Trade and Environment: A Resource Book
|eBooks - Economics|
|February 03 2008|
Trade and environment policy is increasingly intertwined and the stakes are nearly always high in both trade and environmental terms. These issues are often complex and discussions tend to become very specialized, challenging policy practitioners to understand and follow all the various sub-strands of trade and environment debates. This Resource Book seeks to demystify these issues without losing the critical nuances.
This collaborative effort of some 61 authors from 34 countries provides relevant information as well as pertinent analysis on a broad set of trade and environment discussions while explaining, as clearly as possible, what are the key issues from a trade and environment perspective; what are the most important policy debates around them; and what are the different policy positions that define these debates.
The volume is structured and organized to be a reference document that is useful and easy to use. Our hope is that those actively involved in trade and environment discussions—as practitioners, as scholars and as activists—will be able to draw on the analysis and opinions in this book to help them advance a closer synergy between trade and environmental policy for the common goal of achieving sustainable development.
PDF format, 1.6MB, 274Pages., provided by iisd.org.
Edited by Adil Najam, Mark Halle, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD, http://www.iisd.org) contributes to sustainable development by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change, measurement and assessment, and natural resources management. Through the Internet, we report on international negotiations and share knowledge gained through collaborative projects with global partners, resulting in more rigorous research, capacity building in developing countries and better dialogue between North and South. IISD’s vision is better living for all—sustainably; its mission is to champion innovation, enabling societies to live sustainably.
IISD is registered as a charitable organization in Canada and has 501(c)(3) status in the United States. IISD receives core operating support from the Government of Canada, provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Environment Canada; and from the Province of Manitoba. The institute receives project funding from numerous governments inside and outside Canada, United Nations agencies, foundations and the private sector.
The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD, http://www.ictsd.org) was established in Geneva in September 1996 to contribute to a better understanding of development and environment concerns in the context of international trade.
As an independent nonprofit and nongovernmental organization, ICTSD engages a broad range of actors in ongoing dialogue about trade and sustainable development. With a wide network of governmental, nongovernmental and intergovernmental partners, ICTSD plays a unique systemic role as a provider of original, non-partisan reporting and facilitation services at the intersection of international trade and sustainable development. ICTSD facilitates interaction between policy-makers and those outside the system to help trade policy become more supportive of sustainable development. By helping parties increase capacity and become better informed about each other, ICTSD builds bridges between groups with seemingly disparate agendas. It seeks to enable these actors to discover the many places where their interests and priorities coincide, for ultimately sustainable development is their common objective.
The Regional and International Networking Group (The RING, http://www.ring-alliance.org) is a global alliance of predominantly Southern independent research and policy organizations. It was formed in 1991 to stimulate preparations for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. In 1994 the group designed and implemented an ongoing program of capacity development, pooled and collaborative research at regional and global levels, with the goal of creating a unique and influential platform for international comparative policy research, action and advocacy.
With an emphasis on South-South and South-North collaboration, the Ring aims to improve environment and development policy formulation processes, and to increase the regional and local impact of organizations working on sustainable development issues. Ring activities focus on strategic development, capacity strengthening and planning within the individual organizations, water and people, sustainable livelihoods (including people’s technologies), multilateral environmental agreements, trade and environment, climate change, financing for development, and people-centred governance approaches for development.
A User’s Guide
We hope that this book is not just readable, but also useful and useable.
This book flows from the realization that the trade and environment policy debate is technically complex, is becoming highly specialized and is full of cumbersome—and not always useful— jargon. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to understand and follow all the various strands of trade and environment debates. This is not only true for new entrants into the policy debates, but also for seasoned practitioners who may have been focusing only on some elements of trade and environment discussions, or on adjacent discussions within either the broader trade policy arena or the broader environmental policy space. This can also impose particular and significant stress on developing country capacities to participate in these discussions. More importantly, there is the danger of the policy focus becoming ever-narrower and, therefore, missing the cross-issue connections that are sometimes central to resolving complex and inter-linked policy challenges.
Our ambition, therefore, is to produce a volume that provides relevant information as well as pertinent analysis on a broad set of trade and environment discussions while explaining as clearly as possible (a) what are the key issues from a trade and environment perspective; (b) what are the most important policy debates around them; and (c) what are the different policy positions that define these debates. We call this a “Resource Book” because that is exactly what we want it to be—a resource for policy practitioners, scholars and activists that gives them a clear and easy-to-use map of ongoing and upcoming trade and environment discussions. But we want it to also provide our readers with a nuanced understanding of where these debates are heading, and why.
This book is a truly and deeply collaborative effort. As many as 61 authors from 34 different countries have contributed to this volume. We believe that this is a truly global collection of some of the best minds that work on these issues. They bring with them a wealth of experience and insight from the worlds of practice, scholarship and activism. While focusing on all aspects of the trade and environment debate, we have consciously tried to give special emphasis to developing country concerns and aspirations within this debate because these concerns are under-represented in the global discussions and they are particularly central to the quest for meaningful responses to the trade and environment challenges we face.
The book is organized as a reference volume because we hope and expect it to be used as such. However, while providing clear, unambiguous and easy-to-understand information is an important priority for us, this volume does not shy away from opinion and analysis. Indeed, as editors we have welcomed and encouraged it. What we have done, however, is to clearly differentiate between items that are principally informational and those that are opinion and analysis.
The remainder of the book is divided into three sections. The first section sets the context by describing the evolution of the broader trade and environment debate and then describing the policy formulation process within which these debates take place. The second section constitutes the bulk of the volume and is organized around a set of 17 key issues and debates. Each of these issues is first presented in a background section which is mostly informational and is then elaborated upon in a set of short Expert Opinion essays which provide provocative and thought-provoking ideas and analysis related to that issue.
For easier reading, each background section is structured identically – a general introduction lays out the essentials of what the issue is, how it has evolved, and what aspects are currently in debate; this is followed by a discussion of “interests and faultlines” which focuses on aspects of the issue which are of particular importance to, or particularly contentious for, key parties; finally, there is a section on “trends and future directions” which looks towards the future of the debate and tries to chart where the debate is likely to head and why. While the tone and presentation of the background sections is informational, the Expert Opinion essays are meant to be provocative articulations of some of the cutting edge thinking on each of these issues, and particularly on what might be done to resolve the most thorny debates related to them.
A total of 34 Expert Opinion essays from some of the leading experts and practitioners from all over the world are included in the book. Finally, the third section provides additional informational resources that may be useful to the reader.
Importantly, this section includes a version of the Doha Ministerial Declaration which is annotated to highlight all the various trade and environment connections contained in it; not only in the sections that relate to these issues directly but also to the indirect connections. This section also includes a timeline of the trade and environment debate, a trade and environment glossary, and a list of useful online and in-print resources. Important technical terms and concepts are highlighted in the background sections, as you see here, and then explained in the Trade and Environment glossary.
The goal of this organization of the Resource Book is to retain the richness and nuance of the discussion while making the volume as accessible and useable for the reader as possible. This is not a book that needs to be read from one end to the other—although we hope that many will.
This is a volume that invites the reader to flick through it, that helps the reader quickly find what they are looking for, and then, hopefully, excites the reader enough about the subject to keep reading more. Our hope is that those actively involved in trade and environment discussions— as practitioners, as scholars and as activists—will not only find this volume to be a useful thing to keep on their bookshelf, but useable enough to keep closer at hand; maybe on their desks.
|Last Updated ( February 03 2008 )|
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