The United Nations Collaborative Programme
on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries

Support to countries on
Safeguards and Multiple Benefits of REDD+

The main purpose of REDD+ is to mitigate global climate change. REDD+ also has the potential to deliver other benefits, both environmental and social, to countries that choose to implement it. To ensure that REDD+ delivers benefits and that risks are reduced, the UN-REDD Programme supports countries in their work on applying the UNFCCC’s REDD+ safeguards, and on land-use planning for REDD+.

Safeguards and Multiple Benefits Updates

Biodiversity, Ecosystem
Services and REDD+
Countries at a Glance

Forests provide a range of ecosystem services, and host the biodiversity that underpins these services. The services provided by any particular forest may include climate change mitigation, water regulation, cultural benefits, and production of food, fuel or fibre. REDD+ actions can protect or enhance these services by preventing loss or degradation of forest ecosystems and biodiversity, or restoring forest ecosystems.

Forests vary in their importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and also in their likely response to forest management actions. The benefits and risks of REDD+ will thus depend on the location and type of REDD+ actions. Planning approaches to reduce risks and promote benefits may include: identifying priorities for benefits, putting safeguard policies in place, identifying risks and benefits that may arise from specific actions and selecting locations for these that secure high-priority benefits with low risks. The UN-REDD Programme supports countries in their efforts to integrate this thinking into their REDD+ strategies and development plans.

Social Benefits and Risks
of REDD+

In addition to securing ecosystem services that benefit people, social benefits such as improved livelihoods and stronger governance, may arise from implementing REDD+. There are also some social risks from REDD+, and the Cancun safeguards are intended to minimise these. To help countries to ensure positive outcomes, the UN-REDD Programme has developed the following:

Many UN-REDD Programme partner countries are developing approaches to ensure that their REDD+ plans take account of the Cancun safeguards, including through enhancing social and environmental benefits. Recent outputs are available below.


Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Mapping potential biodiversity benefits from REDD+. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2012. (English, French)


  • Nigeria's REDD+ Readiness Programme - Beyond Carbon: Consultation & joint working session on spatial planning for REDD+ in Cross River States (English)
  • Nigeria's REDD+ Readiness Programme “ Beyond Carbon: Safeguards and multiple benefits from REDD+ workshop, 2014 (Workshop report: English)
  • Carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services: Exploring co-benefits. Nigeria: Preliminary Results, 2010 (English)


  • Using spatial information to support decisions on safeguards and multiple benefits for REDD+ in Tanzania, 2013. (English)
  • Methodological brief, 2013. (English)
  • Getting ready for REDD+ in Tanzania: a case study of progress and challenges, 2010. (journal paper; Oryx)
  • Carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services: exploring co-benefits. Tanzania, 2009 (English)



  • REDD+ Environmental Safeguards and Multiple Benefits Workshop, 2012. (English)


  • Strengthening benefits from REDD+ for biodiversity, ecosystem services and livelihoods – A guide to tools and resources that can help to plan for multiple benefits from REDD+ in Indonesia, 2012. (English)
  • Options for REDD+ action: what are their effects on forests and people, 2012. (English, Bahasa Indonesia).
  • Using spatial information to promote multiple benefits from REDD+ in Indonesia, 2012. (English, Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Cross-Sectoral Analysis of Policy and Legislative Frameworks that are Relevant to REDD+ Implementation in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 2012. (English, Bahasa Indonesia)

Viet Nam

  • Ecosystem services from new and restored forests: tool development, 2010 (Multiple Benefits Series 5, English)
  • Methods for assessing and monitoring change in the ecosystem-derived benefits of afforestation, reforestation and forest restoration (Multiple Benefits Series 6, English)

Latin America and the Caribbean


  • Registro de datos útiles para la toma de decisiones en relación a REDD+ y sus beneficios multiples, 2010 (Multiple Benefits Series 7, Spanish)


  • National workshop for identification and prioritization of multiple benefits, 2013. (Workshop report: Spanish)
  • Regional workshop for prioritization of REDD+ multiple benefits in Ecuador at the community level. Amazoní­a, 2013. (Workshop report: Spanish)
  • Regional workshop for prioritization of REDD+ multiple benefits in Ecuador at the community level. Esmeraldas, 2013. (Workshop report: Spanish)
  • Carbon, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services: Exploring Co-benefits Ecuador. 2010. (English, Spanish)


  • Planning for REDD+ in Panama: Securing social and environmental benefits
    (Available in English and Spanish in high and low resolution
  • The potential economic values of the multiple benefits from REDD+ in Panama: a synthesis of existing valuation studies, 2014 (Technical report, English)


  • Mapping multiple benefits of REDD+ in Paraguay: using spatial information to support land-use planning (English high res, low res, Spanish high res, low res)


  • Promoting social and environmental benefits of REDD+ in Peru (Flyer:
Infographics, figures and tables for download-->  


Safeguards and Multiple Benefits Updates

UN-REDD Programme launches Benefits and Risks Tool (BeRT):
Supporting countries to address and respect the Cancun Safeguards

19 May 2015- The UN-REDD Programme launches a new tool to support REDD+ countries to: a) assess the social and environmental risks and benefits associated with potential REDD+ actions (also known as candidate Policies and Measures, PAMs) and b) analyse how existing policies, laws and regulations (PLRs) address the Cancun safeguards.

Read more

  Mapping multiple benefits of REDD+ in Paraguay: using spatial information to support land-use planning

9 February 2014- Paraguay’s UN-REDD National Joint Programme has recently published a report on Mapping multiple benefits of REDD+ in Paraguay: using spatial information to support land-use planning (available in English andSpanish). REDD+ has the potential to deliver benefits beyond climate change mitigation alone, such as contributing to the sustainable use of forest resources and biodiversity conservation.  In the case of Paraguay, an estimated one-quarter of forest cover has been lost between 1990-2011, due in large part to conversion to pasture and croplands.  This forest loss not only threatens biodiversity, but also the provision of non-timber forest products used by indigenous and other forest-dependent communities.

This report illustrates how spatial analyses can support REDD+ planning processes in Paraguay. The maps presented here show areas in which REDD+ actions may deliver a range of additional benefits, as well as where REDD+ actions can be designed to combat specific risks. The benefits examined reflect priorities identified by national stakeholders in Paraguay, and include the role of forests in storing carbon, controlling soil erosion and supporting biodiversity and livelihoods. For more information, please contact Judith Walcott ( 
UN-REDD Programme launches Info Brief on ‘REDD+ and adaptation: Identifying complementary responses to climate change'

15 December 2014- The brief highlights the complementarities and potential trade-offs between REDD+ and adaptation actions, suggesting that ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change (EBA) may help to achieve REDD+ objectives in different ways. 

Read info brief
  UN-REDD Programme Workshop on Costs and Benefits Analysis of REDD+ Implementation in Cambodia

October 2014- A half-day workshop on the analysis of costs and benefits of REDD+ implementation in Cambodia was organised on 21 October 2014 in the country's capital, Phnom Penh. The workshop was chaired by Dr. Chea Sam Ang, Deputy Director of the Forestry Administration and Director of the National REDD+ Programme and facilitated by Khun Vathana, Chief of Cambodia’s REDD+ Technical Secretariat, Charlotte Hicks (UNEP-WCMC) and Mr Hong Kimhean, a national consultant.
  UN-REDD Programme side events at CBD COP 12 in Pyeongchang, Korea

October 2014- A Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 12 meeting took place in Pyeongchang, Korea from 6-17 October on 'Biodiversity for Sustainable Development'. The UN-REDD Programme, together with the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the REDD-PAC project and the Swiss Government, co-hosted a side event there on 'Considering biodiversity in REDD+ planning and implementation: Country experiences and future options'. The side event included an introduction to the links between REDD+, biodiversity, and countries’ commitments under the CBD. Presentations were also made of national and international experiences in integrating biodiversity into REDD+ in Benin, Cameroon, Peru and the Philippines. The presentations and subsequent panel discussions highlighted that countries are already addressing biodiversity in a number of ways within REDD+.

  Workshop report on safeguards and multiple benefits from REDD+ in Nigeria

September 2014- The report on the workshop ‘Safeguards and multiple benefits from REDD+ in Nigeria’ (26-27th November 2013, Calabar), is now finalized and available here. The workshop aimed at informing the development of social and environmental safeguards and priorities for REDD+ planning in Cross River State, and building capacity on REDD+ safeguards with key stakeholders. 

  Tanzania Releases Report to Support Planning of Multiple Benefits and Safeguards for REDD+

15 December 2014- In response to Tanzania's REDD+ Strategy, work has been carried out to support the development of maps in order to facilitate consideration of multiple benefits and safeguards in REDD+ planning and implementation.

Read full article…

Policy Briefs

REDD+ Beyond Carbon: Supporting Decisions on Safeguards and Multiple Benefits
English Español - Français

Putting REDD+ Safeguards and Safeguard Information Systems into Practice
EnglishEspañol - Français

REDD+ and the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Promoting Synergies in International Forest Conservation Efforts 
English - Español - Français

Key resources

REDD+ safeguards in UNFCCC COP 16 (Cancun)and COP 17 (Durban) decisions

Framework for supporting the development of country approaches to safeguards
English - Español - Français

´Beyond Carbon´ brochure

Other publications

Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria

A proposed country approach to the Cancun safeguards
English - Español - Français

Country Approaches to Safeguards Tool (CAST)

Benefits and Risks Tool (BeRT)

Mapping toolbox