Wetlands International

Back to basics on REDD+ safeguards and finance


Courtesy of Wetlands International

This briefing paper by the REDD+ Safeguards Working Group (R-SWG)1 draws on:

  1. Critical analyses by the R-SWG of the UNFCCC’s recommendations on REDD+ Safeguards and on Safeguards Information Systems (SIS), which are elaborated in detail in previous briefing papers; and
  2. Best practice case studies from the ground that R-SWG has gathered from shared learning, discussions with REDD+ negotiators and practitioners, and the experiences of our members.

The paper begins with recommendations directed to the UNFCCC and to countries, which are grounded in our analysis and informed by on-the-ground experience.

The REDD+ Safeguards are Core Minimum Requirements

The REDD+ Safeguards agreed in Cancun2 aim to:

  1. Improve forest governance;
  2. Promote the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and respect for their rights; and
  3. Protect biodiversity to ensure ecosystem resilience and permanence of emissions reductions.
  • These are core minimum requirements that exist to ensure that REDD+ does no harm (i.e. to mitigate against the potential negative consequences of REDD+ on livelihoods and biodiversity) and achieves some positive benefits.
  • Effective implementation of the REDD+ Safeguards is fundamental for achieving lasting results to ¡§slow, halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss,¡¨ and creating the enabling environment necessary to attract and sustain long-term finance.

Key Recommendations for the UNFCCC

To ensure safeguards are addressed and respected before countries can access results-based REDD+ finance (¡§Phase 3¡¨), the UNFCCC must:

  • Provide policy leadership and value safeguards equally with other methodological issues
  • Revisit the draft SBSTA 38 Decision (June 2013) on SIS and establish a clear and formal schedule on the timing, frequency and reporting channel for presenting summaries of information to ensure that regular reports will be provided both before and after countries have begun to access results-based finance
  • Direct countries to provide reliable information in at least one report through the Safeguards Information System (SIS) demonstrating that all the safeguards have been fully addressed and respected, and that robust, participatory and transparent national frameworks for safeguards implementation, complaints and grievance redress and the provision of information through the SIS are in place, as necessary preconditions to Parties accessing results-based finance
  • Develop additional guidance on safeguards implementation and information systems, including guidance on complaints and grievance redress mechanisms and community monitoring, that is clear, unambiguous, robust, and based on best practices and experience to date, to ensure transparency, consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness, and the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities

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