The EC-funded Green Economy and Trade Opportunities Project (GE-TOP) features two phases. Under the first phase, UNEP launched the report, “Green Economy & Trade: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities”. On the basis of the empirical analysis and evidence presented in the report, UNEP is now undertaking the second phase of the GE-TOP, which looks at national-level GE-TOP projects in five countries, namely Chile, Ghana, Peru, South Africa and Viet Nam.
The objective of GE-TOP country projects is to identify, assess and inform trade opportunities that arise from a green economy transition, and tackle related risks and challenges.
In Chile, UNEP partners with Fundacion Chile to assess how a national eco-labelling programme in the food and wine sector could create sustainable trade opportunities for Chile. The national study develops recommendations on the preferable characteristics of a national eco-labelling programme, and assess associated social, economic and environmental costs and benefits. The study is expected to foster an increased understanding of challenges (in terms of market access) and opportunities for the export of eco-labelled food and wine products
In Ghana, UNEP cooperates with The Energy Center to foster solar energy exports under the umbrella of the West African Power Pool (WAPP). Ghana is a regional champion in solar energy generation, transmission and know-how, and features a facilitative policy and business environment. The project aims to harness the favourable conditions for regional trade in solar energy and is expected to change the thinking on yet largely fossil-based power trade in West Africa.
In Peru, the GE-TOP project aims to foster sustainability certification in the Biotrade sector, and address national and international barriers for Peruvian Biotrade exports, with a view to enhancing global market access. The project yields concrete policy and industry recommendations on harnessing Biotrade opportunities, and thereby aims to support the implementation of Peru`s national Biotrade strategy.
In South Africa, UNEP partners with the Trade Law Centre NPC (TRALAC) to assess trade opportunities arising from a shift to organic farming in the national agricultural and agro-processing sector. The study includes an assessment of challenges and opportunities of sustainability standards and certification as a means to access international markets in the agricultural sector, and an evaluation of related costs and benefits. The project builds on findings from UNEP`s Green Economy Modelling Report (2011) and links with relevant organic initiatives on national and regional level.
In Viet Nam, green trade opportunities arise especially in the aquaculture sector. UNEP is cooperating with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative to promote the uptake and compliance with internationally recognized aquaculture standards, so to enhance market access and increase trade in sustainable aquaculture products. The project yields concrete policy recommendations to create enabling conditions for aquaculture certification and exports.
All national-level GE-TOP projects are carried out in close collaboration with national and international partners. They complement and support existing green economy initiatives, and feed into the sustainable development strategies of partnering countries.