Biotrade Facilitation Programme Phase IV

Project completed

The aim of the continued support to the Global BioTrade Facilitation Program, which is part of UNCTAD's BioTrade Initiative, is to synchronise and leverage results from previous phases and thus contribute that the BioTrade approach can further unfold its potential for biodiversity conservation as well as poverty reduction at the same time.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Sustainable trade
01.04.2018 - 31.03.2022
CHF  3’200’000

The accelerating rate of biodiversity loss in developing countries is reducing drastically the capacity of ecosystems to provide essential services for human survival as well as the potential for economic development. The market for sustainably sourced products (e.g. natural and organic cosmetics/personal care products) has grown significantly over the last 20 years but different problems are hindering the full potential. To help developing countries to achieve the dual objectives of biodiversity conservation and improved economic and social welfare, UNCTAD launched in 1996 the BioTrade Initiative, which SECO has been supporting since 2003.


The Global BioTrade Facilitation Program is set-up to systemise results from previous phases and thus contribute that the BioTrade concept further unfolds its potential for biodiversity conservation as well as poverty reduction at the same time. The overall objective of the continued program is to support key stakeholders to seize and capitalize on trade opportunities by linking biodiversity and sustainable development. At the same time the implementation of SDG 15 and the Aichi Targets, which are an agreed roadmap to implement the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, is advanced. UNCTAD will steer, coordinate and facilitate joint actions of key stakeholders at the national, regional and international level, and also address key concerns limiting the trade flows of biodiversity-based products and services.

Medium-term outcomes

Increased coordination and knowledge sharing among stakeholders: The program ensures coordination on key BioTrade issues. UNCTAD will steer and leverage the capacity of partners to share information. Through a structured approach to collaboration, visibility for the partners? work is enhanced and thus incentives for engagement provided.

Enabled policy environment: BioTrade companies will be supported to overcome Non-tariff measures in order to enable the continued participating in the international market. Furthermore, the buy-in of governments and the private sector will be enhanced through the profiling of the relevance of BioTrade in the implementation of international processes (e.g. SDGs).

Facilitated market linkages: The program steers and leverages the capacity of partners to raise awareness of BioTrade. Partners will be engaged to stimulate growth and development of ethical sourcing and sustainable supply chains for BioTrade.


Expected results:  

Annual stakeholder steering meeting for BioTrade partners including a Roadmap for joint action

BioTrade knowledge sharing mechanism

Access and Benefit Sharing advocacy

Addressing of Non-tariff measures

Positioning of BioTrade products in the market

Results from previous phases:  

Initially, the program aimed at facilitating sustainable trade in biodiversity products and services through innovative collaborative arrangements. An important milestone was the conceptualization and thus the branding of BioTrade through the definition of the BioTrade Principles & Criteria. In a second step, a policy environment that promoted trade and investment through the sustainable use of biodiversity was created. A breakthrough was the recognition of BioTrade in the Convention on Biodiversity and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora. Furthermore, for the first time the BioTrade Congress was organized and became the main gathering place for the BioTrade community at the global level. Finally, the program mainstreamed BioTrade and strengthened the overall policy and regulatory environment for BioTrade sectors. A recognized product of this phase is for example the Handbook on BioTrade and Access and Benefit Sharing.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • United Nation Center for Trade and Development

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’200’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    4’700’000
Project phases

Phase 4 01.04.2018 - 31.03.2022   (Completed)

Phase 3 01.07.2015 - 30.06.2017   (Completed)