Trade, Resource Extraction & Circular Economy

In 2017, the material requirement for trade was three times the direct trade, as more than 35 billion tons of material resources were extracted globally to produce 11 billion tons of directly traded goods. When considering the whole life cycle of traded products, trade is responsible for much larger amounts of material extraction than direct trade flows indicate.

On 19 March, OVAM, EEB, UNEP International Resource Panel, UNEP Environment and Trade Hub and ECESP organised a webinar on trade, resource extraction and circular economy. The event brought together the trade and circular economy communities to increase awareness of the issues raised in the UNEP-IRP report Sustainable Trade in Resources and to feed into the upcoming discussion on the EU’s trade policy review and the future of the WTO. The webinar also presented the findings of the UNEP-IRP report.


Welcome and introduction

  • Sofie Bouteligier (OVAM)
  • Francesca Carlsson (EEB)

Presentation of the UNEP-IRP report Sustainable Trade in Resources

  • Christina Bodouroglou (IRP Secretariat, UNEP)
  • Colette van der Ven (UNEP Consultant, International trade lawyer, Founder & Director of TULIP Consulting)

The EU’s trade initiative

  • Madelaine Tuininga (European Commission)

Q&A and discussion
Wrap-up and next steps

  • Sofie Bouteligier (OVAM)
  • Francesca Carlsson (EEB)