A Sustainability Toolkit for Trade Negotiators:

Trade and investment as vehicles for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

How to Use this Toolkit

The user does not need to read this toolkit from start to finish like a book. It is designed to allow one to, in effect, ask specific questions: what are the environmental implications of some specific set of issues, and how do existing treaties handle those issues? The user can easily jump from place to place according to his or her interest (see “navigation” below).

The toolkit begins with the broad framing questions that drafters will need to consider: what sort of architecture, what sort of commitments? It then focuses on those provisions that are strictly environmental in nature, such as treatment of environmental standards, relationship to multilateral environmental agreements. It then considers those aspects of treaty text that are not explicitly environmental, but which may have significant environmental impacts: investment, government procurement, services and intellectual property rights. In closing it looks at the process for conceiving, negotiating and implementing RTIAs.


Navigating within the site

The left-hand frame that accompanies every page is an overall navigation tool, allowing the user to jump to any location from any location. Clicking any given chapter in this frame will expand its contents to allow navigation to specific sub-sections

There are also navigation tools at the bottom of each page, allowing the user to go back, to the next page, or to the top of the page.  The browser “back” command will also work.


Navigating within each issue

On every issue page there is chapeau text that gives the issue some context.

Following that, there are options for approaching the issue. Clicking any option will unfurl it in detail, or roll it back up if it is already down.

An unfurled option will contain quoted example texts, almost always taken from existing treaties.

From each example text, the user can hit the button “Go to PDF” to be taken to the full text from which the quote was taken. This opens up a new browser window at the right point in the treaty.

From each example text, the user can also hover a cursor over the “commonly used?” button to discover how common or uncommon that example text may be in practice. The various options are:

  1. Commonly used, either in this form or equivalent: means more than a hundred agreements probably use this formulation, whether using these exact words or some equivalent form.
  2. Commonly used, primarily in older treaties, either in this exact form or equivalent: means that more than a hundred agreements probably use this formulation, but that modern agreements tend to use something different.
  3. Increasingly used in recent agreements in exact or similar form : means that in the last fifteen years this formulation has been increasingly used.
  4. Used in select recent agreements: means that in the last fifteen years a few agreements have used this formulation.
  5. Rarely used – unique to only a few agreements: means that only a few agreements have ever used this formulation.
  6. Only used in recent model text(s) – in this or similar form: means that this formulation appears only in model agreements, formulated in the last fifteen years.
  7. Recommended text, based on various sources but not used in any agreement: means that while it may be based on existing texts, this particular formulation does not exist in treaties in force – it is an ideal text formulated by the authors.


The example texts

The more than 90 treaties from which we draw example text are chosen primarily because they provide text that best illustrates the point we are making with respect to the issue at hand. Where there are several possible choices of equal quality, we have striven for diversity, looking for examples from a broad variety of treaties. In a handful of cases there did not exist text that had the qualities we were looking for, and we created recommended text. By preference, though, we have used text from treaties in force, or where ratification is pending.

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