REDD+ has become one of the major activities regarding the mitigation of climate change in the Pacific region and the tropics. Since its appearance on the UNFCCC agenda it evolved into a highly complex issue reaching far beyond the forestry sector. Some topics, e.g. MRV, have been in the focus of early actions towards REDD+ readiness in the Pacific region, and progress can already be observed. Other topics appeared later on the agenda or received less attention due to their complexity and insufficient experiences and guidance from outside the REDD+ sphere. One of these topics are the safeguards agreed upon at COP16 in Cancun and the aligned Safeguard Information System (SIS) to report how safeguards are addressed and respected. Closely linked to the safeguards are Benefit Sharing Mechanisms (BSM) for the equitable distribution of gains from REDD+ activities.
Implementation of Safeguards and SIS
The Cancun safeguards hold provisions on social, ecological and political level to mitigate adverse effects and promote additional benefits from REDD+. Their implementation poses a challenge to every Pacific country, demanding an analysis of existing relevant policies and measures as well as prioritising activities. A country implementing REDD+ activities should provide a summary on how the safeguards are addressed and respected. The gathering of information and the reporting is being done via a SIS, which needs to be tailored to individual country requirements.
Benefit Sharing Mechanisms (BSM)
One of the goals of REDD+ activities is to gain benefits for avoided CO2 emissions from forests. These benefits need to be equitably shared and distributed. Therefore, an eligible BSM needs to be in place, which distributes direct benefits, e.g. monetary gains, and indirect benefits, e.g. improved governance. The BSM is closely linked to most safeguards, e.g. governance, social and ecological benefits and tenure rights which are of special importance for the Pacific region. Therefore, BSMs will profit from a thoughtful implementation of the safeguards (Luttrell et al. 2013). To handle the high complexity of BSMs, any Asian-Pacific country needs to analyse existing relevant policies and measures and prioritise its activities.
While safeguards, the SIS and BSM, will differ for each country, the creation of appropriate systems will highly benefit from exchanging early experiences made in the Asia -Pacific region. The objectives of the event therefore are:
- To share insights from first experiences with safeguards and SISs in the Pacific Region and BSMs from other countries
- To foster an open discussion on current knowledge and positive experiences in- and outside the Pacific region
- To stimulate mutual learning and enable participants to further develop two important pillars of a functional REDD+ mechanism.
Mode of delivery
The event will be a moderated plenary discussion with introductory presentations