Key Redactions on Safeguards in New Draft of REDD+ Partnership Workplan
On behalf of the REDD+ Partnership we would like to respond to the series of articles (specifically December 4th and October 7th) published in EcoSystem Marketplace. We feel compelled to offer clarification of the portrayal of “facts” and the countless points of misinterpretation.
The preparation of the 2011-2012 Work Program was informed by three major principles: 1) Specific input from REDD+ Partners and stakeholders; 2) Surgical editing of redundant language and/or content: and 3) Incorporation of text that was taken directly from the REDD+ Partnership Ministerial Document agreed in Nagoya in November 2010. Under no circumstances did any party make unilateral “redactions” or add new text. Furthermore, the co-Chairs did not alter or cut any text related to the institution or role of safeguards.
Accordingly, the REDD+ Partnership believes that corrections in all relevant articles by Ecosystem Marketplace is warranted. If you require further clarification on the Work Program and the process of its adoption to produce the corrective, please feel free to contact the co-chairs or the FMT/PT.
The issue of stakeholder involvement is complex, and we do not claim to cover its entirety in the pieces alluded to above. We also, however, are not aware of any factual errors in these reports. We are following up with Federica Bietta and other members of the REDD+ Partnership Secretariat to ensure their accuracy, which we continue to stand by. As new information comes to light, we will report it, and if any of that new information shows our previous reporting to have been in error, we will certainly set the record straight.
We believe this discussion provides an opportunity for the REDD+ Partnership to share additional documentation of its decision-making process and can increase transparency consistent with the Partnership’s stated goals. We remain committed to providing accurate reporting on these issues while allowing stakeholders with varying opinions to express their views when any claims can be substantiated.
We invite anyone who would like to shed more light on this issue to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The REDD+ Partnership, currently co-chaired by Japan and Papua New Guinea, is convening alongside the official Cancun climate negotiations to establish a Work Program through 2012. But despite reported consensus among Partners about the need for safeguards, the latest draft released by the Partnership removes many of the potentially binding guidelines for safeguards on social, environmental, and governance issues that were found in earlier drafts.
4 December 2010 | CANCUN | After a contentious year, the REDD+ Partnership seemed to be closing on a high note when they met on the eve of Cancun talks and agreeing worked through a draft of the Work Program for 2011-2012.
The first draft Work Program for 2011-2012 released by the REDD+ Partnership coming into these meetings was published on November 26, 2010. It included several provisions that civil society stakeholders reported being pleasantly surprised to see being incorporated. A revised Work Program, based on edits by the Partnership's Secretariat and allegedly by the Chairs themselves after receipt of the new draft, was released on December 1, 2010.
Although there are several additions and reformulations of text from the previous draft, the primary effect of the revisions was a substantial amount of cutting. Among the more noticeable redactions are many of the provisions on safeguards for monitoring, reporting, and verifying environmental, social, and governance issues associated with REDD+ activities.
Public commenting on the Work Program closes at 8pm on Sunday, December 5. A final draft is scheduled for release at 8pm on Monday, December 6 for final review by the Parties. As the Partnership is not reconvening in person to discuss these edits, if no country submits a dissenting e-mail by this Wednesday, December 8, the Work Program will be approved without objection.*
Below, you can find a detailed breakdown of the major changes found in the current draft, separated by each component of the 2011-2012 Work Program. In the Related Documents box to the right, you can find links to the original documents to see all the changes for yourself.
The December 1 draft still does include text regarding safeguards, although they are generally scaled back. Please consult the full draft to see all the provisions regarding safeguards.
In Work Program Component 1: Facilitating Readiness Activities
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Partners will raise public awareness, enable implementation, apply safeguards and develope [sic] MRV systems that include the monitoring of safeguards that will also facilitate readiness activities"
- Replaced with: "Ensuring the full and effective participation of civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities is also important."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Recommendations on how to integrate the implementation of safeguard measures and the effective engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities in the REDD+ architecture at the national level"
- Replaced with: "Key findings on how to integrate safeguards and the effective engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities in the REDD+ efforts at the national level."
Rationale/Medium to long term goals
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Readiness projects should achieve a necessary environmental integrity, including the implementation of social and governance safeguards and equitable sharing of benefits."
- Replaced with: "The role of indigenous peoples and local communities and equitable sharing of benefits in the development of REDD+ readiness activities is enhanced."
- Added in Dec 1 draft: "Safeguards are well acknowledged and addressed."
In Work Program Component 2: Facilitating Demonstration Activities
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "This testing includes (emphasis added) institutional arrangements and monitoring systems for implementation and application of environmental, governance, and social safeguards."
- Replaced with: "Steps to implementation may include (emphasis added) testing and putting into practice national strategies, institutional arrangements, monitoring systems, as well as environmental, governance, and social safeguards."
- Added to Dec 1 draft: "Private sector participation, e.g. via public/private partnerships in implementing REDD+ demonstration initiatives is essential."
Operational Measures and Potential Actions
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Promote the use of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities in sustainable management of forests, conservation and reducing deforestation and forest degradation."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Explore the concept of minimum standards on environmental, governance and social safeguards based on a common approach."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Increased involvement of private sector in MRV-able (emphasis added) REDD+ demonstration activities."
- Replaced with: "Key findings are documented and shared, including on engaging the private sector in REDD+ efforts."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Demonstration activities established an implemented with wider participation of players, including at the regional level"
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Coordination enhanced among key players including central and regional governments, private sector, indigenous people, local communities and NGOs.
Rationale/Medium to Long term goals
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Recommendations to multilateral and bilateral institutions to facilitate the implementation of REDD+ demonstration activities must be followed up."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Imperative steps to the full implementation stage should include utilizing and testing national strategies, institutional arrangements and MRV systems, including socio-environmental safeguards."
In Work Program Component 3: Facilitating Results-based Actions
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Such payments are generally expected to apply following the full implementation phase of REDD+ when a REDD+ governance and policy framework is in place, and capacity is build to implement a REDD+ scheme, including safeguards as agreed by UNFCCC."
- Replaced with: "Partners should promote result-based actions that are measurable, reportable and verifiable, and present, consolidate and analyze the main aspects of result-based actions."
Operational measures and potential actions
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Understand and promote result-based actions that are measurable, reportable and verifiable, including through sharing of experiences and lessons learned. Such actions should address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and monitor safeguards, including independent monitoring, and must also be measurable, verifiable, and reportable. Results-based actions should operate within national level monitoring systems, and depending on national circumstances, may be implemented at national, sub-national and project levels."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Collect an analyze best practices of results-based schemes, including experiences and financing methods utilized, including implications for implementation of environmental, governance and social safeguards."
- Replaced with: "Convene a technical workshop to present an analyze practices of results-based schemes, including financial arrangements."
Rationale/Medium to long term goals
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and monitoring of safeguards is an important consideration, in both the design and implementation phase of REDD+. Measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) systems, including independent monitoring, can be a key requirement of any results-based scheme. Some work is already underway - e.g. under the CBD - to consider the practical implications of applying safeguards to REDD+. Work under the Partnership should build on initiatives of this kind."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Small-scale incentive systems such as the World Bank FCPF Carbon Fund, are already being piloted. The Partnership can draw and build on these experiences in seeking to facilitate scaling-up of results-based actions."
In Work Program Component 4: Facilitating the Scaling Up of Finance and Actions
- Moved from Key deliverables in Nov 26 draft to Medium to long term goals in Dec 1 draft: "Recommendations for changes to institutional arrangements, which ensure, inter alia, transparency, accountability, and equitable benefit-sharing."
- Moved from Key deliverables in Nov 26 draft to Medium to long term goals in Dec 1 draft: "Recommendations for enhanced coordination and effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of multilateral and bilateral institutions in-country, including with national funds."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Recommendations for ensuring transparency, accountability and adherence to minimum standards in the scaling up of finance and action."
Rationale/Medium to long term goals
- Movements from Key deliverables noted above.
- Added to Dec 1 draft: "Fair and equitable geographic distribution of REDD+ financing"
In Work Program Component 5: Promoting Transparency
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Finally, special attention has been called to the role of the Partnership in providing objective guidance in promoting and even and fair distribution of the financing and the benefits of REDD+."
Operational measures and potential actions
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Lessons learned on benefit sharing schemes and mechanisms with indigenous peoples and local communities and measure taken to ensure their effective engagement with REDD+ must be disseminated."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "National REDD+ strategies must be informed so that they incorporate lessons learned."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Ensure that information is circulated to Partners and stakeholders in a way that allows sufficient time for input."
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Operate the Partnership in an open and transparent manner through communication of outputs to Partners and stakeholders, including decisions and supporting papers."
- Moved from Key deliverables in Nov 26 draft to Medium to long term goals in Dec 1 draft: "Full and effective participation of Partners and stakeholders without internet access is promoted and supported."
Rationale/Medium to long-term goals
- Movement from Key deliverables noted above.
- Removed from Nov 26 draft: "Transparency is necessary to ensure that the relevant actors are informed of the progress of the REDD+ Partnership and that the REDD+ Partnership benefits from their perspectives and expertise. Promotion of transparency through facilitating information exchange and access is imperative to build confidence, to facilitate decision-making, and thus to encourage participation in REDD+."
David Diaz is a Forest Carbon Associate with Ecosystem Marketplace. He manages the Forest Carbon Portal, and can be reached at email@example.com
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*This text was revised from an earlier version to correct a misstatement of the deadline. It originally read "Unless any of the Partners object by e-mail by 8pm Sunday, the Work Plan will be approved as currently written." We regret the error.