REPORT OF THE EXPERT MEETING ON DEFINITIONS AND DIMENSIONS OF EGS IN TRade and Development E-mail
Friday, May 01, 2009

Expert Meeting on Definitions and Dimensions of Environmental Goods and Services in Trade and
Development, Geneva, 9–11 July 2003
Experts addressed issues relating to trade liberalization in environmental goods and
services (EGS) from two perspectives. First, they considered definitions, classifications and
negotiating approaches in the context of the WTO mandate provided for in paragraph 31 (iii)
of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. Second, they discussed the role of EGS in sustainable
development, in particular policies and measures that could be carried out at the national and
international levels to strengthen the various EGS sectors in developing countries and to
contribute to achievement of the Millennium Goals and the implementation of the
Johannesburg Plan of Action adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development

The Expert Meeting was attended by a large number of government experts (from
both trade and environment ministries) from developed and developing countries and
countries with economies in transition, representatives of private companies supplying
environmental services, academics, and representatives of intergovernmental organizations
and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Participants expressed their appreciation of the
fact that the Meeting had been scheduled back to back with the regular and special sessions of
the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE).
2. Experts addressed issues relating to trade liberalization in environmental goods and
services (EGS) from two perspectives. First, they considered definitions, classifications and
negotiating approaches in the context of the WTO mandate provided for in paragraph 31 (iii)
of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. Second, they discussed the role of EGS in sustainable
development, in particular policies and measures that could be carried out at the national and
international levels to strengthen the various EGS sectors in developing countries and to
contribute to achievement of the Millennium Goals and the implementation of the
Johannesburg Plan of Action adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD).
3. A large part of the discussions focused on potential benefits from the liberalization of
trade in EGS. Most experts referred to the need to secure “win-win-win” outcomes for trade,
environment and development. As net importers of EGS, developing countries were more
likely to benefit from increased availability of cheaper EGS than from increased exports.
Developed countries expected benefits in terms of improved access to emerging
environmental markets in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Several experts said that while environmental benefits were of key importance to developing
countries, a situation in which environmental benefits went to one set of countries and trade
gains to another would not be a balanced outcome of the negotiations. The negotiations
should therefore take fully into account EGS of export interest to developing countries.

 

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