2013 - Trade and Development symposium, WTO 9th Ministerial meeting Bali, Indonesia
During the WTO 9th Ministerial meeting, ICTSD (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development) arranged a symposium to allow organisations to highlight issues that are directly linked to the global trade development. In the symposium, SIS was responsible for one session which focused on the importance of standards and the development of international standards in relation to good governance, sustainable development and global trade. This took place on 3-5th December 2013 in Bali, Indonesia.
SIS session focused on three main issues:
Together with CUTS International (NGO with focus on trade and consumer protection) and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, SIS gave an overview of the importance of standards as well as more practical experiences from working in countries in Southeast Asia. Responsible person at SIS was Carina Svensson, Project Manager.
2013 - Second Workshop on Sustainable business in Namibia
SIS together with the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI), Namibian Business Innovation Centre (NBIC) and local partners arranged a workshop on Sustainable Business in Namibia in November 2013. It was a follow up on the successful workshop in 2012, focusing more on the opportunities of ISO standards for sustainable business.
The workshop aimed at highlighting the importance of developing sustainable capacity in the private sector to take an active part in national and international standard setting activities, with presentations on standards relevant to Namibian business and related to sustainability such as ISO 22000 Food Safety, ISO 26000 Social Responsibility and other standards that can promote sustainability and sustainable business opportunities in Namibia. SIS was represented by Carina Svensson, Project Manager.
2013 – WTO Public Forum Geneva ”Climate related standards and green economy: opportunities and challenges for developing countries in South Asia and East Africa”
SIS together with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) arranged a session on the WTO Public Forum in Geneva in October 2013 with the objectives to raise awareness on the conditions for developing countries to adopt, develop and use international standards and how this could positively or negatively impact trade and the global marketplace.
The session focused on climate change related and sustainability standards. The panel consisted of private sector representatives from the horticulture sector in East Africa and a standards officer from Asia with presentations as well as SIS. From a development perspective, emerging economies could use standards and standardisation as a tool to create and sustain new trade opportunities. This would require improved governance and strategies on standardisation on a national level, as well as improved capacity on standardisation processes and importance of a strong representation of stakeholders to increase the influence by developing countries on international standardisation. In summary as one panelist put it “strong partnership between local stakeholders, consumers and national/international standards bodies will create a sustainable, qualitative supply of healthy foodstuff and protect the environment. It will further lead to the improved welfare of all the stakeholders, especially the small holder farmers, and enhance trade, globally.”
2012 - SIS at Rio+20 conference
The follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that was arranged 20 years ago is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012.
With support from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SIS is cooperating with the Swiss organisation, ITC (International Trade Centre) in arranging a seminar in one of the side-events during the UN conference. The seminar is part of the “Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium” the 19th of June and arranged by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, ICTSD.
SIS and ITC’s session is focusing on environmental standards and the opportunities and challenges that developing countries are facing in promoting trade and sustainable development. International standards are seen as important components when supporting trade and to gain a more environmentally friendly development that is sustainable on a global level. In order to get international standards that are relevant and applicable globally, an active participation and commitment by various stakeholders from both private and public sectors worldwide is crucial.
During SIS/ITC’s session particular focus will be given on developing countries experience with Bioenergy and Carbon Footprint standards. SIS will together with two experts from Kenya and Pakistan present case studies from the conducted work regarding international standard setting and standard implementation and the need and importance for this work to continue. Issues like food security, land use rights and biodiversity are some of the key issues for these countries in the international discussion on Bioenergy and Carbon Footprint.
ITC will present its exporter’s guide “Product Carbon Footprinting Standards in the Agri-Food Sector”, developed to assist developing countries to understand new requirements on carbon product standards and potential mitigation opportunities. In addition, ITC will provide examples of its current project on trade and carbon standards in Kenya with small and medium sized enterprises and trade support institutions in overcoming these obstacles and working with them to mitigate carbon emissions in line with market requirements.
Carina Svensson, Project Manager is representing SIS in this event.
2012 - Workshop on sustainable business in Namibia
SIS in cooperation with Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC) is conducting a workshop “Sustainable Business in Namibia” that will be held in Windhoek, Namibia 17-19 April 2012, with support by Sida.
The aim of the workshop is to introduce participants – with a special focus on Namibian SMEs and entrepreneurs – to concepts of sustainable business. International and local initiatives that address the issue will be used together with case studies from Namibia and Sweden. Further it will raise awareness on the processes behind the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility and demonstrate standardisation as a platform for partner driven cooperation (PDC). The cooperation also involves the Namibia Employers’ Federation (NEF) through the Global Compact Network Namibia (GCNN).
The workshop is a 3-day activity and includes four different steps:
Presentations by Namibian and Swedish experts will be given as well as practical examples from sustainable brands, companies and organisations in the two countries.
In cooperation with the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI), focus will also be on improving the awareness among representatives from Namibian business sector on standardisation processes at national and international levels. It will highlight the importance of developing a sustainable capacity within the private sector in order to increase the participation in the standardisation processes, where focus will be on standards related to sustainability.
The workshop will provide a platform to enhance new networks and PDC opportunities that can support the development of sustainable business in Namibia.
Responsible is SIS Project Manager, Carina Svensson with support of two Swedish experts on ISO 26000 and sustainable business, Mr. Staffan Söderberg and Mrs. Ruth Brännvall.
2011 - Symposium, COP 17 Durban, South Africa
SIS, in collaboration with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) held a session at the ICTSD Symposium in Durban 5-6 December, 2011, with the title “Promoting Trade and Sustainable Development through the influence and useage of international standards.” The session was supported by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland.
SIS’s session had two main areas of focus; to raise awareness on how local African initiatives can promote sustainable development and trade opportunities through an active participation in the international standard setting work, and to demonstrate the practical use of life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology when quantifying carbon emissions through the supply chain. To make it more explicit, presentations of case studies with agricultural and horticultural products were given.
SIS together with two international experts; Mr. Walakira from the national standardisation organisation in Uganda (UNBS) and Mrs. Nebel, specialized in carbon footprint and LCA analysis from a private company in New Zealand were invited to speak as well as representatives from SECO and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The symposium was arranged parallel with the UN conference on Climate change (COP 17).
Responsible person from SIS was Carina Svensson, Project Manager.
2011 - ISO 2600 and CSR seminars in South Africa and Botswana
SIS was invited by the Swedish Trade Council (Business Sweden) to participate in seminars relating CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in Johannesburg, South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana. SIS Project Manager, Carina Svensson together with one international expert, Mrs. Ruth Brännvall took the airplane to the southest part of Africa to talk and discuss CSR. CSR is a well-known topic among many stakeholders worldwide, but what does it include and how can various companies, organisations and institutions work with CSR?
With support from Sida’s program for partner driven cooperation, the Swedish Trade Council arranged seminars in the neighboring countries to highlight CSR. The seminars were arranged to give, local and Swedish companies represented in the region, an opportunity to improve their knowledge, discuss and ask questions, all related to CSR issues. CSR is a broad concept that includes a wide range of different topics, such as environment, economic, human rights, labor policies etc.
SIS held the ISO Secretariat in a twinning concept together with Brazil in the development of ISO 26000, the international standard about Social Responsibility. This standardisation process is the world’s largest stakeholder-driven standardisation process with more than 100 countries participating with a strong representation from developing countries.
At the seminars, an overview was held with focus on the development of ISO 26000, what the standard includes, how it can be used as a tool when implementing a CSR system and what challenges many companies and organisations face. Present at the seminars were various local and national companies, organisations and Government agencies as well as Swedish companies with presence in South Africa and Botswana. Together with SIS, they presented their work around CSR, CSR systems but also how important the work around HIV/Aids is for the sustainable development in these countries.
SIS is very pleased to be invited to these type of events as it is a perfect way to spread knowledge and information not only about CSR and international standards but also to support trade opportunities and collaboration between Sweden and other countries.
2011 - Bioenergy workshop in Kenya
SIS organized together with Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) a workshop with focus on the ISO 13065 standard on Sustainability criteria for Bioenergy in Nairobi in October 2011. Together with experts from Germany, Canada and the Netherlands, SIS discussed with stakeholders from East African Community (EAC) and South- and Southeast Asia regions important issues and concerns related to the new initiated ISO standardisation process.
During two days, fruitful discussions on areas such as food security, land use rights and biodiversity took place with experts representing both public and private sectors from the regions. Many countries were represented: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Cambodia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
In international standardisation processes, developing countries are often disadvantaged as the standards are not adjusted to their conditions and needs. Currently, ISO is developing a new standard with aim to function as guiding principles on how companies producing Bioenergy should report on different sustainability criteria. It is therefore very important that specific needs and priorities from developing countries are raised during the development of the new standard. How can we ensure, for instance, that access to food and land will not be jeopardized when producing Bioenergy?
At the workshop, the importance of actively participate in the standardisation process was highlighted. In order to develop international standards and to become more global relevant, it requires that experts from developing countries are involved in the ISO work. It is also important, that those experts represent different sectors of the society, such as companies, institutions, universities, governmental bodies and NGOs.
SIS’s external experts moderated a session where discussion on critical issues of essential value to developing countries were discussed. As moderators they challenged the stakeholders to argue and convince the audience on why their needs and proposals should be considered in the new standard. Furthermore, the moderators trained the participants in how to write comments on standards in a way that could increase the possibilities of having them discussed and approved by the ISO working group. This training session was aimed to prepare the participants for the subsequent ISO meeting that was held the coming days after the workshop, also in Nairobi.
SIS believes that the outcome of the workshop was successful in two ways – first, it increased the capacity among the stakeholders from the developing countries on how to develop international standards; second, it enhanced the possibilities of creating a new ISO standard that is more global relevant considering the unique needs from developing countries.
2009-2011 - Introducing the MENA region to carbon footprint of products through standardisation
SIS, with support from Sida, has during 2009-2011 supported the National Standards Institutions and private/public stakeholders in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region in building capacity on the international standardisation processes. The ISO standard on Carbon Footprint of Products (ISO 14067) was used as a pilot to involve stakeholders from the region in an international standard development process.
The participants represented companies, institutes, universities, Governmental bodies and NGOs from the following countries in the region: Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco.
SIS has conducted a number of activities to increase the capacity such as regional standardisation workshops, pre-seminars before ISO Meetings and participation at ISO technical committee (TC) and working group (WG) Meetings. The conceptual model on standard setting involves preparatory work to be done by each participating country and its participating stakeholders before each activity. This facilitates local initiatives and self-propelled standardisation activities in the region. The following events has been organized in the project:
• Pre-seminar and subsequent ISO meetings in Vienna, Austria, November 2009
• Regional workshop in Amman, Jordan, January 2010
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Tokyo, Japan, February 2010
• Regional workshop in Tunis, Tunisia, May 2010
• Regional workshop in Beirut, Lebanon, June 2010
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Léon, Mexico, July 2010
• Regional workshop in Cairo, Egypt, November 2010
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Trieste, Italy, January 2011
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Oslo, Norway, June 2011
2010-2011 - Building institutional capacity on standard setting in the East African Community (EAC)
The project aimed to build capacity among private and public sectors in the EAC region to develop and influence international standards with support by Sida. Two pilots were used to involve stakeholders from the region in the development of ISO standards, the standards; Carbon Footprint of Products (ISO 14067), and Sustainability criteria for Bioenergy (ISO 13065).
Participants in the project represented companies, institutes, universities, governmental bodies and NGOs from the five member states in EAC: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Similar approach has been used as in the above mentioned MENA project, with various activities supporting the countries in preparation, planning, involvement and reporting on standardisation processes and standard development. The project is implemented in close cooperation with the East African Community Secretariat and the National Standards institutions in the region. Following activities have been implemented under the frame of the project:
• Regional workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, May 2010
• Regional workshop in Kampala, Uganda, May 2010
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Léon, Mexico, July 2010
• Regional workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, November 2010
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Trieste, Italy, January 2011
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Oslo, Norway, June 2011
2011 - Building institutional capacity on standard setting in South and South East Asia (SESA)
SIS, with support from Sida, developed capacity on standard setting among stakeholders from private and public sectors from the SESA region. The project was carried out in 2011. As in the EAC project, see above, the new ISO standard on Sustainability criteria for Bioenergy (ISO 13065) currently under development was used as a case study for the project.
Participants in the project represented companies, institutes, universities, governmental bodies and NGOs from the following countries in the regions: Viet Nam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangaldesh.
SIS methodology on building institutional capacity on standard setting has been used for the project. The project activities has been organised in cooperation with the regional organisation South Asias Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) and the national standards bodies in the regions. The following events has been performed in the project:
• Regional workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2011
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Frankfurt, Germany, May 2011
• Pre-seminar and ISO meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, October 2011
2010 - Partner Driven Cooperation between Namibia and Sweden
SIS and the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) organised a planning meeting in Windhoek, Namibia in October 2010. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the needs of capacity building within the areas of standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment in order to increase a long term partner driven cooperation between Namibia and Sweden. The meetings was supported by Sida.
One objective with the meeting was to identify potential Swedish and Namibian actors to be involved in a future project to promote sustainable partner driven cooperation. A second objective was to achieve consensus among participating stakeholders on areas in need of capacity building that could generate long-term mutual benefits. The framework of the discussions was standardisation, certification and metrology.
2009 - the Stockholm conference on “Climate change, trade and standardisation - in a development perspective” (CCTS)
SIS, in collaboration with the Swedish National Board of Trade, organized the CCTS conference in Stockholm, Sweden in November 2009. It was exclusively addressed to developing countries and a result of the Swedish Trade Minister´s announcement at the climate conference in Bali in December 2007. It offered a unique opportunity for the participants and speakers to bring up their perspectives on the topic. It brought a comprehensive approach to questions related to climate change, trade and standardisation. The conference was supported by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sida and ISO.
The purpose of the Stockholm conference was to build awareness about standardisation as an engine to increase climate-related trade for the developing countries. The ambition of the conference was to introduce more extensive initiatives and activities to develop the capacity within those countries to take advantage of the increasing climate-related trade. During three days, 90 participants from more than 50 developing countries did attend the conference.
2006 and 2007 - Capacity Development of African Standardisation
SIS with support from Sida organized trainings and workshops in cooperation with the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) in 2006 and 2007. The aim was to bring awareness to the impacts of standards in African societies and to strengthen the standardisation organisations, authorizing authorities and private/public stakeholders.
Managing Directors of ARSO members (National Standards institutions) from the following countries participated: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d'Ivoire, D.R. Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The activities including three different steps:
1. Preparation workshop in Stockholm, Sweden in November 2006;
2. Workshop on "Standards for trade, consumer protection and health", organized by ARSO in Mombasa, Kenya;
3. A follow-up meeting in conjunction with the ARSO General Assembly in Senegal in February 2007.