Civil society, indigenous peoples, donors and the private sector all agree there is a need for further guidance on safeguards. And most Party submissions recommended further guidance on the provision of information (i.e. reporting) on how safeguards are being “addressed and respected” to ensure its “transparency, consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness”. Yet Parties have failed to come to agreement in what was largely a developed vs developing country split. The G77 and China lined up to oppose any decision on safeguards. The Co-Chairs made a brave attempt to reach consensus on developing “indicative elements” for the summaries of information (safeguards reports) at SBSTA 44 in 2016, but were unable to bridge the divide. The failure here in Lima is deeply disappointing.
The REDDlock in SBSTA means it is unclear whether REDD+ will safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, or protect biodiversity and natural forests. This increases risk, and means that it will become even more difficult to get funding for forest protection. We say NO RIGHTS, NO REDD.
REDD+ early movers are already developing their safeguards summaries, but without any guidance on what to include, they are shifting the burden to civil society to fill the void. We are prepared to do this, but we shouldn’t have to. So we’ll keep fighting for further guidance from the UNFCCC on safeguards. ECO doesn’t want REDD+ to fail, and safeguards are critical to ensure long-term success.
The other item on SBSTA’s agenda proposed by Bolivia is important in linking adaptation and mitigation, seeing forests holistically. This deserves further attention.
ECO hopes for, and will work towards, progress and an unblocking of the REDDlock.