In addition to the forestry sector’s contribution to climate change mitigation, REDD+ could present opportunities, as well as risks, for improving local communities’ livelihoods and conserving biological diversity. Guidance is required to assist developing countries to operationalise UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards.
REDD+ should not lead to the conversion of natural forests, but instead be used to incentivise the protection and conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, and to enhance other social and environmental benefits.
SNV’s work on co-benefits strives to support governments and civil society actors to move beyond minimum safeguard compliance to achieving higher standards of social and environmental performance from REDD+.
Under the German government’s International Climate Initiative, SNV is providing technical assistance to the government of Vietnam on the identification and introduction of REDD+ safeguard mechanisms. Mechanisms which are being explored include policy measures, economic instruments and standards as well as the role of integrated spatial planning. The project includes the design and field testing of local-level monitoring systems, which maximise local community involvement as a complement to rural livelihood strategies.