Workshop on REDD+ in the Roya native community in Ucayali. Juan Carlos Huayllapuma/CIFOR-ICRAF
The UN-REDD Programme participated in the workshop "Safeguards for REDD+ in Peru: Opportunities and Challenges" organized by the CIFOR-ICRAF Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (GCS REDD+), the Peruvian Society of Environmental Law (SPDA) and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú (PUCP), with inputs from the Peruvian Ministry of Environment.
The workshop, held in April 2023, highlighted the opportunity for the country, known as a pioneer of REDD+ and home to significant tropical forest coverage, to establish safeguards that provide greater protection for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities inhabiting the forests.
‘The implementation of safeguards should not be seen as a "box to tick", but as a very flexible process and an opportunity to unify other [processes], as well as to improve social and environmental management’ stressed Judith Walcott, UN-REDD Specialist for UNEP.
The sessions aimed to present research results from Peru and Latin America and to open a debate from diverse voices with contributions towards the implementation of fair and efficient social safeguards for REDD+ in the country. Some of the key lessons learned include:
- The importance of ensuring compliance with social safeguards at all levels, engaging stakeholders at the local level to drive improvements beyond damage mitigation.
- Developing a national approach to safeguards is a flexible process that harmonizes requirements from the UNFCCC, donors, and the national context, offering an opportunity to enhance social and environmental management.
- Safeguards should protect the lands, territories, and forest access of local populations while respecting their self-determination processes and ensuring prior consultation and free, prior, and informed consent.
- Project-implemented safeguards provide valuable learning opportunities for continuous improvement and effective indigenous participation.
In addition, challenges that were identified highlight the need to ensure credibility and legitimacy of all involved parties, establish clear and inclusive communication channels, and ensure effective participation of local actors in REDD+ processes.
The recommendations that emerged from the exchange propose increasing transparency to foster trust and accountability, providing comprehensive information on benefits and funding sources, and promoting inclusive dialogue to facilitate knowledge exchange, capacity development, and collaborative decision-making.