UNITAR Online Catalogue

Green Economy and Trade

30 Oct 2016
To be confirmed
6 Weeks
Programme Area
Environment, Environmental Governance and Law, Public Finance and Trade, International Law
Event Focal Point Email


Trade in environmental goods and services (EGS) offers significant opportunities, in particular for developing countries, to drive economic development while protecting natural capital and creating better livelihoods for citizens. In order to seize these opportunities, UNEP and UNITAR are collaborating within the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), to deliver the first interactive e-learning course at the nexus of trade and the green economy.

Event Objectives

The e-course introduces various concepts, policy instruments and enabling conditions to identify, assess and harness benefits of sustainable trade in the context of the 2030 Development Agenda. Moreover, participants will acquire basic skills for translating sustainable trade principles into a real-world economic, policy and professional context.

Learning Objectives

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Interpret current developments and trends related to Green Economy and Trade
  • Discuss basic principles related to the international governance of trade and the way the international trade framework can foster sustainability
  • Discuss opportunities, challenges, and enabling conditions for developing countries to benefit from growing trade in EGS
  • Identify possibilities for greening trade in specific sectors, foremost renewable energy and agriculture
  • Apply the green economy approach to a real life trade-related case study

Content and Structure

The course is composed of 4 modules (including one elective):

Module 1: The trade and environment nexus: key concepts, trends and developments
Module 2: Opportunities and enabling conditions for greening trade
Module 3: Assessing and seizing sustainable trade opportunities in specific Green Economy sectors (Elective 1: Agriculture; Elective 2: Energy)
Module 4: International trade governance and law: basic concepts and principles

Total number of learning hours: 32 hours over a 6-week period, including study time and participation in online course activities. During weeks 1 – 4 the study of learning journals is complemented by a range of learning activities and experiences such as discussion fora and interactive exercises. Weeks 5 – 6 are reserved for the development of an Action Plan and subsequent peer-review.


The course didactics are adapted to professionals in full-time work. Participants are provided with the opportunity to learn through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); and reflect (relate to one’s own reality).

To support learning, the course features a range of learning activities and experiences that include video presentations, exercises, interactive lessons, discussion fora, assessment tests and experiential learning. In support of these course elements, mandatory background reading in the form of learning journals is provided.

An applied case study provides participants with the opportunity to apply sustainable trade principles in a real world situation. Participants will identify the problem context, relevant issues, define appropriate measures, and develop an Action Plan for a self-chosen setting. Each case study is peer-reviewed by two course participants, as well as the course moderator.

Targeted Audience

The course targets groups and individuals from the public, private and civil society sectors interested in learning about how sustainable and responsible trade can help to further green economy objectives.

The target group includes:

  • Policy makers involved in developing and setting up policy frameworks for sustainable development, and in particular sustainable trade (ministries of trade and environment etc.)
  • Private sector/industry representatives, esp. SMEs, interested in understanding the economic opportunities from trade in environmental goods and services (in terms of market access etc.)
  • Civil society representatives with an interest in promoting sustainable development and trade

Additional Information

A limited number of fellowships is available for eligible candidates. UNITAR, working in close collaboration with UNEP, will identify and select the participants to be awarded with a fellowship.