Global Agriculture

Vietnam: Uptake of Sustainability Standards Towards Biodiversity Goals

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04 January 2024, Vietnam: Uptake of Sustainability Standards Towards Biodiversity Goals

Biodiversity loss constitutes a major global threat, as reported by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Unsustainable trade and consumption of products and services derived from biodiversity represent a contributing factor to this decline of diversity.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identifies international trade as a means of achieving inclusive economic growth and reducing poverty. Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) are increasingly being included in trade agreements to promote sustainable development and good governance. VSS are norms and standards used to ensure that products are harvested, produced, processed, or transported in accordance with specific sustainability metrics. These metrics include environmental impact, basic human rights, labour standards, and gender equality. Currently, there are over 500 VSS that apply to key exports of many countries, such as coffee, tea, bananas, cocoa, palm oil, timber, cotton, and organic agri-foods.

To support the scale-up of VSS, and facilitate the transactions of biodiversity-based products and services, the concept of Biotrade was first coined by UNCTAD in 1996. Since then it has been introduced and developed in Vietnam since the 2010s and has become the core transaction of the ecosystem where Vietnamese exporters can develop sustainable supply chains and reach potential markets through efficient trade promotion and value chain services. Up to now, both VSS and Biotrade have proved to be effective tools to encourage governments and companies to adopt practices that align with environmental, social, and economic objectives.

This policy paper (click here) aims to raise awareness of the importance of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) in supporting the development of sustainable supply chains, facilitating international trade in biodiversity-based products, and promoting the adoption of these standards in Vietnam’s agricultural sector.

Also Read: Farmer must learn to market his produce: Vice President Dhankhar

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