Safeguards and Safeguard Information Systems

REDD+ has the potential to deliver social and environmental benefits that go beyond the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but may also entail potential risks to people and the environment.

The UN-REDD Programme has been helping countries put in place safeguarding measures to protect against or avoid such risks while promoting the benefits. The benefits and risks of REDD+ implementation depend on several factors related to national circumstances, such as how REDD+ actions are designed, and where, how and by whom these actions are implemented. Safeguard measures are essential to render REDD+ action long-lasting, sustainable and equitable while also contributing to a country’s progress towards their sustainable development agenda.

The three key UNFCCC safeguard requirements for REDD+ are to:

  1. promote and support the ‘Cancun safeguards’ throughout the implementation of REDD+ PAMs;
  2. develop a Safeguard Information System (SIS) demonstrating how the Cancun safeguards are being addressed and respected;
  3. provide summaries of information (SOIs) to UNFCCC on how all the Cancun safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD+ PAMs.

Over the past 10 years, the UN-REDD Programme has supported – either directly (through technical assistance) or indirectly (through facilitating South- South knowledge exchange) – 36 countries with their approaches to meeting UNFCCC safeguard requirements. In 2018, achievements regarding safeguards, which are helping countries to protect against and avoid risks while enabling them to reap more benefits, can be summarized as follows:

  • Nine of the countries supported made progress with their SOIs: Côte d’Ivoire, Viet Nam and Zambia finished drafting their first SOIs; Argentina, Myanmar and Peru initiated processes to produce their first SOI; Colombia submitted its second SOI to UNFCCC and Chile its first; and Mexico’s first SOI (2017) was uploaded to the REDD+ Info Hub. Figure 3 presents a close-of-2018 snapshot of global progress on SOIs.
  • Seven countries made progress in designing or operating their national SIS: Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Mongolia and Zambia produced SIS design documents; Argentina and Myanmar initiated SIS design processes, which will conclude in 2019; and Viet Nam launched its SIS after a year-long process rendering a 2017 design into an online platform, and also completed its first summary of information.
  • Knowledge of how to meet UNFCCC safeguard requirements was exchanged among countries in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

This report is made possible through support from Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the European Union.