturers to import from China
or India with unknown origin of
ingredients; and

• Unclear and complex policies to
develop the sector under sustainability
criteria (Ninh, 2012).

In order to support the Vietnamese
natural ingredients sector to address
these problems and develop it under
social and environmental principles,
SECO, approved a three-year project
“Development of BioTrade activities
with natural ingredients sector in Viet
Nam”. From 2012 to 2015, the project
conducted value chain interventions,
including setting up pilot value
chains, in which farmers and plant
collectors were trained on sustainable
agricultural and collection practices,
as well as connected to enterprises
through supply contracts. Additionally,
enterprises were given access to
capacity building and trade promotion
activities to build their brand names and
explore markets for their natural origin
products. At the sector level, the project
initiated communication platforms to
raise public awareness on the BioTrade
concept, while organizing discussions
among enterprises and government
agencies to facilitate a more favourable
policy environment.

Dzao farmers picking che-day (Ampelopsis cantoniensis)
leaves in Bat Xat, Lao Cai province, Viet Nam © BIG

Vision matters: BioTrade implementation (Viet Nam) 5.4

“ More than 4000 species of plants have
been found with the
potential to become
ingredients for the
food, pharmaceutical
and cosmetics


Chapter V. Partnerships


The BioTrade Implementation
Building on the implementation of
the BioTrade project and to upscale
its activities, four manufacturers of
pioneering natural ingredients in Viet
Nam (Nam Duoc, DHG, Traphaco,
Vietroselle) launched the BioTrade
Implementation Group (BIG) in 2015.
BIG is also open to other organizations
and companies that aim to support the
development of the Vietnamese natural
ingredients sector under BioTrade
Principles. It is currently supported
by HELVETAS Viet Nam and the Viet
Nam Society for Medicinal Materials.
BIG also cooperates with UNCTAD’s
BioTrade Initiative, the UEBT, Viet Nam
Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE),
and TNCs to broaden its network and
enhance the impact.

BIG aims to become a leading actor
providing services to support the
implementation of BioTrade in Viet Nam,
covering the following areas:

• Advocating with various government
bodies at all levels to facilitate an
enabling policy environment for
enhancing the natural ingredients
sector and developing high-quality
value added products in Viet Nam.

• Promoting the BioTrade business
model by encouraging companies
who source from biodiversity to apply
it in their business strategies and

Lessons learned: Inclusiveness,
transparency and empowerment
are essential to building trust
and recognition among partners.
Particularly, understanding the
individual views of each partner
and communicating the gains
and challenges they may face as
a result of the partnership. This is
even more important when setting
up partnerships and networks with

Challenges: Limited capacity
exists in several stakeholders,
including government institutions,
enterprises and farmers’ groups.
Addressing this challenge entails
a broader collaboration with all
stakeholders to work towards
a common goal to consolidate
the natural ingredients sector’s

Opportunities: Key players who
are leading enterprises in the sector
have witnessed the feasibility
and effectiveness of the BioTrade
framework and are committed to
play a leading role in promoting the
model with the facilitation of BIG
Viet Nam.

• Formulating and implementing a
strategy to position BioTrade products
in the domestic market, including
raising awareness about the BioTrade
framework and methodologies to

• Supporting BioTrade companies
exporting to the EU, United States
of America and Japan by developing
market studies with relevant
research institutes, universities and
organizations collaborating with
on trade fair participation.

Lessons learned from developing
partnerships in Viet Nam
BIG is a newly established organization.
However, already there are lessons
learned in this process as well as chal-
lenges and opportunities to be faced,
as shown in Box 5.2.

There are many things needed before
achieving the ambitious goal of BIG’s
founders namely “international recogni-
tion for Viet Nam as a supplier of choice
for biodiversity derived natural ingre-
dient products – sourced, processed
and traded in compliance with the CBD
objectives and BioTrade Principles”. Un-
til then, BIG is committed to help poor
communities and companies utilize their
potential and strive toward sustainable
growth with their sustainably produced

Box 5.2 BIG: Lessons learned,
challenges and opportunities



20 years of BioTrade

Groupe Rocher shares its experience based on 60 years of business activity linked to
Botanical Beauty® that transformed a poor village in Brittany, France, into a sustainable
and prosperous district. This article highlights the geographic and economic diversity
of its botanical supply chains worldwide and the way value has been created locally
thanks to partnerships and access and benefit sharing.

Claude Fromageot,
Head of
Anaïs Picard,
Sustainability Project
Leader, Groupe

Experience shows that biodiversity
resource flows create environmental
and social value. Furthermore, the
appropriate management of these
flows spreads out shared value and
generates local development (Souchier,

At the beginning of the 21st century,
the predominant tendency in the
cosmetics sector was the use of plants
and botanical extracts in formulas and
increasing communication on their
effectiveness in personal care products.
As a consequence, numerous botanical
supply chains were implemented,
always associated with micro-projects
in sourcing, resulting in limited botanical
volume and monetary value creation.

Since 2010 and the signature of the
CBD’s Nagoya Protocol, an important
shift towards BioTrade is taking
place which requires more and more
partnership building and adaptation to
access global value chains.

Fostering partnerships – selected
Groupe Rocher case studies
A range of case studies follow outlining
botanical sourcing examples around
the world and the reasons behind the
different partnerships developed:

• Picking partnerships to enhance
livelihoods of local communities
The cosmetics sector often depends
on local communities’ parsimonious
plant picking. Punctual and seasonal
collection of plants generates an

economic partnership between
collectors and the cosmetics brand,
creating useful additional income
for mainly disadvantaged local
populations. In Madagascar, the
collection of Centella asiatica by rural
populations is supported by providing
technical assistance and training on
monitoring, traceability, quality and
environmental conservation. This
activity generates a few hundred
kilograms of plant extracts and
creates an additional seasonal
economy, thus starting local value

for agricultural research
The cosmetics sector uses classic
plant extracts known for specific
properties. Groupe Rocher cultivates
several tons of German chamomile
in La Gacilly, France, annually. A
partnership has been set up with
a local technical institute (Instit
Techni Plant Medic Arom) to enable
plant breeding, following traditional
agronomic analysis. The result is a
choice of German chamomile adapted
to an organic agricultural method
and exemplary agro-ecology model
with over 200 beehives installed on
55 acres of flowers. Additionally,
a local study on biodiversity
management has been conducted.
A very strong local anchorage and
partnerships with several local and
regional stakeholders have created
benefit sharing on the social and
environmental sides. For instance,
eight industrial facilities of Groupe
Rocher covering over 69 hectares of
land followed site assessments with
the NGO Ligue de Protection des
Oiseaux (French equivalent of Bird Life
International), in order to draw up five-
year ecological management plans to
favour local biodiversity.

Biodiversity-based businesses: Leveraging new
ecological economies5.5

“ Experience shows thatbiodiversity
environmental and
social value...


Chapter V. Partnerships

Shea nuts harvest © Dominique Rolland

enhancing territorial development
Collective farming is often used
for botanical resources involving
communities over a wide territory
requiring transformation practices.
Volumes are more significant, with
many tons of raw material per
cooperative being produced. With the
example of shea butter in the south
Sahel region in Africa, a local active
trade network has been created
involving numerous stakeholders.
It organizes pressing, storage,
traceability, etc. Local benefit sharing
includes the active participation
of women’s groups in the initial
preparation and quality storage of
shea nuts, creation of support centres
for women’s cooperatives, resource
conservation and organic certification
training, quality and management
programmes and valorization of TK on
shea butter cultivation.

to enhance local culture and
traditional knowledge
Agri-business are generally
considered an agricultural activity
relying on a large organized network,
with many local stakeholders
contributing to sales, marketing,
export, supply chain management,
etc. Groupe Rocher’s purchasing
department has developed a

partnership with the Tahitian Monoï
botanical supply chain (coconut oil
and tiare flower), which includes the
purchasing of many tons of plants
annually. Maintaining its purchasing
volumes over time despite variable
annual product turnover plays a
significant role in the valorization
and preservation of the local brand
“Monoï”, and of the traditional cultural
heritage and knowledge locally.

According to Groupe Rocher, ABS
can also be considered as a collective
commitment of actors contributing to
apply the Nagoya Protocol principles
and the development of partnerships
is a means to achieve it. The members
of the Natural Resource Stewardship
Circle – the major actors from the
beauty industry (cosmetics, perfume,
ingredient suppliers) – initiated
discussions on ABS in 2010. They
interact directly with representatives
of indigenous peoples from all over
the world, with the support of the
NGO Tribal Link Foundation. Specific
guidelines have been developed and
presented at several CBD COPs,
UNCTAD Business and BioTrade
forums, and to Braulio Ferreira de
Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary,
in Montréal.

A very concrete experience of
the Nagoya Protocol for Groupe

Rocher comes from Madagascar,
with the instrumental support of the
Protocol’s local focal point, Naritiana
Rakotoniaina. A PIC/mutually agreed
terms (MAT) was signed in 2015
concerning the Madagascan plant
Sigesbeckia orientalis. A partnership
with the University of Antananarivo
was established and two students
were supported for a year to develop
an ecological study of the plant, using
identification and cartography methods.
Furthermore, the research information
was shared in order to develop local
knowledge on the plant. Additionally,
tools and processes have been
provided to the local SME in charge
of the plant’s harvest and preparation.
Such support for a local partner
was established to help the local
firm develop its know-how, become
autonomous and enhance its expertise
(with a new research laboratory and
up-to-date equipment for instance), and
foster local transformation for additional
onsite added value.


20 years of BioTrade

Key lessons and
recommendations in developing
effective partnerships

Based on the cases presented, key
factors for successful partnerships are:

• Work with a variety of actors with
local anchorage in order to create a
local network.

• Favour micro-projects, small actors
and partners in order to optimize the
impact locally.

• Support partners and encourage
them to maintain their autonomy from
the beginning of the project; identify
the local impacts generated and
extend benefit sharing.

• Create win-win inclusive projects
where all stakeholders benefit
from and actively participate in the

• Challenge the local partner on
environmental and social issues
so they can achieve continuous
improvement by integrating these
issues into their business practices.

• Rely on a multi-stakeholder internal
committee associating legal,
purchasing, research, marketing and
communication, and sustainability
departments in order to provide
technical assistance and support to
the different projects implemented by
a company, group or association.

• Focus on concrete actions in the
field for developing benefit sharing
schemes and promote empowerment
of local stakeholders.

• Rely on MEAs’ local focal points for
global coordination of the relations
and interactions with national

In conclusion, long-term partnerships
with local stakeholders create a unique
opportunity for added shared value,
contributing to a new ecological
economy, based on local and
sustainable micro-projects. We could
therefore say that BioTrade businesses
are drivers of a new model of ecological

Matricaria chamomilla harvest © Franck Bel


Chapter V. Partnerships

In November 2013, the IUCN, ITC and the French luxury group Kering, formed an
innovative partnership to improve sustainability within the international trade in python
skins. The success of the partnership, and its challenges and achievements, offer
powerful lessons for future partnerships in the realm of BioTrade.

Daniel JD Natusch,
Python Conservation
Partnership (PCP)
Project Coordinator,
IUCN SSC Boa and
Python Specialist
Group, NSW

Python Conservation Partnership
Imagine waking at night to the sound
of dogs barking, to find the world’s
largest species of snake consuming
your family’s pet goat. Or imagine falling
to sleep each night surrounded by
enclosures occupied by giant pythons
you have raised since birth. For some
this sounds like a horror story, but these
are common situations for many people
living in South East Asia. Those wild or
captive-bred snakes are sold to small
businesses that form part of a global
supply chain transforming python skins
into products for the fashion industry.
Other businesses also utilize different
parts of the snakes; particularly meat
for human consumption. In rural areas
of several developing countries, the
opportunity to use pythons in this way
forms a critical component of many
people’s livelihoods.

The harvest and trade of pythons for
their skins began in the 1930s, and
today nearly one million python skins
(from five species) are exported from
South East Asia annually to supply
the trade. Perhaps unsurprisingly,

concerns have been raised about the
sustainability (biological, economic,
social and ethical) of such utilization,
and its impacts on the conservation of
the species. Finding a balance between
python conservation and the economic
aspirations of the people using them
can be challenging, particularly given
uncertainties inherent in dynamic natural
systems. One of the major problems
has been that we simply didn’t know
enough about python biology, ecology
and trade to make informed decisions.

To address this, in November 2013
the IUCN (specifically through its Boa
and Python Specialist Group), the
ITC, and the French luxury company
Kering, teamed up to form the Python
Conservation Partnership (PCP). The
PCP aims to improve sustainability of
the python skin trade by collaborating
with governments, conducting science-
based research, and disseminating best
practice guidelines to facilitate industry-
wide change.

Each of the PCP’s members is very
different. IUCN is the world’s largest
biodiversity conservation organization;

Figure 5.1 Exports of South-East Asian python skins (Python reticulatus,
P. molurus bivittatus, P. breitensteini, P. brongersmai and P. curtus)
between 1995 and 2013


200 000

400 000

600 000

800 000

1 000 000

1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011





Source: UNEP-WCMC-CITES Trade Database.

Enhancing the sustainability of the python skin trade
through innovative partnership5.6


20 years of BioTrade

ITC is a United Nations organization
working to promote sustainable
economic development in developing
economies, while Kering is the parent
company of several brands utilizing
python skins in their produce ranges
(e.g. Gucci). But why collaborate to
improve the trade in pythons? The
PCP members believe the answer is
simple. Collectively, our economies and
livelihoods are dependent on healthy
ecosystems. The conservation goal
of ensuring abundant and sustainably
managed python populations, in
turn ensures livelihood security and
sustainable business opportunities
for those people utilizing pythons (the
economic development and business
goals). The PCP is unique but powerful,
and it holds lessons for future private-
public collaborations.

Challenges and achievements of
the partnership
Guiding stakeholder discussions
toward the real rather than perceived
problems affecting trade (to facilitate
change in priority areas) is the biggest
challenge the PCP has faced – but it is
also its most important achievement.
By conducting robust, transparent and
science-based research, the PCP is
providing the information necessary
to properly inform the discussion
about how trade sustainability can
be improved. For example, we now
know that breeding pythons in captivity
for their skins is biologically and
economically feasible – a situation
thought impossible only several
years ago (Natusch and Lyons,
2014). The industry also has very
clear recommendations on how to
treat pythons humanely. Research
conducted by the PCP has revealed
important information about the
benefits of python trade to participants,
and how livelihood security can be
enhanced (Nossal et al., 2016a;
2016b). Finally, for the first time we have
empirical data indicating the harvest of

air-dried like these Burmese
tanned before export.

The expansion of oil palm
plantations in South East Asia
appears to have favoured Python
reticualtus, P. breitensteini and
P. brongersmai (because of high

small and large-scale farms
in several South-East Asian
cages are cleaned.

© D Natusch

© D Natusch

© D Natusch

pythons from the wild is sustainable,
and have identified ways to enhance
population management to guarantee
sustainability into the future (Natusch et
al., 2016a; 2016b; Figure 5.2, Box 5.3).
The PCP’s ongoing challenge will be
to effectively communicate the results
of its research, and create the tools to
provide different stakeholders with a
clear path toward implementation of
more sustainable practices.

What can other partnerships learn
from the PCP?
The success of the PCP can be
attributed to several key points:

• Agreement on a shared vision and

• Knowledge and respect of each
partner’s needs and expectations;

• Identification and utilization of each
partner’s strengths;

• Definition of each partner’s roles and
responsibilities; and

• Trust and honest communication.

Successful partnerships like the
PCP are not new. In some sectors,
businesses commonly team up to
tackle shared problems. For example,
Coca-Cola and Heinz have recently
collaborated on the creation of
biodegradable bottles. However, similar
partnerships in the realm of biodiversity-
based businesses and conservation are
more novel, perhaps because the goals
of some stakeholders are assumed to
conflict with the goals of others. For
instance, the goal of conserving wild
species, while at the same time utilizing
those species for economic gain, is
incomprehensible to many people.
But as companies become more
committed to sustainability (and more
aware of what is needed to achieve it),
opportunities are frequently enhanced
through the alignment of conservation
and business interests.

This alignment can form the backbone
of many successful future BioTrade
partnerships. Strong respect for
the goals of different partners and
the support of objective and peer-
reviewed science is also fundamental
for success. The end result of these
partnerships will, hopefully, enhance
all forms of sustainability, and in turn
deliver mutual benefits for people,
species, and ecosystems – and
ultimately the planet.

“ We now know that breedingpythonsin
– a situation thought


Chapter V. Partnerships


(Python reticulatus) skins

© D Natusch

To assess sustainability of the
trade in reticulated python (Python
reticulatus) skins, researchers
examined 4200 pythons brought to
processing facilities in northern and
southern Sumatra, Indonesia, over
a 20-year period were examined.
The graphs in Figure 5.3 depict the
number of male (hollow columns)
and female (grey columns) pythons of
different sizes (based on snout-vent
length - SVL) brought to processing
facilities. Despite being collected
from the same areas as 20 years
ago, the numbers, mean body sizes,
clutch sizes, sizes at maturity and
proportion of giant specimens have
not decreased between first surveys
(1995) and repeat surveys (2015). If
sustainability had been compromised,
we would expect to see declines

in several or all of these metrics.
These data lend strong empirical
support to claims of sustainability of
wild python harvests in Indonesia.
From a management perspective,
implementing minimum size limits
for snakes will enhance confidence
in sustainability by preventing
capture of small (immature) snakes.
Measurements made on the sizes
of traded skins can simply and
effectively enforce these limits.

Source: Natusch et al., 2016a; 2016b.


20 years of BioTrade

6 Future challenges and opportunities
The future may encompass many opportunities and challenges for BioTrade in
particular, and biodiversity and trade related initiatives in general. This section
provides key messages on each of the topics featured in this publication: people,
planet, markets and partnerships. It will also provide an overview of BioTrade,
the Aichi Targets and the SDGs.

Future challenges and opportunities: Key messages


6.1 BioTrade and people
6.2 BioTrade as a conservation tool
6.3 Emerging issues on markets for BioTrade and biodiversity-based businesses
6.4 BioTrade and sustainable development
6.5 BioTrade, Aichi Targets and the SDGs




Chapter VI. Future challenges and opportunities

Future challenges and opportunities: Key messages

Véronique Rossow,
Head of Research
and Development;
Arthur Stevens,
Head of Supply, PTA

Found under various definitions
(e.g. local communities, harvesters,
collectors, indigenous peoples),
the first beneficiaries of BioTrade
value chains are theoretically
those interacting directly with local
biodiversity. It has been demonstrated
that when appropriate resource
management plans are followed, and
dedicated training is carried out, the
involvement of local people positively
impacts on conserving the resources
and related ecosystems (Cunningham,
2016), while ensuring optimal quality
of the raw material to be collected.

However, to ensure positive livelihood
impacts, many challenges still need to
be overcome. Ethical and sustainable
local practices generate transactional
costs that are often seen as too high to
be easily accepted, or then absorbed
by the rest of the actors down the
value chains. It also takes several years
to establish and secure reliable sales
opportunities. At grassroots level,
building the understanding of these
commercial uncertainties is not always
taken into account. This may create a
loss of motivation during the early years
– so important for establishing a reliable
value chain.
In addition, the need to develop
an effective resilience strategy at
practitioner level, to ensure minimizing
and smoothing out of sales fluctuations,
is not sufficiently appreciated. This
may also generate loss of interest
when regular incomes at grassroots

(e.g. harvesters) level cannot be
maintained. This delays the tangible
perception of livelihood improvement,
and may lead to discouragement before
such impacts are identifiable, hence

Besides such business-related
challenges, and prior to any other
considerations, practitioners have to
identify who owns the knowledge of the
biological resource and/or how rights to
access are defined. If customary rights
are in place, is this sufficient to start a
valorization process or should other
beneficiaries be taken into account?
Once such rights are identified, and
to positively impact on livelihoods,
the benefits sharing strategy will vary
drastically depending on countries’
laws, local needs, amount and
type of benefits that can be shared,
among other factors. One important
development that enhances livelihoods
of communities is the entry into force
of the Nagoya Protocol in 2014, which
provides a mandatory ABS legal
framework. However, implementation
is not without its challenges and
opportunities, as shown in Box 6.1.

Ultimately, local people and their living
conditions are highly dependent on the
commercial success of the value chain
in which they are involved. Therefore,
without proper regulation systems in
place to protect their rights, positive
impacts on their livelihood remain
very limited.

BioTrade and people6.1

“ Practitioners have to identify who owns
the knowledge of the
biological resource
and/or how rights to
access are defined...



20 years of BioTrade

Box 6.1 BioTrade, ABS and the Nagoya Protocol

UNCTAD prepared a scoping study which offers an overview of the challenges faced and options available to implement
BioTrade and ABS principles under the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol in a coherent manner. This study provides a set of
key points and policy recommendations for key stakeholders (governments and companies) to take advantage of policy
options and strategies available for BioTrade sectors, including:

1. Ensure that ABS frameworks enable parallel benefits sharing and facilitated access.

2. Ensure that ABS regimes are transparent, clear, operational and enhance legal certainty for all actors.

3. Produce a checklist and compile cases that guide countries on the coverage and interlinkages between BioTrade and
ABS frameworks.

4. Support national authorities to communicate and coordinate in a regular manner to ensure coherent implementation of
rules and procedures.

5. Consider ways in which PIC and MATs within BioTrade projects or business arrangements can become regularized or
validated through simple and practical administrative procedures.

6. Asses how PIC, MAT and benefit sharing take place in the particular context of indigenous peoples and communities
participating in BioTrade value chains and specific ABS projects.

7. Promote understanding on the changing and very diverse research and development landscape and where and how
connections between BioTrade and ABS may occur.

8. Value non-monetary benefits that could generate and introduce incentives to maximize absorptive capacity by BioTrade

9. Set clear and easy procedures to obtain certificates of compliance, as well as well selected checkpoints – critical to
ensure proper traceability.

10. Raise awareness on BioTrade actors, including national authorities, on the implications of the Nagoya Protocol.

Further information: www.unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/webditcted2016d4_en.pdf

Source: UNCTAD, 2016b

PhytoTrade Africa


Chapter VI. Future challenges and opportunities

Pablo Sinovas,
Senior Programme
Officer, United
Nations Development
Monitoring Centre

Despite its important potential benefits,
trade in wildlife can, when poorly
managed, e.g. due to the lack of an
enabling policy environment that fosters
the sustainable use of biodiversity,
pose serious challenges, including
overexploitation, a key threat to
biodiversity globally. Factors such as
illegal trade or corruption, where the
priority is short-term profit and not long-

term sustainability, as well as instances
where appropriate, well-informed
management is not in place, are likely to
lead to overharvesting.
In addition, closed-cycle captive
breeding of animals or artificial
propagation of plants, while appropriate
in some cases as a way of reducing
damaging harvest pressure on wild
populations, can sometimes contribute
to a decoupling from nature and
weakened incentives for conservation
of the target species in the wild if
not considered as part of a wider
management plan. Consideration
should be given to assessing the
feasibility of establishing wild or
ranching utilization programmes in
order to maximize the conservation

Harnessing the potential for trade in
biodiversity while minimizing its risks
requires adequate management and
monitoring of the harvest and trade.
The past few decades have seen
the development of a plethora of

guidelines and initiatives that recognize
the importance of the sustainable use
of biodiversity. Such initiatives have
ranged from certification schemes
and sustainable use guidelines to
international policies and commitments,
including the CITES and CBD
conventions, the Intergovernmental
Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity
and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the
Aichi Targets and SDGs and forestry-
based carbon credit mechanisms. This
landscape offers real opportunities for
maximizing the benefits for biodiversity
through continued sustainable use in a
changing world.
Implementation of best practice remains
a key challenge, however. Work in this
direction ought to continue, including
the collection of relevant baseline
information and the development of
management plans and robust adaptive
management approaches. In some
cases, this necessary work may require
financial and technical support from
consumer countries. Ensuring adequate
management will also require measures
to address perverse incentives that
can result in illegal and unsustainable
practices. Such measures should take
into consideration which approaches
have proven to be successful under
which circumstances, e.g. community
engagement and the equitable sharing
of revenues, enforcement measures
and improved information sharing. The
capability to identify the origin of wildlife
commodities in trade throughout the
value chain is essential to guarantee
that sustainable use programmes
are not being undermined, hence the
development of traceability systems
and standards will become increasingly
relevant. Emerging processes such
as this will need to be combined with
continued and strengthened efforts on
undertaking resource assessments,
developing and implementing
management plans and sharing of
experiences and lessons learned.

Local communities and policymakers
are faced with choices over the way in
which natural resources are managed,
often presented as trade-offs between
socioeconomic development and
biodiversity conservation. Within
this context, the sustainable use of
biodiversity can help address both
needs by promoting the responsible
management of the biodiversity
underpinning economic development.
This can be achieved by increasing
the perceived value of wildlife, for
example through carefully managed
trade, reducing incentives for alternative
damaging land use scenarios, such
as clear-felling for agriculture or cattle
ranching. BioTrade can thus harness
market forces to generate powerful
incentives for the conservation of
the species utilized, as well as their

Multiple examples exist of how
adequately managed sustainable use
and trade programmes can result
in conservation benefits, including
crocodilian population recoveries
around the world (e.g. Hutton et al.,
2002) and vicuña population increases
in Peru (e.g. Shaley et al., 2007),
sustainable use of NTF products in
Africa and Latin America (UNCTAD,
2013; 2015b) or the incentives
generated for the establishment
of in situ and ex situ conservation
programmes for amphibians in Ecuador.
Crocodilians and vicuña are primarily
harvested for the fashion industry, while
Ecuadorian amphibians show current
and potential economic value in the pet,
pharmaceutical and cosmetics markets
(UNDP, 2015).

BioTrade as a conservation tool6.2

“ Harnessing the potential for trade
in biodiversity while
minimizing its risks
requires adequate
management and
monitoring of the
harvest and trade...


20 years of BioTrade

Lorena Jaramillo,
Economic Affairs
Officer, UNCTAD

• Raising awareness regarding the
benefits of BioTrade among potential
consumers is important not only to
capture the growing market trends
but also in creating markets for
BioTrade products.

Other emerging factors for BioTrade
practitioners to consider are:

• The growing consumer trend for
BioTrade-friendly products and
services is a reality, but differentiation
schemes and premium prices could
plateau in the future, forcing exporters
to be more competitive, cost-efficient
and differentiate their products
based on other aspects. For instance,
businesses are interested in the type
of ingredients, sustainable sourcing
practices, benefits to communities
and the story behind them, rather
than certification logos – as the
increasing number is causing
consumer confusion in addition
to high associated costs.

• Horizontal and vertical integration of
global value chains is reducing chain
length, generating end-consumer
linkages, and enabling companies
to control their supply chains
under social and environmental
considerations based on their
corporate social responsibility (CSR)
and business strategies – all of which
have implications for producers.

• Enhancing connections with the end-
consumer and raising awareness of
the benefits BioTrade products and
services to people, the planet and

• The increasing number of NTMs in
developed and developing country
markets need to be identified and
addressed in order to enable BioTrade

companies to overcome them. For
example, labelling and packaging
requirements, reporting requirements,
and registration of new ingredients
with Codex Alimentarius, GRAS, NFR
and the EU’s Registration, Evaluation,
Authorization and Restriction of
Chemicals (REACH) regulations are
being identified by practitioners in
Colombia, Peru and Viet Nam under
UNCTAD’s work on trade barriers in
the food, phytopharma and personal
care sectors.

• Generating platforms and spaces
for policymakers, regulators and
companies from exporting and
importing countries to effectively
discuss, formulate/adapt regulations
and strategies related to market
access, while avoiding hindering
sustainable livelihoods and
biodiversity conservation. This
could lead to further understanding
and consensus building, as well
as develop sustainable business
opportunities for local producers
and communities.

In light of the 2030 Agenda and the
SDGs, issues such as climate change,
natural resources depletion (including
biodiversity and water), poverty,
immigration, peacebuilding and post-
conflict recovery (e.g. circular economy,
carbon neutral products, carbon
emission footprints, etc.) are impacting
consumer preferences and market
requirements, providing a competitive
edge for the companies that work in
this arena. A comprehensive approach
to address these issues within
businesses and developing country
governments is essential, as through
the 2030 Agenda, the international
community is aiming to focus
development in an integrated
and impactful way.

The marketplace is dynamic and
BioTrade actors need to closely
monitor and foresee changes, while
increasing the competitiveness of their
businesses. Governments and private
sector stakeholders need to cooperate
further to understand those challenges
and address them, while capturing the
growing market opportunities by:

• Developing an enabling environment
for the unrestricted movement of
BioTrade products and services in
national and international markets,
and generate incentives for
entrepreneurs to develop innovative
value added products and services
based on its native biodiversity.

• Enhancing the competitiveness of
value chains, beneficiary companies
and products by collaborative
approaches to prioritize, implement,
monitor and assess programmes
and actions plans based on market
needs. Civil society and national
and international organizations may
also enhance implementation of the
actions prioritized.

• Improving access to finance (e.g.
credit lines and grants), for example to
develop value added and innovative
products and services, enhance
production facilities, compliance with
SPS requirements, and implement
standards and best practices such
as ISO, HACCP, GMP, GACP, private
and voluntary certification schemes,
implement traceability systems, and
carry out trials and documentation to
substantiate claims, among others.

Emerging issues on markets for BioTrade and
biodiversity-based businesses6.3

“ The marketplace is dynamic and BioTrade
actors need to closely
monitor and foresee


Chapter VI. Future challenges and opportunities

for Biodiversity
MEAs and SDGs
Programme, UNEP

With the adoption of 2030 Agenda and
associated SDGs in 2015, attention
has now shifted to action to realize
the agenda and its goals. Natural
resources and biodiversity form a critical
component of achieving a significant
number of goals, in particular SDGs 12
to 17 (Figure 6.1).
Trade in biological and genetic
resources is a key component in
ensuring appropriate governance of
such resources. Trade and development
policies implemented by governments
often ignore key characteristics of trade
in such resources. Thus guidance
on actions to ensure conservation,
sustainable management of resources
and sharing of subsequent benefits with
appropriate stakeholders is necessary.

BioTrade is characterized by reliance
on biodiversity and by the particular
framework under which trade in that
biodiversity takes place. In light of
this, BioTrade initiatives rely heavily
on partnerships not only between the
providers and users of resources but
also a range of other stakeholders
including the private sector. With
its unique approach to developing
value chains of natural ingredients
and products that are derived from
the sustainable use of biodiversity,

BioTrade provides, in addition to other
options, concrete means of valuing and
protecting biodiversity resources and
improving livelihoods in the process
(UNCTAD, 2013).
The current focus of the private sector
regarding biodiversity is largely limited
to fixing and paying for the cost of
harvested resources and there is
limited understanding of the economic
value of these resources. This leads to
limitations on the benefits countries and
communities gain from the real value of
the resources.
The time has come for both the private
sector and the governments to look
again at the nature of BioTrade and
consider a broader approach that goes
beyond the principles of conservation
and sustainable management
options to economic and social
well-being. A series of opportunities
exist for promoting BioTrade through
adjustments in the promotion of CSR,
developing equitable partnerships in
commercial utilization of bioresources,
and supporting access to resources
and benefit sharing. Both governments
and private sector need to explore such

BioTrade and sustainable development 6.4




20 years of BioTrade

Bonapas Onguglo,
Senior Economic
Affairs Officer,
Rosa, Consultant;
Lorena Jaramillo,
Economic Affairs
Officer, UNCTAD

BioTrade has, over the years, provided
for concrete actions to enhance
livelihoods and ensure the conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity,
including valuing and mainstreaming
biodiversity into economic sectors,
and enabling for improved biodiversity
governance. These aims are embodied
in the Aichi Targets and the SDGs, and
BioTrade brings real possibilities to
contribute to their achievement.

Aichi Targets and the SDGs
The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity
2011–2020 with its 20 Aichi
Targets (which included aspects of
sustainable development), divided
over five strategic goals (Table 6.1),
is the global biodiversity roadmap
established under the CBD. It was
adopted in 2010 at COP 10 of the
CBD (CBD, 2010). 193 parties are

Strategic goal Targets Aichi Biodiversity Targets Icons

(A) Mainstreaming

1 Awareness of the values of biodiversity
2 Integration of biodiversity
3 Elimination of incentives harmful to biodiversity
4 Development and/or implementation of plans for

sustainable production and consumption

(B) Reducing
pressure on

5 Halving the rate of loss of all natural habitats
  6  All fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants 

are managed and harvested sustainably
  7  Areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry 

are managed sustainably
8 Reducing pollution
  9  Invasive alien species and pathways are identified 

and prioritized
10 Minimize the anthropogenic pressures on coral

reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems

(C) Safeguarding

11 Conservation of terrestrial and marine areas
12 Prevent extinction of known threatened species
13 Minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding

genetic diversity

(D) Enhancing
benefits from 
and ecosystem

14 Restoring and safeguarding ecosystems
15 Enhanced ecosystem resilience
16 Implementation of Nagoya Protocol on Access to

Genetic Resources

(E) Enhancing

17 Implementation of national biodiversity strategy
and action plan

18 Traditional knowledge, innovations and practices
of indigenous and local communities respected

19 Knowledge, the science base and technologies
relating to biodiversity, improved

20  Mobilization of financial resources

Source: CBD, 2010.

Table 6.1 Aichi Targets and strategic goals

BioTrade, Aichi Targets and the SDGs6.5


Chapter VI. Future challenges and opportunities

committed and implementing the plan
through NBSAPs. The strategic plan’s
creation was intended to contribute
to the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs), including
poverty reduction, as explicitly
mentioned, “it contributes to local
livelihoods, and economic development,
and is essential for the achievement of
the Millennium Development Goals”.

The Special Summit of the UN
General Assembly, 25–27 September
2015, adopted the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development, including the
set of SDGs that succeeded the MDGs.
The SDGs comprise 17 goals (Figure
6.1) and 169 related targets (United
Nations, 2015). It sets the path for
governments, UN agencies, civil society
and businesses for the next 15 years to
work together to end poverty, promote
prosperity and ensure people’s well-
being while protecting the environment.

Figure 6.1 Sustainable Development Goals

Source: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform website (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org).

Connecting the SDGs and Aichi
The Aichi Targets, following the broad
aspect of conservation embraced
by the CBD and its three objectives
(conservation, sustainable use of
biodiversity, and fair and equitable
benefit sharing), have a direct
connection to the 2030 Agenda and
its SDGs. The 2030 Agenda highlights
the importance of living in harmony
with nature (§9), and specifies that
UN Member States will “conserve and
sustainably use oceans and seas,
freshwater resources, as well as forests,
mountains and drylands and to protect
biodiversity, ecosystems and wildlife.”
The CBD Secretariat also stated
that “Paragraph 33 of the Agenda’s
Declaration focuses on biodiversity
and ecosystems and related matters,
and two of the SDGs refer directly to
biodiversity (i.e. SDG 14 on marine
biodiversity and SDG15 on terrestrial
biodiversity).”26 When analysing the
Aichi Targets and SDG 15 targets, the
close relationship is obvious (Table 6.2).

Sustainable development and
biodiversity conservation are inextricably
linked and one cannot succeed without
the other. Therefore, approaching and
implementing the SDGs must be a
holistic, inclusive and integrated effort,
involving all stakeholders to address
poverty eradication, food security,

sustainable agriculture, sustainable
consumption and production,
economic growth, cities and human
settlements, and accountable and
inclusive institutions, among others.
This integrated approach underpins
the United Nations 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development.

The conservation of biodiversity and
halting of biodiversity loss requires, in
addition to environmental measures,
social and economic measures,
including trade. Trade, including trade
in environmental goods and services, is
also mainstreamed into the SDGs. It is
identified as a means of implementation
in Goal 17, but it is also transversal in
other SDGs (2, 8, 9 and 10) and the
biodiversity-related goals (14 and 15).
Sustainable trade can contribute to
mainstream biodiversity and enhance
its economic valuation into the
economy as well as provide incentives
to conserve biodiversity and ensure its
sustainable use, rather than destroy it.

“ Sustainable development
and biodiversity
conservation are
inextricably linked and
one cannot succeed
without the other...


20 years of BioTrade

Table 6.2 SDG 15 and its targets and the Aichi Targets

Target Description

15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater
ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with
obligations under international agreements – related to Aichi Targets 6, 7, 11, 15.

15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation,
restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally – related to
Aichi Targets 3, 5, 7, 11, 15.

15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, 
drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world – related to Aichi Targets 3, 7,
11, 14.

15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance
their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development – related to Aichi Targets
11, 12, 14, 15.

15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity 
and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species – related to Aichi Targets 3, 5, 9, 11,
12, 13, 14, 15.

15.6 Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and 
promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed – related to Aichi Targets 1, 13, 16.

15.7 Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both 
demand and supply of illegal wildlife products – related to Aichi Targets 2, 3, 6, 12.

15.8 By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive 
alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species – related to Aichi
Targets 3, 9.

15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development
processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts – related to Aichi Targets 1, 2, 17.

15.a Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use 
biodiversity and ecosystems – related to Aichi Target 20.

15.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management 
and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for 
conservation and reforestation – related to Aichi Targets 4, 7, 11, 14, 15, 20.

15.c Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by 
increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities – related to
Aichi Targets 1, 2, 3, 4, 12.

Source: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform website (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org).

Quinoa Maiz gigante© PROMPERU © PROMPERU


Chapter VI. Future challenges and opportunities

BioTrade and the SDGs
UNCTAD, the UN agency addressing
the interface between trade and
development, has been actively
engaged in building – jointly with
governments, private sector and civil
society – inclusive and sustainable
paths centred on people and nature.
Trade, nature and creativity all intertwine
to shape the future and develop
new industries through innovation,
technology, sustainable management
of nature, and development of
economically feasible opportunities for
local communities and SMEs.

The BioTrade Initiative of UNCTAD
is a practical programme that can
make a concrete contribution to
sustainable development. Under
social, environmental and economic
criteria, biodiversity resources are being
transformed into value added products
by local communities, SMEs and TNCs
and used in the food, pharmaceutical,
personal care, handicrafts and fashion
industries. Ecosystems are also being

adequately managed enabling the
development of profitable ecotourism
destinations. These are some of
the sectors embraced by BioTrade
initiatives promoted by UNCTAD and
its national, regional and international
partners and programmes.
Considering the importance of
international trade as an engine for
economic growth and development,27
BioTrade has the power to serve the
SDGs on a broader level. However,
in order to build on the achievements
and seize the opportunities generated
by BioTrade it requires a coherent
policy framework and collaboration
to overcome capacity and market
challenges faced in the implementation
of sustainable businesses and
employment in developing countries.
Furthermore, countries and
organizations will need to understand
and identify these challenges and
opportunities in order to implement
actions to promote the SDGs and
achieve the post-2015 development

Key lessons learned and best practices
from the BioTrade Initiative can be
identified and translated into ways
of supporting the promotion and
achievement of 11 of the SDGs (Figure
6.2), contributing directly to eight SDGs
and indirectly to another eight, as well
as 13 Aichi Targets. This publication
provided practical cases, related to the
BioTrade Initiative and other initiatives
led by private stakeholders, which
contribute to biodiversity sustainability
and sustainable use and that can
help to achieve the SDGs and the
Aichi Targets.

Figure 6.2 BioTrade’s contribution to the Aichi Targets and SDGs

Source: Jaramillo, 2016.



Aichi Targets












20 years of BioTrade

ANECACAO (2016). Statistics. Guayaquil,
Ecuador: Asociación Nacional de
Exportadores de Cacao - Ecuador (National
Association of Ecuador’s Cocoa Exporters
and Industrials). January.
Ávila, T (2010). Free, prior and informed
consent Suruí carbon project. Available at:
Becerra MT (2009a). Guidelines for the
development and implementation of
management plans for wild-collected plant
species used by organizations working
with natural ingredients. UNCTAD/DITC/
TED/2007/8. United Nations: New York
and Geneva.
Becerra M T (2009b). Guidelines for a
methodology to support value chains for
BioTrade products: From the selection
of products to the development of
sector strategies. UNCTAD/DITC/
BCC/2008/1. United Nations: New York
and Geneva. Available at: http://www.
Biocomercio Colombia (2014). Resultados
programa Biocomercio Andino. Bogotá,
D.C., Colombia.
Brako L and Zarucchi J (1993). Catálogo
de las Angiospermas y Gimnospermas del
Perú. (Catalogue of the flowering plants
and gymnosperms of Peru). Monographs
in systematic botany from the Missouri
Botanical Garden 45:[i]-xl, 1–1286.
Brown J, Twomey E, Amézquita A, Caldwell
J, Barbosa da Souza M, Lötters S, Von
May R, Melo-Sampaio P, Mejía-Vargas
D, Pérez-Peña P, Pepper M, Poelman E,
Sánchez-Rodríguez M, Summers K (2011).
A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical
poison frog genus Ranitomeya (Amphibia:
Dendrobatidae). Zootaxa. 3083:1– 120.
Buitrón X (2012). Elaboración del informe de
la prueba de campo de la implementación
del marco de verificación de los principios y
criterios de Biocomercio para los sectores
de ingredientes naturales y productos
terminados de las industrias farmacéutica,
cosmética y alimenticia. Quito.
Cadot O, Asprilla A, Gourdon J, Knebel C,
Peters R (2015). Deep regional integration
and non-tariff measures: A methodology for
data analysis. Policy issues in international
trade and commodities research study
series no. 69. UNCTAD/ITCD/TAB/71.
UNCTAD: New York and Geneva.
CAF (2014). Andean BioTrade: Fifteen
success stories in Colombia, Ecuador
and Peru. Lima: Corporación Andina de
Fomento. 126.
CBD (1992). Convention on Biodiversity.
United Nations.
CBD (2000). Decision V/24. COP 5, Fifth
Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on Biological
Diversity. Nairobi, Kenya. 15–26 May 2000.
Available at: https://www.cbd.int/cop/.

CBD (2004). Liaison group on biodiversity
related conventions. Decision VII/26,
Cooperation with other conventions and
international organizations and initiatives.
COP 7, Seventh Ordinary Meeting of the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention
on Biological Diversity, Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. 9–20 February 2004.
CBD (2006). Decision VIII/26, Incentive
measures: preparation for the in-depth
review of the programme of work on
incentive measures. COP 8, Eighth Ordinary
Meeting of the Conference of the Parties
to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Curitiba, Brazil. 20–31 March 2006.
Available at: https://www.cbd.int/cop/.
CBD (2008). Decision IX/6, Incentives
measures. COP 9, Ninth meeting of the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention
on Biological Diversity. Bonn, Germany.
19–30 May 2008. Available at: https://www.
CBD (2010). Strategic Plan for Biodiversity
CBD (2014a). Decision XII/6, Cooperation
with other conventions, international
organizations and initiatives. COP 12,
Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on Biological
Diversity. Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.
6 –17 October 2014. Available at: https://
CBD (2014b). The Nagoya Protocol on
Access and Benefit-sharing. Available at:
CEPLAN (2011). Perú, Plan Bicentenario, El
Perú hacia el 2021 (2011) Centro Nacional
de Planeamiento Estratégico. Primera
edición: Lima, julio de 2011.
Chandra A, Idrisova A (2011). Convention
on Biological Diversity: A review of
national challenges and opportunities
for implementation. Biodiversity and
Conservation. 20(14):3295–3316.
Comité Interinstitucional de Ecoturismo
(2007). Lineamientos de Ecoturismo
Comunitario en Colombia: Bogotá, D.C.,
CORPEI/MAE (2014). Memoria final -
Sistematización de experiencias y resultados
en proyectos piloto. Quito.
CRIAA SA-DOC (2010). Marula resource
survey final report. Centre for Research
Information Action in Africa Southern African
Development and Consulting: Windhoek.
Internal document.
Cunningham A (2016). Commercialization,
Complexity and Biodiversity. Report to FFEM
for PhytoTrade Africa. Internal document.
Curtin University (2011). Scientists sniff out
way to protect sandalwood. Press release,
6 September 2011.
Dietz M (2014). Development of BioTrade
activities within natural ingredients
sector in Vietnam – Stakeholder review
and self-assessment. HELVETAS Swiss
Intercooperation: Zurich.
Erasmus G, Viljoen W, Knebel C, Peters R
(2014). Non-Tariff Measures and Regional
Integration in the Southern African
Development Community. UNCTAD/DITC/
TAB/2014/5. UNCTAD: Geneva.

European Commission (2016). Legislation.
Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/
FairWild Foundation (2010). FairWild
Standard: Version 2.0. FairWild Foundation:
Weinfelden, Switzerland.
FAO (1994). Consulta de expertos sobre
productos forestales no madereros para
América Latina y el Caribe. FAO Serie
Forestal No.1. Available at: http://www.fao.
Flores D, Lock O (2013). Millenary use
of Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) for
nutrition, health and cosmetic. Phytotherapy
magazine. 13(1):23–30.
Fundación Chankuap (2016).
Fundación Chankuap: Recursos para
el futuro. Reportes de contabilidad de
Fundación Chankuap 2004–2015.
García Rodríguez E, Castro de Doens L,
Gómez-García R, Vega Zuleta M, Vignati
Scarpati F (2015). Andean BioTrade
“Innovative answers and sustainable
solutions for local development in Latin
America”. CAF: Lima.
Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado
Municipal del Cantón Taisha
(2014). Actualización del Plan de Desarrollo
y Ordenamiento Territorial del Cantón
Taisha. Available at: http://app.sni.gob.
Gómez-García R, Erath R, Vignati F
(2014). Promoting finance instruments for
biodiversity conservation through Biotrade
in the Andean Region. Biocomercio Andino.
Available at: http://biocomercioandino.org/
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Vietnam
(2015). Annual report 2015: Project
development of BioTrade activities within
natural ingredients sector in Vietnam. Hanoi.
Hepburn G (2006). Alternatives to traditional
regulation. Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development. Available
at: http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-
Hutton JM, Ross JP, Webb GJW (2002).
Using the market to create incentives for the
conservation of crocodilians: a review. In:
Crocodiles. Proceedings of the 16th Working
Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile
Specialist Group. IUCN: Gland. 382–399.
IDESAM (2011). Institute for Conservation
and Sustainable Development of Amazonas.
Project description Suruí carbon project.
Available at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/
IIAP (2016). Instituto de Investigaciones de
la Amazonia Peruana. See: http://www.iiap.
IUCN (2008). International Union for
the Conservation of Nature. See: www.



IUCN (2015). International Union for
the Conservation of Nature. Red List of
Threatened Species.
Jaramillo L (2012). Trade and Biodiversity:
The BioTrade Experiences in Latin America.
UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2010/3. United Nations:
New York and Geneva.
Jaramillo L (2016a). Presentation on the
workshop on the identification of barriers to
the trade of biodiversity based and BioTrade
products from Peru. United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development.
Jaramillo (2016b). Sustaining peacebuilding
and post-conflict recovery through BioTrade:
Lessons from Indonesia and Colombia.
Jaramillo L, Kane M, Rimmer L, Garcia B
(2016). Training manual on developing joint
BioTrade and REDD+ projects. UNCTAD/
DITC/TED/2015/1. UNCTAD: Geneva.
Klein M, Jaramillo L, Vorhies F (2014). The
business of BioTrade: Using biological
resources sustainably and responsibly.
UNCTAD/DITC/BCC/2009/4. United
Nations: New York and Geneva. Available
at: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/
Kiper T (2013). Role of ecotourism in
sustainable development. In Ozyavuz M,
ed. Advances in Landscape Architecture. In
Latour B (2015). Face à Gaia. Collection. Les
empêcheurs de penser en rond. Éditions La
Leuenberger M (2013). Planting for the
future. Weleda Magazine, Summer-Fall
Lojenga RK, Oliva MJ (2016). Business
engagement in BioTrade: Contributing to the
Sustainable Development Goals. Union for
Ethical BioTrade. Internal document.
Lombard C (2015). Rural poor harvest hope
from Africa’s tree of life. Business Day.
Durban. September.
MAFRD (2014). National Strategy on Non-
Wood Forest Product Sector 2014–2020.
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural
Development, Republic of Kosovo: Pristina,
MINAM (2014). Orchidaceae. In:
Actualización del listado de flora CITES para
el Perú (en edición). Ministry of Environment
in Peru.
Mouysset L (2015). Repenser le défi de
la biodiversité: l’économie écologique.
Les Editions de la Rue d’Ulm, Collection
Sciences Durables.
Naturar Iguaque (2015). Informe misión
servicios comerciales. Bogotá, D.C.,
Natusch DJD, Lyons JA (2014) Assessment
of python breeding farms supplying the
European high-end leather industry.
Occasional paper of IUCN Species Survival
Commission 50.

Natusch DJD, Lyons JA, Mumpuni, Riyanto
A, Khadiejah S, Mustapha N, Badiah
and Ratnaningsih S (2016a). Sustainable
management of the trade in reticulated
python skins. Occasional paper of the IUCN
Species Survival Commission.
Natusch DJD, Lyons JA, Mumpuni, Riyanto
A, Shine R (2016b). Jungle giants: Assessing
sustainable harvesting in a difficult-to-survey
species (Python reticulatus). PLoS ONE
11(7): e0158397. doi:10.1371/journal.
Nguyen T, Vuong H (2012). Identifying
obstacles and potentialities in the supply
of natural material value chains in Vietnam.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Vietnam:
Ninh N (2012). The supply socio-economic
assessment of selected natural ingredients in
Vietnam. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
Vietnam: Hanoi.
Noejovich F (2013). Conocimientos
Tradicionales y Biocomercio: La experiencia
de un emprendimiento intercultural en San
Martín. PerúBiodiverso: Lima.
Nossal K, Livingston DG, Aust P, Bozzola
M, Kasterine A, Ngo Viet C, Nguyen V, Thai
T, Natusch DJD (2016a). The impact of
the python skin trade on livelihoods in Viet
Nam. International Trade Centre: Geneva,
Nossal K, Mustapha N, Ithnin H, Khadiejah
Syed Mohd Kamil S, Lettoof D, Lyons JA,
Natusch DJD (2016b). The impacts of
python skin trade on livelihoods in Peninsular
Malaysia. International Trade Centre:
Geneva, Switzerland.
Noyelle T (2015). Development of BioTrade
activities within natural ingredients sector
in Vietnam. Final assessment report. Swiss
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs,
Vietnam: Hanoi.
Office of the United States Trade
Representative (n.d.). Trans-Pacific
Partnership Preserving the Environment
fact sheet. Available at: https://ustr.gov/
People’s Committee of Lao Cai province
(2014). Annual Report 2014 and Planning
for 2015. Lao Cai: Provincial People’s
Perú (2001). Ley para la Conservación y Uso
Sostenible de la Diversidad Biológica. Ley
No. 26839.
Perú (2011). Ley Forestal y de Fauna
Silvestre. Ley No. 29763.
Pham K (2004). Study on Ampelopsis
cantoniensis. Available at: http://traphaco.
PNN (2015). Informe ejecutivo encuestas
de satisfacción. Parques Nacionales
Naturales de Colombia. http://www.
PNN (2016a). Informe anual de visitantes
en áreas protegidas 2015. Parques
Nacionales Naturales de Colombia. http://

PNN (2016b). Informe ejecutivo encuestas
de satisfacción. Parques Nacionales
Naturales de Colombia. http://www.
PNN (2016c). Informe de ingreso de
visitantes primer trimestre 2016. Parques
Nacionales Naturales de Colombia. http://
Prahalad CK, Ramaswamy V (2004). Co-
creation experiences: The next step in value
creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing.
PROCOLOMBIA (2016) Informe de gestión
2015. Ministerio de Industria, Comercio
y Turismo. Recuperado en http://www.
ProFound - Advisers in Development (2015).
Promoting Private Sector Employment
(PPSE) Market Assessment: Non-Wood
Forest Products in Kosovo.
PROMPERU (2016). SIICEX. Available at:
PTA (2015). M&E Report for the 2014
businesses exercise. PhytoTrade Africa,
Zimbabwe: Harare. Internal document.
Revista Dinero (2015). Colombia es ‘realismo
mágico’ para los turistas. [online] Available
at: http://www.dinero.com/economia/
Roque J and León B (2006). Orchidaceae
endémicas del Perú. Rev. Peru. Biol.
Número especial 13(2): 759s–878s.
Rossow V (2015). Challenges and
opportunities in implementing the SDGs
in Southern Africa. Presentation given at
the workshop briefing on implementing the
Sustainable Development Goals: Trade in
biodiversity-based goods and services.
United Nations Conference on Trade and
Ruhanawati S (2012). A report on the
BioTrade and reintegration programme
experiences – Joint UNCTAD-UNDP
pilot project in Aceh Selatan, Indonesia.
UNCTAD, Indonesia. Internal document.
Secretariat of the CBD (2004). Addis Ababa
Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable
Use of Biodiversity (CBD Guidelines).
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity: Montréal
Secretariat of the CBD (2014). Global
Biodiversity Outlook 4. Secretariat of the
Convention on Biological Diversity: Montréal.
Secretariat of the CBD (2015a). Biological
diversity for sustainable development.
Decisions adopted by the 12th Conference
of the Parties, Pyeonchang, Republic of
Korea. Secretariat of the Convention on
Biological Diversity: Montréal.
Secretariat of the CBD (2015b). Biodiversity
and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development. September 2015.


20 years of BioTrade

Shaley CT, Vargas JT, Valdivia JS (2007).
Biological sustainability of live shearing
of vicuña in Peru. Conservation Biology.
Soares P (2013). IDESAM. Presentation
given at the II BioTrade Congress, 11–13
December, Geneva.
Solutions Alliance Secretariat (2016).
Concept note on the Solutions Alliance
round table, 9–10 February 2016. MCE
Conference and Business Centre, Brussels,
Souchier R (2013). Made in local. Edition
Sustainable Development Knowledge
Platform (2015). Transforming our world: The
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.
Ta S (2013). Value chains mapping –
BioTrade project inception phase report.
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Vietnam:
Tu L, Nguyen H (2012). The market demand
and trend assessment of selected natural
ingredients in Vietnam. HELVETAS Swiss
Intercooperation Vietnam: Hanoi.
UEBT (2016). Union for Ethical BioTrade
Biodiversity Barometer 2009–2016.
UNCTAD (2006). Primeras experiencias en el
apoyo a cadenas de valor de productos de
Biocomercio. UNCTAD: Geneva.
UNCTAD (2007a). UNCTAD BioTrade
Initiative: BioTrade Principles and Criteria.
UNCTAD (2007b). Sustainable trade of
Arapaima gigas in the Amazon Region.
Workshop report. UNCTAD BioTrade
Facilitation Programme: Geneva.
UNCTAD (2007c). UNCTAD BioTrade
Initiative: Progress in supporting CITES
Implementation. Report on the collaboration
between the UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative and
the CITES Secretariat. UNCTAD: Geneva.
Information document (CoP14 Inf. 35)
submitted to the fourteenth meeting of the
Conference of the Parties to CITES, The
Hague (The Netherlands), 3–15 June 2007.
UNCTAD (2007d). UNCTAD BioTrade
Implementation Strategy. UNCTAD/DITC/
TED/2005/5. United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development.
UNCTAD (2013). Report of the I BioTrade
Congress held on 18 June 2012, Rio de
Janeiro. UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2012/6.
UNCTAD: Geneva.
UNCTAD (2015a). Briefing on implementing
the Sustainable Development Goals: Trade
in biodiversity-based goods and services.
UNCTAD: Geneva. Available at: http://
UNCTAD (2015b). Biodiversity and climate
change: Integrating REDD+ into BioTrade
strategies. UNCTAD: New York and Geneva.

UNCTAD (2016a). 2016 Development and
globalization: Facts and figures. UNCTAD:
New York and Geneva: Available at: http://
UNCTAD (2016b). Facilitating BioTrade
in a Challenging Access and Benefit
Sharing Environment. UNCTAD: New York
and Geneva.
UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP (2010). BioTrade,
natural resources management and
reintegration in Aceh, Indonesia. Joint
mission report (18 September – 8 October
2010). Internal document.
UNDP (2012). A gender-responsive
approach to reintegration and peace
stabilization: Pilot project in South Aceh
district, under the framework of the peace
through development project. Final report.
June 2010 – December 2011. Prepared for
Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery,
UNDP, Indonesia. Internal document.
UNDP (2015). Conservation of Ecuadorian
Amphibian Diversity and Sustainable Use
of its Genetic Resources. GEF project
document. Available at: http://www.thegef.
UNDP and Government of Indonesia
(2012). Peace through development in
disadvantaged areas (PTDDA). Project
document. Available at: http://www.undp.
UNEP (2012). GEO 5 Global Environment
Outlook: Environment for the Future We
Want. Chapter 5: Biodiversity. Lead authors:
Armenteras D, Finlayson CM. United Nations
Environment Programme: Nairobi. 133–166.
UNEP (2016). Elaboration of options for
enhancing synergies among biodiversity
related conventions. United Nations
Environment Programme: Nairobi.
UNGA (2016). 71.1 New York Declaration
for Refugees and Migrants. Seventy-first
session. United Nations General Assembly.
A/Res/71/1. 3 October 2016. §12.
United Nations (2015). Transforming our
world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable
development. A/RES/70/1.
Available at: http://www.un.org/en/ga/
United Nations (2016). Partnerships: Why
they matter. Available at http://www.

UNWTO (2010). A year of recovery. United
Nations World Tourism Organization Annual
Report 2010. UNWTO: Madrid.
UNWTO (2016). United Nations World
Tourism Organization Annual Report 2015.
UNWTO: Madrid.

Vietnam National Institute of Medicinal
Materials (2006). Plants and animals for
medicinal materials in Vietnam. Science and
Technics Publishing House: Hanoi.
Vo C (2011). Vietnam medicinal plants
dictionary. Medical Publishing House: Hanoi.
Weleda (2014). Annual report.
WHO (2003). WHO guidelines on good
agricultural and collection practices
(GACP) for medicinal plants. World Health
Organization: Geneva.

Do Tien Sy, Director, Traphaco Sapa, 23
March 2015.
Hoang Xuan Lam, Deputy Director,
Vietroselle, 15 April 2015.
Le Thi Tuyet Anh, Director, Vietroselle, 15
April 2015.
Luis Shimpiukat, local technician, Chankuap
Foundation, 7 July 2016.

Online information, publications
and documents

1 See more on the Convention at CBD,

1992: https://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-

2 The interaction of these approaches and
BioTrade: (a) value-chain approach:
where the strengthening of value chain
is a critical element in implementing
BT P&C; (b) sustainable livelihood
approach: strengthens the human, social,
physical, financial and natural capital
of people and communities to which
BioTrade contributes; (c) ecosystem
approach: the planning of productive
processes related to BioTrade initiatives
which are environmentally and socially
responsible with regard to their impact
on species, habitats, ecosystems and
local communities; and (d) adaptive
management approach: when
implementing sustainable practices, it is
crucial to consider the identification of
impacts on species and ecosystems and
the continual improvement of BioTrade

3 https://www.cbd.int/decision/

4 UNCTAD and CITES have a long-standing
relationship at the international, regional
and national level. Furthermore, BioTrade
is also recognized in CITES Decisions,
particularly Decisions 14.46, 16.102 c),
16.103 and 16.105.

5 https://www.cbd.int/blg/.
6 Note from author: I have decided not to

mention BioTrade simply as concept,
as it now goes beyond ideas and is
demonstrating concrete actions on the

7 See A/RES/70/1.
8 CAF is a multilateral financial institution,

made up of 19 countries (17 in Latin
America and the Caribbean, plus Spain
and Portugal) and 14 private banks.
It promotes sustainable development
and regional integration by financing
projects in the public and private sectors,
providing technical cooperation and other
specialized services in the region.

9 Full ABP report: http://biocomercioandino.

10 See more on www.biotradeinnovation.

11 Financing that understands the dynamics
of BioTrade and its positive effects on
conservation and social inclusion.

12 Based on the publication Conocimientos
Tradicionales y Biocomercio: La
experiencia de un emprendimiento
intercultural en San Martín, (Noejovich,

13 More information on the Strategic Plan
for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and the
Aichi Biodiversity Targets is available at:

14 Natura is a BioTrade company
implementing BT P&C with the support
of the UEBT since 2007.

15 Baobab (Adansonia digitata), devil’s
claw (Harpagophytum sp.), sausage tree
(Kigelia africana), Kalahari melon (Citrillus
lanatus), marula (Schlerocarya birrea),
sour plums (Ximenia sp.), mongongo
(Schinziophyton rautaneii), mafura
(Trichilia emetica), mbiri (Commiphora sp.
from Namibia).

16 There is no official definition of this
neologism, but rather a general
understanding that such a word refers
to an economy based on the biological
resources valorization.

17 Bird watching, wildlife, whale watching,
hiking, caving, mountain climbing,
rock climbing, camping, diving and
snorkelling, as well as educational and
research activities (Resolution 531 of

18 The seven parks include: five in the
Andean subregion (PNN Cocuy, PNN
Chingaza, PNN Los Nevados, SFF
Iguaque and SFF Otún Quimbaya); one in
the Caribbean Region (PNN Corales del
Rosario) and one on the Pacific region
(PNN Utría).

19 For further information see: https://www.

20 Co-creation is a management initiative
or form of economic strategy, that brings
different parties together in order to jointly
produce a mutually valued outcome
(Prahalad CK and Ramaswamy V, 2004).

21 Regulation (EC) No. 258/97 defines that
all foods and food ingredients without
a history of “significant” consumption in
the EU prior to 15 May 1997 must be
authorized by this legislation.

22 No longer active.
23 Sustainable Development Goal 17:

Revitalize the global partnership for
sustainable development, states that
multistakeholder partnerships will be
crucial to leverage the interlinkages
between the SDGs to enhance their
effectiveness and impact and accelerate
progress in achieving the goals.

24 National BioTrade programmes are
managed by local counterparts, such
as ministries of the environment, and
support the implementation of BT P&C in
prioritized value chains and sectors.

25 The Solutions Alliance was established
in 2014 to mobilize a broader range
of stakeholders to work together for
the benefit of displaced persons and
host communities. It is an inclusive
forum that brings together donor and
host governments, UN agencies,
multilateral financial institutions, civil
society organizations, international
NGOs, the private sector and
academia to promote innovative and
effective responses to displacement
and to rethink the way we respond to
displacement from the start. UNCTAD
BioTrade is a member of the Thematic
Group on Engaging with the Private
Sector, chaired by UNDP and the NGO
Spark (Solutions Alliance Secretariat,

26 Secretariat of the CBD, September

27 Within the action areas of the Addis
Ababa Action Agenda, international
trade is considered and engine for
development. See: http://www.un.org/

Photo credits:
Globe © Fotolia: Romolo Tavani
Tree © Fotolia: klublu
Microscope © Fotolia: 279photo
Harvesting © Fotolia: Pierre-Yves Babylon
Cosmetics © Fotolia: baibaz
Bird © Lorena Jaramillo