REDD+ Safeguards, Governance Emphasized by UN-REDD Agencies at Forests 2011 Launch
High-level representatives from UN-REDD Programme agencies recently gathered in New York to support the launch of the International Year of Forests and emphasize the need for strong safeguards and forest governance.
|UNDP Administrator gives address at High Level CPF event at UNFF9
Credits: Benjamin Singer, UNFF Secretariat
The Ministerial Dialogue of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests on 3 February coincided with the 9th United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), which launched the International Year of Forests (Forests 2011). In his opening remarks, Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General at FAO and chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, noted that the International Year of Forests has, “generated new momentum, creating opportunities, synergies and networks that have shaped the operating environments and priorities of our organizations. ”Rojas-Briales called for, “careful integration and strengthened coordination within the forest sector itself and with other sectors,” and noted the need to, “strongly advocate topics on forests and how they play a concrete and significant role in sustainable development,” in the lead up to the UN's "Rio +20" Earth Summit in 2012.
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark emphasized UNDP’s commitment to REDD+ safeguards that will ensure environmental and social issues are evaluated in decision making; that risks are assess and reduced; and that a mechanism for consultation and disclosure of information is provided. Recognition in the Cancun Agreements, including the one on REDD+, of the need for strong social and environmental safeguards has been “a breakthrough”, said Clark.
“In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, well structured REDD+ initiatives could bring about better forest governance and protection of biodiversity; generate social benefits and poverty reduction; and be positive for human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples’ ", she said. Ms. Clark also committed UNDP, through the UN-REDD Programme, to, ” … having its work on environmental and social safeguards meet the expectations set out in the Cancun Agreement; developing a recourse mechanism for forest stakeholders involved in REDD+, to ensure accountability and provide a system for addressing complaints from affected parties; and ensuring that human rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, included the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, underpin the a safeguards framework.”
High level speakers from the fourteen members organizations of CPF included Jan Mc Alpine of UNFF, Frances Seymour of CIFOR, Julia Marton Lefevre of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gerard Dieterle of the World Bank, Monique Barbut of the Global Environment Facility, Ahmed Djoghlaf of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Emmanuel Ze Meka of the International Tropical Timber Organization, Denis Garrity of the World Agroforestry Centre and many others.
In his address, Ibrahim Thiaw, Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation at UNEP, underscored how, “Even though forests do not appear explicitly on the agenda of Rio+20, they can still be very much present.” He cited a TEEB report published in 2010 by UNEP that estimated that environmental services from forests could be worth between US$2.5 and 4.7 trillion annually. Thiaw also highlighted the role of forest governance in sustainable development, citing the complexities of designing appropriate institutional frameworks and of governance of forest as well as mining and agricultural resources.
Promoting governance and operationalizing safeguards and accountability in REDD+ was also examined by panelists during the 9th Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change in London on 8 February, including Tim Clairs from the UN-REDD Programme. Read more on this event in London at the IISD summary and the Climate L summary.
Read more on the Launch of the International Year of Forests