Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rights-Based REDD+ Dialogue II: Realizing REDD+ Safeguards

Natural Justice together with the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee hosted the Rights-Based REDD+ Dialogue II: Realizing REDD+ Safeguards, on 18-19th October 2013 in Cape Town South Africa. This was the second of such dialogues, the first was held in November 2012. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a mitigation policy under the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The REDD+ safeguards are mechanisms designed to reduce identified risks and prevent undesirable outcomes of REDD+ and some also aim to enhance the positive environmental and social impacts of REDD+. 

REDD+ stakeholders from civil society organisations, Indigenous Peoples, government, United Nations, and REDD+ project developers participated in the dialogues. The dialogues began discussing national REDD+ programmes in Southern and Central Africa, with a country focus on activities in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A REDD+ project session scrutinised existing REDD+ projects in Africa and heard a project developers perspective on REDD+. Indigenous Peoples engagement in REDD+ was explored and lessons from global case studies discussed. Strategies and tools to engage in REDD+ including the potential of Biocultural Community Protocols as a tool to enhance free, prior and informed consent were considered. The on-going World Bank Safeguards Review process was highlighted and its relevance to REDD+ examined. Governance issues were discussed with a focus on the role of independent monitoring. The final sessions explored ways to positively influence the REDD+ safeguards at the international level and discussed messages for the Warsaw Climate Change Conference UNFCCC COP19.

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