Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) SARPN thematic photo
Events Last update: 2020-11-27  

CUTS-ARC: Civil Society Consultative Forum on Least Developed Countries (LDC)

Livingstone, Zambia

23 - 25 June 2005

[Introduction]  [Programme]  [Papers]  [Civil Society Memorandum]  [Civil Society Statement]
Papers > Trade and Environment Linkages and Implications for Sustainable Development
- Michelle Pressend, Insitute for Global Dialogue, South Africa
[Download complete version - 40Kb < 1min (7 pages)]     [ Share with a friend  ]

Background and Rationale

The complex linkage between trade policy and multilateral environment agreements is a growing global debate. The "trade and environment" theme was brought to the Doha negotiations with much resistance from the South and consequently is part of the Doha Declaration. The South perceives inclusion of environment in trade related policy as working against developing countries because environmental measures imposed may restrict market access and promote protectionist measure by the North. Nonetheless environment has become a significant issue in international trade policy and environmentally related themes are linked to a number of WTO rules the key one's been market access, agriculture and domestic subsidies, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, technical barriers, subsidies and countervailing duties, trade related intellectual property rights particularly related to Article 27.3 on patency of life forms and the Convention on Biological Diversity, liberalisation of environmental goods and services and trade and environment with regard to the relationship between specific trade obligations (STOs) of multi-lateral environment agreements (MEAs) and WTO rules.

The North-South polarisation is an ongoing debate characterised by the North seen as demanders of trade and environment and postulating the need to bring this theme in the negotiating arena and adopt policy initiatives with real or potential impacts of trade flows. The South continued to resist introducing environment in the WTO, based on their view that they are targets for potential trade restrictions based on environmental concerns. With regard to trade and environment, the Northern countries would like see a WTO waiver for the STO's the MEA's - including so-called obligations de rđ╣sultat, whose implementation is left by a MEA in the hands of the Parties should be considered automatically compatible with WTO rules (Veiga 2003). The South rejects a priori assumption that STO's of MEA's conform to WTO rules and supports the concentration of negotiations on a limited number of MEA's (Veiga 2003).

Octoplus Information Solutions Top of page | Home | Contact SARPN | Disclaimer