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UN-REDD Hosts Regional Workshop on Social and Environmental Safeguards

REDD+ experts from across the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to share experiences and build capacities for better understanding of safeguards system in REDD+.


In response to requests from UN-REDD Partner Countries, the UN-REDD Programme's third REDD+ regional lessons learned workshop for the Asia-Pacific region was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 5-6 March 2013. The workshop brought together more than 70 participants from government agencies, civil society organizations, technical advisors from UN-REDD Partner Countries, and UN representatives of FAO, UNDP and UNEP to share their knowledge and experiences in developing safeguards systems. The workshop aimed to raise awareness about the relationships between different REDD+ safeguard systems and to support national approaches to developing safeguards systems that respond to country-specific circumstances.

Credit: Heang Thy
Participants at the third REDD+ regional lessons learned workshop for the Asia-Pacific region in Bangkok, Thailand

Discussions were kicked off by introducing the context of safeguards, followed by a historical journey covering safeguards and sustainable forest management standards over the centuries. This session also included the perspective of the private sector, as safeguards are critical in enhancing opportunities and reducing risks related to investments beyond REDD+.

During the first day, discussions also focused on experiences from the Oddar Meanchey REDD+ pilot project in Cambodia, which involves a wide range of stakeholders, including monks. This was followed by an overview of the REDD+ social and environmental safeguards initiative and experiences in adapting and applying them in Indonesia and Nepal. This was further illustrated through examples from field testing of safeguards indicators. Country-led multi-stakeholder processes were also presented. The first day of the workshop concluded with a presentation on the types of support that the UN-REDD Programme provides to national approaches on safeguards and insights into how forest monitoring can help promote, support, address and respect REDD+ safeguards.

The second day of the workshop started with four presentations on country-led approaches to developing safeguards in Bhutan, Indonesia (REDD+ Task Force), the Philippines and Viet Nam. While there were some similarities, especially regarding broad stakeholder engagement, there were also obvious differences. It also became clear that countries are at different stages of safeguard development. For example, Viet Nam has just recently started developing its safeguards roadmap with a gap and weakness analysis of the “5Ps”- policies, programme, plans, processes and practice. The Philippines, on the other hand, is about to complete its safeguard guidelines and start field testing.

In breakout groups, participants then discussed, from a country perspective, priority actions, existing mechanisms and resources and necessary support, which were later shared during the plenary session.

In general, participants appreciated the workshop as an effective means of South-South exchange. But how much did they learn? Most admitted that they are still confused about the various safeguards systems and their complexities. They are also concerned that safeguard implementation and providing information through a safeguard information system will require substantial financial resources, especially when the numbers of indicators become unmanageable.

A very useful recommendation emerged from the workshop evaluation. Participants remarked that the presentations were of very different styles and recommended that presenters follow a common presentation framework in the future, in order to help participants identify similarities and differences.

The UN-REDD Programme will continue to support countries as they identify approaches to develop safeguards systems and to raise awareness and build capacity of stakeholders. Participants were also reminded of the availability of targeted support.

All presentations from the workshop can be accessed here; a full report of the event will be shortly available on the aforementioned link.

 

 

 

 

In this issue

News

UN-REDD Hosts Regional Workshop on Social and Environmental Safeguards

Strengthening Forest Related Frameworks to Support REDD+ Implementation

Bangladesh Paves the Way in Climate Financing Sector

Cambodian National REDD+ Taskforce Established

Zambia Steps up Efforts on Stakeholder Engagement Ahead of REDD+ Strategy

CBFP-COMIFAC Strengthens Gender Equality Considerations

UNEP, CIFOR and UN-REDD to Host “Forests Africa: Opportunities for a Green Economy” Conference

Features & Commentary

UN-REDD Hosts Regional Lessons Learned Workshop on Social and Environmental Safeguards
By: Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal and Pasang Sherpa

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Republic of South Sudan Embark on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Initiatives
By: Anne Martinussen

Reports & Analysis

Launch of “Legal Analysis of Cross-cutting Issues for REDD+ Implementation: Lessons Learned from Mexico, Viet Nam and Zambia” Publication

New Go-REDD+ Issue Looks at the Evolution of REDD+

Looking ahead

International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition
13-15 May, 2013: Rome, Italy

12th Session of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
20-31 May 2013: NY, USA

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