UN-REDD Framework for Supporting the Development of Country Approaches to Safeguards
Countries undertaking REDD+ activities need to develop country-level approaches that enable them to respond to requirements outlined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreements, which aim to ensure that social and environmental risks are minimized and benefits enhanced.
While configuring the scope of the UN-REDD work to deliver support on REDD+ safeguards for national implementation (either National Programme activities or targeted support) a UN-REDD internal working group was established to be responsive, in a coordinated and efficient way, to national circumstances, needs and requests; while linking with other relevant internal work within the agencies.
To ensure the above, this UN-REDD Safeguards Coordination Group has developed a framework for supporting the development of country approaches to safeguards. This conceptual framework builds on what is in UNFCCC decisions and is intended to provide guidance to countries in determining how to respond to these agreements. The framework has just been made available in French and Spanish, in addition to the English version released earlier this year.
This framework is divided in two parts. The first section helps to define what a country approach to REDD+ safeguards might look like, describing its main components as well as the steps and activities that could be considered at country-level to develop policies, laws and regulations (PLRs) clarifying the objectives and requirements to address the specific risks and benefits of REDD+ in the country; as well as a safeguard information system (SIS) that collects and provides information on how safeguards are being address and respected.
The UN-REDD Programme has identified a set of tools, methodologies and guidelines that may support the development of safeguards approaches. For this reason, the second section of the framework has been designed to indicate where in particular these resources may be considered, while operationalizing these approaches to safeguards.
While the means to address and respect REDD+ safeguards that are responsive to the Cancun Agreements is based on national circumstances, this conceptual framework provides generic elements that may be considered for the coordination and harmonization of activities while developing a country approach to safeguards. This has already been the case when scoping targeted support requests (such as from Costa Rica) and when shaping a regional workshop in Africa and Asia.
More information on the framework, as well as related, supporting tools that have more recently been developed by UN-REDD to support countries in the development of their safeguard approaches, will be further discussed at an upcoming information session on 8 December in Geneva, preceding the next UN-REDD Policy Board meeting.