Launching the Safeguards+ Honduras Platform


(@ Steve Watson, Unsplash)


Safeguards+ Honduras is a pioneer initiative that aims to develop a National Safeguards Framework for Climate Change for Honduras, as well as a series of practical tools that facilitate and strengthen its implementation.


The project, “Strengthening the understanding of social and environmental safeguards applicable to climate change programmes and projects in Honduras,” was made possible with financial support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and implemented by the UN Environment Programme and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). The project was created following the request of the Honduran government, which through its Secretariat for Natural Resources and Environment, wanted to work in a coordinated, participatory manner to improve the understanding and implementation of the different social and environmental safeguards connected with climate change projects in the country. The project was also a result of the progress on safeguards made by the UN-REDD National Programme in Honduras, especially with the creation of its own cultural safeguard.


Given pandemic restrictions and the consequences of both the Eta and Iota hurricanes which hit Honduras, the project moved online to design and make available the practical tools and materials needed for the project and beyond. The result was the Safeguards+ Honduras Platform, a webpage that compiles all of the project’s products and achievements and presents them in an accessible way to a general audience. This includes a free, self-led online course aimed at building capacity on social and environmental safeguards and assistance with apply Safeguards+ tools within climate change projects in Honduras. All these resources were shared during the Safeguards+ Honduras Week, a series of online workshops held in October as part of the COP26 preparations. The workshops focused on the public sector, project developers and implementers, civil society, academia, local communities and Indigenous and Afro-Honduran people.


Why this project matters


Social and environmental safeguards are practical, useful tools for avoiding the negative impacts of climate change and maximising the benefits that policies and projects can bring to people and nature. In general, the entities that act as donors or project implementers, such as UN agencies or multilateral banks, rely on a framework or safeguards policy. The diverse range of safeguards frameworks and policies has generated multiple international criteria that make more difficult to achieve and understand those safeguards in a country, as well as making it more difficult to identify opportunities to improve implementation. In order to address those issues, the National Framework for Environmental and Social Safeguards for Climate Change Projects and Programmes in Honduras (The Safeguards+ Honduras Framework) was established.



The Safeguards+ Honduras Framework


The framework, containing nine different safeguards, was developed between 2020 and the beginning of 2021 in a participatory manner, based on international frameworks and aligned within the Honduran context. A voluntary tool, it can be used by different stakeholders, allowing them to better understand the best ways to apply safeguards in climate projects.


Safeguards+ Tools


The Safeguards+ Honduras platform relies on a series of tools that facilitate using safeguards and implement the Safeguards+ Honduras Framework in national climate projects. These are:

1. Analysing the Socio-Economic and Environmental Context in Honduras

2. Analysing International Safeguards Frameworks

3. Climate Projects Risks and Benefits Analysis Guide

4. Virtual course on Environmental and Social Safeguards

5. Gender and Inclusion Guide

6. Guide for the Participation of Indigenous People, Afro-Hondurans and Local Communities

7. Capacity Building for Safeguards+ Honduras


The project is now in its final phase, organising participatory events, defining its tools and initiating its capacity building course. You can find out more about Safeguards+ Honduras at: https://wcmc.io/salvaguardashonduras and by contacting Judith Walcott judith.walcott@unep-wcmc.org.


Authors:


Mariano Cirone

Project Lead

Safeguards Specialist


Judith Walcott

Project Coordinator, Senior Safeguards Specialist

UNEP-WCMC


Roberto Portillo

Climate Change Specialist

UNEP


Julieta Lahud

Project Assistant

UNEP-WCMC

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