The launch came ahead of the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial summit due on Tuesday to Friday in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, said the initiative dubbed “Environment and Trade Hub” would help countries engage in trade practices promoting economic growth while protecting ecosystems.
“UNEP is already working directly with many governments and other stakeholders to implement an inclusive green growth. The Hub holds enormous potential by enabling countries to use trade as a motor for sustainable development and environmental protection,” Steiner said.
The recently adopted UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) roots for robust trade as a means to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve socio-economic transformation.
Steiner said environment friendly trade practices would unleash multiple benefits including food security, enhanced access to clean water, renewable energy and sanitation.
“We need to ensure the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, including the SDGs and the financing for sustainable development action agenda, is fully incorporated into national trade policies and trade agreements that are negotiated at bilateral, regional and global level,” said Steiner.
He reiterated that countries require policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks to enable them to engage in sustainable trade.
The initiative is expected to enhance the capacity of countries to design and implement trade policies that accelerate transition to green economy.
The trade, investment and environment nexus will feature prominently during the four-day WTO ministerial conference. Delegates will discuss a reform on the trading regime for environmental goods to accelerate prosperity while to protect natural assets. Enditem