UN-REDD Engages with Panama on Safeguard Information Systems for REDD+
At the request of Panama, the UN-REDD Programme recently organized an interactive videoconference aimed at fostering a better understanding of Safeguard Information Systems (SIS) for REDD+.
During the videoconference held on 22 June 2012, government counterparts from Panama's National Environmental Authority learned more about SIS and the work of the UN-REDD Programme related to this SIS, in particular the Programme's Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria and Benefits and Risks Tool.
The first presentation by Ms. Maria SanzSanchez from the UN-REDD Programme team at FAO in Rome, shared background on safeguards and SIS in the context of the UNFCCC, summarizing key decisions, guidance and discussions from the UNFCCC COPs held in Cancun in 2010) and Durban in 2011, and at , as well as an UNFCCC expert meeting on SIS, held in Panama in 2011. Ms. SanzSanchez also outlined the characteristics and key components of a SIS. Following this, Ms. Silje Haugland presented on the UN-REDD Programme's Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria (SEPC) highlighting the objectives of this work and relationship with the Cancun Agreements. Ms. Haugland also presented how the UN-REDD Programme’s tools may contribute to the development of SIS.
Discussions after the presentations looked at how elaborate a SIS should be, and participants stressed the importance of both building on countries’ existing systems and establishing a flexible SIS. Participants also discussed the frequency of reporting which to date is still unclear; developed countries have to submit National Communications every four years, but the timing and frequency for submission of summary of information on safeguards has not yet been agreed upon for developing countries. Discussions also explored the topic of how much time it takes to develop a SIS, which will be difference from country to country, depending on capacity. Some countries, such as the DRC, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mexico and Tanzania, have already taken preliminary steps in developing a SIS, such as conducting initial gap analyses activities. It was agreed that there would be a follow-up webinar during which the discussion would focus more on the current status of SIS development in countries.
Click here for a recording of the video conference. Powerpoint presentations can be found here.