Policy and Trade


The People and Plants International Policy and Trade Program undertakes research and develops policy and market tools to promote sustainable and equitable use of genetic and biological resources, and non-timber forest products. The Program works in diverse ways and at multiple scales, looking broadly at the range of intersecting measures that impact livelihoods, resource management, conservation, and resource rights, including customary and statutory law.

Activities include:

  • Research that fills gaps in information and understanding necessary for the design and implementation of sound policies and laws, and which helps to better identify and evaluate presumed "problems" and potential "solutions";
  • Development of local-level processes that allow the voices, perspectives and priorities of local groups to be heard in national and international policy processes;
  • Publication of books, articles and policy briefs to disseminate findings to policy makers and others;
  • Participation in national, regional and international policy processes in order to contribute information, analysis and perspectives that promote effective and equitable policies.


The Policy and Trade Program is divided into two project areas:


THE COMMERCIAL USE OF BIODIVERSITY PROJECT promotes equity and sustainability in the commercial trade and use of genetic and biological resources, including through access and benefit sharing policies growing from the Convention on Biological Diversity and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.



THE WILD PRODUCT GOVERNANCE PROJECT promotes more effective and strategic laws and policies for the use, management and trade of non-timber forest products in ways that encourage sustainable use and generate benefits for local producers and harvesters.