Beyond fair trade

Developing nations provide enormous natural resources to the global market, and yet production often occurs against a backdrop of social inequality and ecological degradation. Since the Brundtland Report and the Rio 1992 Earth Summit, programs that attempt to integrate conservation and development goals have gained popularity and international traction. Over twenty years into the legacy of the Brundtland commission, case studies in the global historical context have emerged that let us recognize and confront what may be hard choices or difficult trade-offs between conservation and development.

In today’s global market, there is a surging demand to safeguard the Earth’s capacity to provide natural resources while promoting inclusive economic growth and social development. Our investigation is in the financial options and integrative frameworks to meet this demand. One such framework—value chains—warrants special attention, because it holds the promise of promoting sustainable development goals, while at the same time answering the call for
governance in the global context of incomplete trade regulations. However, the potential of select options and frameworks to promote sustainable development goals must be assessed relative to the specific sectors
in which they operate. We illustrate this point in two briefs on distinct sectors—forestry and electronics—conceived under a common line of investigation….

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