Wednesday May 19, 2021 at 10h00, online

Environmental Data

In preparation of the UN World Data Forum 2021, that will take place in Bern – Switzerland in October 2021 and as a way to enhance the role of International Geneva in digital cooperation, a series of Cross-sectoral Dialogues on Digital Cooperation are being organized. By addressing data issues through different angles, such as their collection, protection, sharing and use and by matching it at the same time with key sectoral dimensions like health, science, technology, intellectual property, business, climate, humanitarian challenges, trade or environment, we aim at enhancing the added value of data to ultimately accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The Cross-sectoral Dialogues will pave the way of the Road to Bern via Geneva. These Dialogues are intended to deliver Geneva’s contributions to the UN World Data Forum and to foster valuable and beneficial participation. The cross-cutting and interactive discussions of the Dialogues allow to combine the experience of different sectors while enlarging the perspective on digital cooperation.

The previous Dialogues held in 2020-21 were : #1. Data Collection, #2. Data Protection; #3. Data Sharing; #4. Use of Data; #5. Data & Tech 4Good.

For the upcoming Dialogue #6. on Environmental Data, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) will cover the theme “Using data and digital technologies to advance sustainable trade and environmental transparency”.

This Dialogue will showcase the latest digital sustainable trade and environment transparency concepts and tools, with an emphasis on the digital product passport concept. It will bring in the perspectives of governments, businesses and other stakeholders on the potential of data by exploring cases, challenges, opportunities and enabling policies.

We are looking forward to your participation and contribution to the fifth leg of this policy and knowledge journey which should help all of us in Geneva and beyond to prepare Geneva’s contributions.


You are kindly invited to register for Dialogue 6. on Eventbrite no later than May 17, 2021.

The e-link to join Dialogue 6. will only be sent to registered participants. To foster interactive discussions and fruitful exchanges, the number of participants is limited. It is therefore recommended to register on time.

For more information on the Dialogues, visit :


Wednesday May 19, 2021, 10:00 – 12:30 (Geneva time)

Using data and digital technologies to advance sustainable trade and environmental transparency
10:00 – 10:20
Jean-Pierre Reymond, Chargé de mission; Head, Innovation Partnerships, Permanent Mission of Switzerland in Geneva Welcome and opening remarks Bruno Pozzi, Regional Director, UNEP Europe Office Aik Hoe Lim, Director, Trade and Environment Division, WTO
10:20 – 11:10
Session 1
Accelerating sustainable trade through transparency and digitalization of data Climate change and environmental degradation are some of the most pressing challenges for the today’s world. With the urgent need for us to create a sustainable future, data can play an important role. This session will look at digital technologies, tools, and digital data and will bring in the perspectives of the private and public sector, academia and international organizations on the potential use, challenges and opportunities for digital data to enhance transparency and advance sustainable trade.   The panel will discuss the following questions: 
  • What are the costs, benefits, opportunities and challenges of digitalization of data?
  • Can and, if so, how will the digitalization of data help advance sustainable trade? 
  • What are the recent transparency tools and initiatives towards the digitalization of trade and environmental data?
  • How can digital technologies (such as blockchain) help progress toward sustainable production and consumption patterns and advance the circular economy and sustainable trade?
Panelists :
Manuel Teehankee, Ambassador of  Philippines, Chair, WTO Committee on Trade and Environment Elisabeth Tuerk, Director of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Division of the United Nations Economic  Commission for Europe (UNECE) Christian Schiller, Co-Founder & CEO of Cirplus Simon Evenett, Professor, Global Trade Alert, University of St. Gallen Christine Choirat, Head, Data Science Section, Swiss Federal Statistical Office Emmanuelle Ganne, Senior Analyst, WTO Sajal Mathur, Counsellor, WTO
Carolyn Deere-Birkbeck, Director, Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs Q&A with the audience
11:10 – 11:20
Break – enjoy the fresh air
11:10 – 12:10
Session 2
What is a digital product passport and why will it transform sustainable trade and environmental transparency? In order to transition to a circular economy, managing resources sustainably and reducing pollution and wastes in the environment, it will be necessary to move to sustainable products through their full life-cycle. The digital product passport is an initiative that can utilize existing and emerging technologies to improve transparency and sustainable consumption. This session will discuss the concept of a digital product passport, as well as the opportunities and challenges and bring forward the key messages to feed into the UN World Data Forum. The panel will discuss the following questions: 
  • What is a digital product passport?
  • How could a digital product passport enhance sustainable trade and transparency in the environment and climate performance of products?
  • What kinds of environmental data standards, flows and infrastructure would need to underpin a digital product passport?
  • What kinds of life cycle assessment policies, disclosure frameworks and labelling standards would be needed?
  • What are the data as well as enabling policy and governance frameworks required to scale the digital product passport to the global level? 
Ilias Iakovidis, Advisor, DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT), European Commission David Jensen, Head Digital Transformation, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Cristina Bueti, Counsellor, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Eliane Ubalijoro, Global Hub Director, Canada, Future Earth; Executive Director, Sustainability in the Digital Age Anna Stanley, Manager, Value Chain Carbon Transparency Pathfinder, World Business Council for Sustainable Development: Chad Blackman, Ambassador of  Barbados, former Chair, WTO Committee on Trade and Environment
Carolyn Deere-Birkbeck, Director, Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs Q&A with the audience
12:10– 12:25
The key messages for the UN World Data Forum
12:25– 12:30
Closing Remarks
Professor Jovan Kurbalija, Founding Director of DiploFoundation and Head of Geneva Internet Platform




















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