Supporting REDD+ safeguards: Towards a common approach of German Technical Cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

As a result of the international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the concept of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) emerged. The “+” of REDD+ includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. However, during the design of a REDD+ mechanism, Parties recognized that REDD+ measures will not likely be sustainable unless local livelihoods and ecological aspects are taken into consideration. Moreover, some stakeholders voiced concerns about possible negative social and environmental impacts of REDD+ activities. Hence, at the Conference of Parties (COP) 16 in 2010, the Parties to the UNFCCC agreed on a set of broad “safeguards” principles being designed to guide REDD+ implementation. The “COP 16 Safeguards” are principles or conditions to be promoted and supported so that people and the environment are not harmed but actually benefit from REDD+ activities. In the Southeast (SE) Asia and Pacific Region, the German Development Cooperation is supporting a number of countries with the design and piloting of a REDD+ mechanism. This discussion paper aims at developing a common approach among the technical cooperation modules of these programs with regard to supporting REDD+ safeguards implementation.