The safeguards of Redd

Measures to promote and support safeguards should be applied to:

  • Contribute to the achievement of the objective set out in Article 2 of the Convention;
  • Contribute to the fulfillment of the commitments set out in Article 4, paragraph 3, of the Convention;
  • Be country-driven and be considered options available to Parties;
  • Be consistent with the objective of environmental integrity and take into account the multiple functions of forests and other ecosystems;
  • Be undertaken in accordance with national development priorities, objectives and circumstances and capabilities and should respect sovereignty;
  • Be consistent with Parties’ national sustainable development needs and goals;
  • Be implemented in the context of sustainable development and reducing poverty, while responding to climate change;
  • Be consistent with the adaptation needs of the country;
  • Be supported by adequate and predictable financial and technology support, including support for capacity-building;
  • Be results-based;
  • Promote sustainable management of forests;

These measures promote and support the following safeguards:

  1. That actions complement or are consistent with the objectives of national forest programs and relevant international conventions and agreements;
  2. Transparent and effective national forest governance structures, taking into account national legislation and sovereignty;
  3. Respect for the knowledge 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;
  4. The full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, in particular indigenous peoples and local communities, in the actions referred to in paragraphs 70 and 72 of this decision;
  5. That actions are consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity, ensuring that the actions referred to in paragraph 70 of this decision are not used for the conversion of natural forests, but are instead used to incentivize the other social and environmental benefits;
  6. Actions to address the risks of reversals;
  7. Actions to reduce displacement of emissions.

Safeguards Information System: what is it and what does it entail.

The Safeguards Information System is a national system that REDD+ countries use to provide data to the national and international community and donors and to other stakeholders on how the country promotes and supports UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards.

Decision 12/CP.17 notes that the safeguards information system should support national strategies or action plans and be included in, where appropriate, all phases of implementation referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 73, of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 of the same decision.

Also, this Decision agrees that, taking into account national circumstances and respective capabilities, and recognizing national sovereignty and legislation, and relevant international obligations and agreements, and respecting gender considerations,  safeguard information systems should:

  • Be consistent with the guidance identified in decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, paragraph 1;
  • Provide transparent and consistent information that is accessible by all relevant stakeholders and updated on a regular basis;
  • Be transparent and flexible to allow for improvements over time;
  • Provide information on how all of the safeguards referred to in appendix I to decision 1/CP.16 are being addressed and respected;
  • Be country-driven and implemented at the national level;
  • Build upon existing systems, as appropriate;

Also, developing country Parties undertaking the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, should provide a summary of information on how all of the safeguards referred to in decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities.

This summary should be provided periodically and be included in national communications, consistent with relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties on guidelines on national communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention, or communication channels agreed by the Conference of the Parties.

Also, decision 12/CP.17 requests the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, at its thirty-sixth session, to consider the timing of the first presentation and the frequency of subsequent presentations of the summary of information referred to in paragraph 3, with a view to recommending a decision on this matter for adoption by the Conference of the Parties at its eighteenth session.

Finally, decision 12/CP.17.6  requests the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, at its thirty-sixth session, to consider the need for further guidance to ensure transparency, consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness when informing on how all safeguards are addressed and respected and, if appropriate, to consider additional guidance, and to report to the Conference of the Parties at its eighteenth session;

Safeguards Information System for Costa Rica (SIS)

Costa Rica is designing a system for communicating how REDD safeguards are being addressed and respected in this country. This system seeks to comply with the decisions of the Convention.

Design of the System:

During its design it should be verified the compliance with decision 1/CP.16 and decision 12/CP.17. (Guidance on systems for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected and modalities relating to forest reference emission levels and forest reference levels as referred to in decision 1/CP.16).


The project will use information and platforms from institutions that are available in the country, allowing the improvement of tools, identifying gaps and/or requirements of conditions or instruments.

Sources of information:

For the development of the project, we have identified institutions, organizations or people (IOP) involved in the process:

  • IOPs involved in the process of interpretation and definition of components and sub-components of the safeguards.
  • IOPs involved in the design of the indicator:
    • Responsible for generating information for the indicators.
    • responsible for processing, analysis and dissemination of indicators.
  • IOPs using the Information system and that potentially benefited from the development of the system.
  • IOPs involved in the validation process.
  • IOPs responsible for communicating on the approach and implementation of safeguards in the process of implementing REDD measures, set out in paragraph 70 of the CP 16.

Main applications of the SIS:

  • To serve the national institution responsible for the preparation of national communications ( National Meteorological Institute ) to prepare the summary on REDD. Therefore, the SIS becomes a key player, legally competent, in the process of design and implementation.
  • Serve as a mechanism that may eventually be used by the Government of Costa Rica as an instrument of a monitoring system or for evaluating safeguards.
  • In this context, monitoring is understood as the ongoing evaluation of REDD measures (paragraph 70 , CP 16) integrated into a process coordinated by those responsible for each REDD+ action, which must be immersed in the institutional planning process. On the other hand, the evaluation is viewed as a compliance review of REDD + actions safeguarding.
  • Each institution, with its powers and responsibilities within the Strategy, could assess, for example, the extent the safeguard was met, etc. From this point of view, the evaluation is not considered an internal and integrated process as monitoring, but demands participants to distance themselves from the daily work with the action and take time to reflect and gather information systematically. Often, assessment requires a broader project than REDD project of the institution.


Possible applications of the Safeguards Information System, during the implementation process of  REDD measures in Costa Rica, described in paragraph 70 of the CP. 16, of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.


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