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3 Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies

On the front and back cover: Amerindian motif of eagle by Jean La Rose.

2012 © INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE Rainforest Foundation–US and Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) Organizer: Marina Campos Authors: Marina Campos and Christine Halvorson Contributors: Jean La Rose, Laura George, Carlos Calvo, and Tessa Lee Design: Scott W. Santoro / Worksight Created by: AMERINDIAN PEOPLES ASSOCIATION

Supported by:

Licensed by:

This means that the texts in this publication are under a Creative Commons license (, which opens intellectual property rights. In practice, this license allows the texts of these booklets to be reproduced and used in derivative publications without previous authorization from the editors (Amerindian Peoples Association and Rainforest Foundation US), but with some criteria: they can only be used for non-commercial purposes; they must cite the original source; and in the case of derivative publications, they must also be licensed in the Creative Commons. You can: Share—copy, distribute and transmit the Indigenous Rights and Climate Change Booklets Remix—adapt the Indigenous Rights and Climate Change Booklets for your community’s use

Under the following conditions: Attribution—You must attribute credit as follows: Indigenous Rights and Climate Change, Amerindian Peoples Association and Rainforest Foundation US (with link). Noncommercial—You may not use this work for commercial purposes. Share Alike—If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

I NTR O D U C TI O N Over the past few years the topic of climate change has dominated a lot of the news and national discussions in Guyana. Communities have heard a lot about REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and the LCDS (Low Carbon Development Strategy), but may not know what they mean and more importantly how they affect your life. Moreover, community leaders have told us that they need more information about REDD and LCDS, but fewer technical explanations. This series of booklets seeks to address these issues. As the owners of forest lands, how could REDD+ and other similar initiatives impact you? What are the risks, and the potential benefits? The Rainforest Foundation—US and the Amerindian Peoples Association believe it’s important for indigenous leaders to be informed about these issues, and more importantly, to understand how they relate to your livelihoods and your control of land and resources. These materials are arranged as a series of booklets that can be used by you, as trainers, to prepare for your community-based workshops. Each booklet will address a different topic and will contain basic information about that topic and also some ideas about questions to be addressed during your workshops. Together, the booklets will form a binder, so you can easily use them when they are most suited to your workshop. Booklet 1 provides guidance and support for trainers who will be carrying out workshops in their communities and regions. Booklets 2–6 deal specifically with climate change and forest issues. Booklet 2 lays out the general concepts behind climate change and REDD+. In the third booklet, we talk about the international negotiations on climate change that have been taking place over the past few years, and that have set the stage for what is currently taking place in Guyana and elsewhere. We talk in greater details about the REDD schemes in Guyana in booklet 4. It’s important for you and your communities to know your rights to your lands, and to consultation and participation. Therefore, booklet 5 discusses indigenous rights in Guyana and internationally. Social safeguards are explained in booklet 6­; they are critical and will need to be upheld in order for any REDD or other climate change initiative to work. You, as trainers, are the people for whom these materials were designed. We plan to update these materials every year, so your opinions and suggestions are essential to making this tool more appropriate to your needs. Let’s get started!

If you do adapt the booklets, please send us a copy! We hope to make these available in different languages and adapted to the different realities of different countries.


Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies



Given the challenges with REDD+, how can you minimize the risks? And beyond minimizing risks, how can you make sure that your rights are guaranteed? We have discussed the potential risks that REDD+ programs and policies could pose for indigenous peoples. In this booklet, we will talk about how these risks can be minimized and indigenous rights upheld. Methods for this are known as social safeguards. It is critical to understand what safeguards are, how to act on them, and how to monitor them, in order to ensure that correct procedures are being implemented by the government or other REDD+ actors.

WHAT ARE SOCIAL SAFEGUARDS? Safeguards are not new instruments in human rights and environmental conservation policies and programs. They originated during the 1980s and 1990s after the disastrous implementation of development projects by multilateral organizations such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (also called IDB). While both environmental and social safeguards are important to policy design, in this booklet we are primarily addressing social safeguards, as they may be more relevant to indigenous peoples in the REDD+ context. The main objective of creating and implementing social safeguards is to deal with the direct and indirect impacts of policies, projects, and programs on communities, including indigenous peoples. Consequently, social safeguards should identify, evaluate, minimize, and mitigate adverse or negative social impacts before the project is implemented. Basically, safeguards are the minimum set of rules and procedures that must be followed when implementing a given project to prevent and/or minimize any risks to the communities that live in the area where the project will take place. Safeguards were created to ensure that the rights of people affected by development projects are protected and that the project will do “no harm” to those communities. Safeguards are created and implemented by organizations, banks, governments and even private companies. The strength of social safeguards therefore varies a lot between different institutions, depending on their commitment to human rights. What institutions have safeguards? Several types of institutions have safeguards. These include:

Financial institutions and banks, such as the World Bank and the Inter-American • Development Bank (IDB) United Nations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) • The and UN-REDD • Government agencies and initiatives Rainforest tree/Summer Moore and Marissa Macias—RFUS Archive.


T ypes of safeguards You can determine how strong safeguards are by looking at whether they are mandatory (binding) or not, and what their goals are. In terms of requirements, safeguards can be either:

3 Binding: These are rules that the organization or government MUST comply with – they


are bound to them (the safeguard policies of the World Bank are an example). Binding rules are stronger, because they are mandatory, and a project in theory would not move forward if they are not followed.

3 Non-binding: These rules are voluntary which means that they serve as guidelines. They

may have some principles, guidelines and objectives, but they are NOT mandatory (for example, UN-REDD safeguard policies are non-binding). Non-binding safeguards are not as strong, because they are more like recommendations than rules.

In terms of their goals, safeguards can be:

3 Mitigation safeguards which attempt to minimize the harmful impact that a project

or program could have on the affected communities. This is the “do less harm” approach.

3 Rights-based safeguards go one step further, as they are rules that recognize and re-

spect basic human rights, and seek to uphold them—not just to minimize problems, but to ensure that rights are respected. In this case the safeguards are not only meant to “do no harm”, but moreover to guarantee the rights of the people impacted by the project/program.

SAFEGUARDS AND REDD+ Safeguards were not part of the early discussions on REDD+. They emerged in the past couple of years as a way to ensure that REDD+ schemes do not harm the communities that live within the forests where REDD+ projects may take place. In many tropical countries, governments have frequently taken actions – such as granting mining and logging concessions – that ignored the rights of indigenous peoples. Instances where intimidation and violence have been used against indigenous peoples are unfortunately a common story. Therefore, learning from these lessons and creating and implementing social safeguards is an important step to securing indigenous rights. This is also true in relation to REDD+ projects, which many governments are pursuing, too many of them in a way that ignores or violates the rights of indigenous peoples. Main REDD+ related rights-based safeguards The rights-based approach to safeguards focuses on designing safeguards which uphold the rights of indigenous peoples, as recognized in various international instruments and obligations (i.e. the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).1 1  Check booklet 4 for more details on the international instruments related to the rights of indigenous peoples.


Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies

Jaguar by the river/Summer Moore and Marissa Macias—RFUS Archive.

Indigenous peoples and NGOs have recommended that the various agencies implementing REDD+ schemes adopt these safeguards into their policies, with varying rates of success. Many of these safeguards have also been recommended by indigenous groups and NGOs during various international environmental negotiations such as the UNFCCC and the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as in policy debates in various REDD+ programs, such as the UN-REDD, FIP, FCPF. Here is a brief compilation of the most important rights-based safeguards:2

3 Right to information: Without clear, valid, prompt, culturally appropriate and balanced information it is hard to decide whether or not to engage in any project, including REDD+ activities. This right is recognized by various international instruments.

3 Right to participate: Participation should be guaranteed for all stakeholders. In the case

of indigenous peoples and other rights-holders, they should be able to participate during the planning, implementation, and evaluation phases of REDD+ initiatives. The steps involved in participation should be clearly described to communities. Having decision-making processes that clearly state who makes the final decision, how they make it, and when, is also very important, as is a guarantee of the existence of funding specifically earmarked for ensuring that indigenous peoples can participate in decision-making.

2  Based partially on Beyond Carbon: Human Rights based principles in Law, B. Steni, 2010, HuMa.


3 Right to free, prior, and informed consent: The right to give or withhold consent to

activities or decisions that could affect the lands, territories, or interests of indigenous peoples in general (including regarding untitled traditional lands) must be upheld through of the recognition of the right to FREE, PRIOR, and INFORMED CONSENT (FPIC). In REDD+ initiatives, as in other programs, FPIC process should not only be sought once at the beginning of a project, but throughout the whole project cycle.

3 Rights to secure traditional land, territories and resources: Before REDD+ initiatives

take shape; governments need to fully recognize indigenous people’s rights to their ancestral lands, including their rights to their forest resources. Therefore, land titling issues should be resolved BEFORE any REDD+ scheme is in place during the Readiness phase. Many countries engaging in national REDD+ schemes may be reluctant to give land titles to indigenous communities, alleging that the government would then receive fewer direct benefits and less money in its coffers. Without clear rights to their lands and resources, indigenous communities do not have the same power to negotiate about projects that will affect them, whether positively or negatively.

For more information on:

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: • United meetings/cop_16/cancun_agreements/items/6005.php Bank Policies on Indigenous Peoples: • World EXTERNAL/PROJECTS/EXTPOLICIES/EXTSAFEPOL/0,,contentMDK:20543990~menu PK:1286666~pagePK:64168445~piPK:64168309~theSitePK:584435,00.html

Development Bank: • Inter-American aspx?docnum=1481949 United Nations Development Group Guidelines on Indigenous People’s Is• UNDP: sues

in Engagement with Indigenous Peoples (UNDP) http://www.beta.undp. • Policy org/content/dam/undp/documents/partners/civil_society/publications/policies_and_strategic_documents/UNDP_and_Indigenous_Peoples_A_Practice_ Note_On_Engagement_2001.pdf

3 Right to maintain traditional knowledge and livelihoods: In addition to having

rights to their lands and resources, indigenous peoples have the right to live according to their own cultural and social customs. As we know, besides providing food, shelter, and medicine, the forests also have an important cultural significance for all the communities living in and around them. Those communities in turn can play a crucial role in the forests’ conservation and sustainable use. In order to protect this valuable relationship, government policies must recognize and respect indigenous rights to traditional knowledge and livelihoods. In some cases subsistence agriculture or extraction of timber for personal use is considered to be one of the so called “drivers” of deforestation and hence penalized by REDD+ schemes, with the negative consequence of directly affecting traditional livelihoods of indigenous peoples as well as their traditional knowledge.

3 Right to benefit sharing: REDD+ schemes promise to bring benefits to all parties in-

volved, including indigenous peoples and other forest communities, but they must guarantee the creation and implementation of a fair and transparent system of benefit sharing.

Safeguards for existing REDD+ initiatives As we mentioned previously, several international institutions related to REDD+ have social safeguards, like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FPCF) from the World Bank and the UN-REDD Programme (United Nations Development Programme, UNDP). Each of these organizations has their own set of rules, policies, and procedures relating to safeguards and indigenous peoples. In this document, we will only highlight some of the main aspects of their policies and procedures.


Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies

HOW STRONG ARE REDD+ SAFEGUARDS?  There are some important issues to consider regarding the existing safeguards at each of the agencies involved in REDD+ internationally. We will discuss the safeguards policies and procedures of: 1) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“Cancun Agreement”), 2) Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) as part of the World Bank, 3) UN-REDD (UNDP-UNEP-FAO), and 4) the Inter-American development Bank (IDB). The IDB so far has not been involved in funding REDD+ schemes directly. As you will read in a later section the IDB will operate as an implementing agency of REDD+ initiatives and some countries, including Guyana and Peru. So, because of its direct involvement in Guyana is important to analyze IDB safeguards. Each organization’s safeguards have their own strengths and weaknesses, which we’ll look at below: 1)  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“Cancun Agreement” and “Durban texts”)3 Strengths:

the importance of respecting indigenous rights: “Respect for the knowl• Mentions edge and rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities, by taking into account relevant international obligations, national circumstances and laws, and noting that the United Nations General Assembly has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”;

the need for “full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, in • Highlights particular, indigenous peoples and local communities”.

3  More information about the REDD+ international negations and programs, please see booklet 3.



projects that might affect the lives and territories of indigenous peoples. This policy is currently being reviewed, and hopefully the new policy will be stronger, but there is always the chance that some of the already established safegurads could be watered down.

it mentions the ‘full and effective participation of indigenous peoples” and • Although the need to respect international instruments such as the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), it only “notes” the UNDRIP and does not necessarily refer to UNDRIP as the key legal basis upon which safeguards should be benchmarked. The Cancun Agreement says these safeguards should be promoted and supported, but “promoting and supporting” does not necessarily mean ensuring or guaranteeing. Many groups are therefore pushing for the use of stronger language.

World Bank also has a recourse mechanism called the Inspection Panel that can • The be accessed by indigenous groups and that serves to monitor World Bank compli-

ance with its safeguard policies. If indigenous peoples feel they have been harmed, or that there is a chance that they might be harmed, by a World Bank project, they can write a complaint, and the Inspection Panel will investigate. In cases where the World Bank has not complied with its policy on indigenous peoples, it must change or sometimes even cancel the program. This system has been successful in dealing with a number of cases, and can pressure the World Bank to achieve higher standards in regards to respecting indigenous rights.

Durban Text’s conclusions regarding REDD+ safeguards were even weaker than • The the Cancun Agreements, as so far an international system for overseeing the safe-

guards was not agreed on. The Durban Text emphasizes the importance of considering national circumstances and sovereignty, and therefore suggests that safeguards should be implemented by each country on its own, and that countries would only need to submit summaries of safeguard information through the regular mechanisms set up to report on national progress. Given the current lack of clarity or consensus on how safeguards should be reported on, and how often, it is difficult to see how well the Durban Text will be complied with. Poor reporting standards can allow room for countries to violate indigenous peoples’ rights or cut down forests. In many countries, only independent international reporting will show whether safeguards are respected or not.

2)  Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (World Bank) Strengths:

FCPF Charter (its founding document) is based on respect for national legis• The lation, international obligations and agreements and in particular of indigenous peoples’ rights

Charter establishes several tools that can be used to evaluate the social and envi• The ronmental impacts of FPCF projects, chief among them the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessments, or SESAs. A SESA should be an analytical and participatory process that takes 6 months to a year, and should inform national strategy. It should identify social and environmental risks while creating solutions. A SESA should have clear links with other aspects of a REDD+ program, such as: consultation, design of monitoring, reporting and verifying systems, benefit sharing mechanisms, etc. Indigenous Peoples should be engaged in developing the Terms of Reference of the SESAs at national level. The SESA does not exclude the obligation of FCPF to comply with World Bank safeguards.

The World Bank has 10 key environmental and social policies as part of their “safe• guards policies”: OP 4.01 Environmental Assessment; OP 4.04 Natural Habitats; OP

4.09 Pest Management; OP 4.10 Indigenous Peoples; OP 4.12 Involuntary Resettlement; OP 4.36 Forestry; OP 4.37 Safety of Dams; OP 7.50 Projects on International Waterways; OP 7.60 project in Disrupt Areas; and OPN 11.03 Cultural Property

World Bank’s Policy on Indigenous Peoples (PO/PB4.10) states that governments • The have to consult and obtain community support before the World Bank finances any


Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies

World Bank’s safeguards are binding, and they apply for all programs funded by • The the FPCF. safeguards state that any REDD+ program supported through the FCPF should • The have a plan for consultation (including indigenous peoples) with phases and


The REDD+ program should also have a plan for monitoring and evaluation (not well developed by governments yet).


safeguards are not based on the right to free, prior, and informed consent: in• Itsstead, it talks about “free, prior, and informed consultation”. As we saw in Booklet

4, consent and consultation are different things. The government could give a series of lectures and say that it carried out “consultation”, for example. Whereas consent implies the need to get a position from indigenous peoples. The private arm of the World Bank (the International Finance Cooperation - IFC) just reviewed its safeguards and included consent as part of its safeguard policies.

World Bank’s consultation process is supposed to be geared towards acheiving • The “broad community support” for the project. However the concept of “broad com-

munity support” is defined by a World Bank staff member, so it is unclear on what basis they decide that a “broad community support’ was reached. Moreover, the documentation to support that decision is frequently very thin.

3)  Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Strengths:

an organization, IDB respects national legislations, international obligations and • Asagreements. has 3 major safeguards policies: Environment and safeguards (OP-703), Involun• IDB tary resettlement (OP-710) and Indigenous peoples (OP-765). the World Bank, the IDB’s Policy on Indigenous Peoples (OP-765) states that • Like governments have to consult with and obtain support from indigenous peoples

before the IDB finances any project that might affect the lives and territories of


indigenous peoples. Although it has strong language, the IDB policy contains two potential “loopholes” which could exempt States from carrying out their obligations to consult with indigenous peoples. The first loophole is in the case that “indigenous peoples show no interest in taking part of the consultation process.” This is problematic as community members could be manipulated to say they don’t care about consultation, or divisions in communities could be exploited. The second loophole could allow for additional consultations to take place to reach an agreement about a project, while the project is already in motion.

this policy (OP-765) aims to support indigenous peoples’ development through • Also independent operations, ensure that they benefit from general projects financed by the Bank, develop consultation and participation of IP in project design and implementation.

Since 2010, it has also independent recourse (complaint) mechanism called Inde• pendent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism (ICIM). This complaint mechanism, similar to the World Bank’s can be accessed by indigenous groups and serves

River Sunset/Summer Moore and Marissa Macias—RFUS Archive.

to monitor IDB’s compliance with its safeguard policies. Therefore, if indigenous peoples feel they have been harmed, or that there is a chance that they might be harmed by an IDB project, they can write a complaint, and the ICIM will review and investigate the complaint. The IDB safeguards are binding to any projects supported directly by the bank.


the World Bank, the IDB’s safeguards are based on the right to free, prior, and • Like informed consultation and not consent. like the World Bank, the IDB’s consultation process seeks to achieve “broad • Just community support”. However the concept of “broad community support” like in the case of the World Bank is also unclear.

4)  UN-REDD Programme It is important to note that the UN-REDD, like the UN systems agencies, does not have safeguards policies per se. What they have is actually a set of principles and criteria which are not prescriptive for governments to follow while implementing projects. Here in this section, therefore, we will discuss these sets of principles, criteria and policies. Strengths:

part of the UN system, the UN-REDD is obliged to comply with the United Nations • AsDeclaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. must respect indigenous peoples’ rights to free, prior, and informed con• UN-REDD sent during all phases of their projects and actions.


UN-REDD doesn’t have an independent recourse mechanism in place like • Tothedate, World Bank’s Inspection Panel, though they are in the process of creating one. there are no clear mechanisms or tools with which to assess the social and • Currently environmental impacts of the program. However, the UN-REDD is going to adopt a

Social and Environmental Principles, and a Social and Environmental Risk Management Tool in March of next year. Their policies and criteria are not binding.

GUYANA REDD+ INVESTMENT FUND (GRIF) AND SAFEGUARDS As we discussed in great detail in booklet 4, the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), established in 2010, was created to channel all REDD+ financial support from Norway and other potential donors down the line. The GRIF is managed by the World Bank, which acts as the trustee, and has the role of overseeing use of the money. Under the arrangement, the money that Norway gives to Guyana to keep its forest standing does not flow directly to the government of Guyana. Norway instead gives the money to the GRIF, and 4 For more details see Appendix A, GRIF Governance Framework Document (para. 3b) stories/Documents/Administration%20Agreement.pdf


Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies


the GRIF makes payments for specific projects to “Partner Entities” based on the advice of the its Steering Committee. This leads to an important question: in the case of the GRIF, which safeguards will apply? As we mentioned above, in this case the money is coming from the Norwegian Government with the World Bank acting as a trustee. The Administration Agreement for the GRIF4 states that the safeguards applied will vary depending on which Partner Entity is implementing a particular project. This could, in theory, lead to a lot of confusion with the IDB using one set of standards, the UNDP another, and the World Bank another. Such a variety of safeguards might make it harder to track safeguard compliance and cause a lot of confusion. W HAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE SURE THESE SAFEGUARDS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED? First of all, it is crucial that you and your community have all the information related to REDD+ initiatives or programs. Make sure to share this information with members of your community and other communities. Then, make sure you document any and all meetings or consultations your community has had and the positions taken or conclusions reached in those meetings. Ideally your community will agree on a procedure for consulting with other communities and for making decisions. Don’t rush! Make sure that you and your community make decisions according to your own timelines. If possible, having an independent person or organization validating the consultations and the negotiation process could be important when you need to support your decisions or ensure that they are respected.

RECOURSE MECHANISMS AND REDD+ H ow do we ensure that REDD+ initiativesdo not harm communities? It is vital to have reliable mechanisms or systems in place that ensure compliance with social safeguards, including, but not limited to, systems for continuous and participatory monitoring, reporting and verification, ideally carried out by indigenous peoples themselves. But what happens if the safeguards are not followed? Moreover, what can we do if we want to complain about a REDD+ program? The structure that a given bank or agency has in place to respond to complaints is called a grievance mechanism. Necessary information about how to file a complaint should be clear and available to the public. Questions such as those listed below should be clear to everyone, and most importantly, to potential filers of complaints.

• Who can file a complaint? (individuals, communities, or organizations?) • To whom or which institution should I address my complaint? • Is there a special format or form I should use? • In which language should I file my complaint? 12

Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies

• How long will it take for me to know what happened with my complaint? • Who will investigate my complaint? • What are the possible outcomes of filing this complaint? questions are critical and the structure and procedures of a grievance pro• Allcessthese should be in place before any REDD+ program starts. are the minimum basic characteristics that any grievance mechanism should • Here include: • Ability to respond quickly • Independence, transparency, fairness, and impartiality • Easy accessibility • Inclusion of independent experts (non-State) • Inclusion of experts from indigenous groups and civil society 5

Authority and power to order restitution or compensation and to paralyze or stop ongoing and planned activities that would undermine rights and safeguards

FINDING A “COMMON APPROACH” FOR SAFEGUARDS  As we mentioned, different institutions such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the United Nations have different safeguards, policies, and criteria guiding the implementation of their projects and programs. To date there is no single, globally-harmonized (combined), safeguards framework. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Committee (FCPF), referred to in Booklet 3, uses other institutions (called “delivery partners”) to implement REDD+ programs in countries where the FCPF are not active or they don’t have a good relationship with the government. These institutions, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and more recently the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) are called “multiple delivery partners.” This means that these institutions, not the World Bank, will be responsible for implementing FCPF programs (REDD+ initiatives) in different tropical countries around the world. It has been decided that this concept of having several institutions besides the FCPF implementing REDD+ programs will be “tested” in 9 pilot countries: Cambodia, Guyana, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and the Central African Republic. Since Guyana is one of the pilot countries, it’s important to understand how this is going to take place. In Guyana, the Inter-American Development Bank will be responsible for the implementation of the REDD+ national program in partnership with the Guyanese government. As we mentioned before, safeguards may differ amongst different organizations. So the question is: whose safeguards will apply in a country where the World Bank doesn’t implement the project but only acts as the trustee holding the funds?

5 Based on: Building accountability in REDD+ through independent grievance and redress mechanisms. Rainforest Foundation Norway, 2010.


During 2011, several delivery partners (IDB and IDB, FAO and the Asian Development Bank ) and World Bank worked together to set up a “common approach” regarding safeguards and policies related to the implementation of national REDD+ schemes in the various pilot countries. In the end it was agreed that all REDD+ delivery partners will have to comply not only with their own safeguards and policies, but also to achieve outcomes on the ground similar to those that would have been achieved using the World Bank’s safeguards, and also to comply with all the specific FCPF requirements. So, in theory, the organization which is implementing the project will have to follow safeguards that are, if not the same as, but at least equivalent to, the World Bank’s safeguards, since the World Bank is the trustee.


are several opportunities to influence REDD+ processes at different levels and • There in distinct organizations. For example: World Bank is currently revising its safeguard policies, so problems with con• The sultation vs. consent could be changed. However, this review process means that several of the World Bank’s current policies could be changed completely, could disappear, or could be merged into new policies. The possibility of such major changes resulting in weaker policies is concerning to indigenous peoples and civil society organizations.

Carib girls, Waicarebi Village, Region 1, Guyana/APA Archive. Boys in canoes, Kanuballi aka Santa Cruz, Reg 1.

UN-REDD Program is currently defining its social and environmental principles • The and tools to address risks. negotiations will continue during the next conferences (COPs), and work is • UNFCCC needed to ensure that UNFCCC safeguards become stronger. is also needed on the national level, as the government of Guyana creates new • Work policies to address issues related to REDD+.

OTHER SAFEGUARDS AND STANDARDS FOR REDD+ Indigenous organizations and NGOs are building bottom-up guidelines for national safeguards in Brazil and Indonesia. Rather than having the government or international organizations setting up REDD+ safeguards, they decided to do it themselves. These processes take time and resources, but can be an effective way for civil society and indigenous groups to be pro-active in shaping REDD+ schemes. Moreover two organizations, CARE’s Poverty, Environment and Climate Change network, and the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance (CBBA),6 have created a set of social and environmental standards for REDD+. Those standards could be used by governments, NGOs, financing agencies and other stakeholders to support the design and implementation of these REDD+ programs. They are seen as one of the best sets of standards in terms of recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples and other forest communities to land, to benefit sharing, and to participation in the design, implementation and monitoring of REDD+ programs. 6  For more information please check:


Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies


FINAL THOUGHTS What we are witnessing today is a “REDD+ gold rush”. Country donors (i.e. developed countries) as well as REDD+ eligible countries are rushing to move forward with their REDD+ readiness activities, believing that the faster it all gets done, the better. The appeal of moving quickly is obvious, as it allows donor countries to say that they have been supporting activities related to reducing global emissions (unfortunately not in their own backyards), while tropical countries are eager to receive the funds. However, by moving these REDD+ programs so quickly there is a great possibility that safeguards will not be respected, as, unfortunately, safeguards are often seen by governments and other institutions as nothing more than “regulatory burdens,” or hindrances, in terms of costs and timelines, and not as measures for success. As we saw in previous booklets, discussions on technical issues (monitoring, baseline, leakage, and others), financial mechanisms (funds and markets), and scale (national, sub-national) related to REDD+ activities are extremely important. However, without respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and other forest communities in all phases of REDD+ initiatives, the initiatives are likely to fail. Therefore, the implementation of strong social safeguards should not be seen as a regulatory burden, but rather as a starting point for any REDD+ initiative to be feasible or successful.

Scarlet red macaw/Summer Moore and Marissa Macias—RFUS Archive.


Social Safeguards for REDD+ Programs and Policies



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