Procedural measures or requirements
This section is specifically focused on issues related to the integration of REDD+ into policies, laws, and regulations; transparency; stakeholder participation; and grievance mechanisms, which can be referred to either as “safeguards” or as procedural standards depending on the initiative.
Safeguards have been traditionally understood to be the operational policies and procedures of multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank that prevent and mitigate undue harm in the process of implementing development projects. In other words, safeguards are most commonly associated with a “risk‐based approach”.
More recently, the establishment of the UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards as part of the Cancun Decision marks a shift away from a “do no harm” approach towards an approach that encourages positive social and environmental outcomes. Many emerging programs are looking to the UNFCCC guidance, for example, according to its Charter the FCPF is required to “seek to ensure consistency with the UNFCCC Guidance on REDD” and the VCS JNR requires jurisdictional programs to be carried out in accordance with the Cancun Safeguards.
All standards and initiatives require some level of compliance with national laws, transparency and stakeholder participation, although such requirements differ in their scope and application. For example, stakeholder participation may range from simply providing information on stakeholder comments, to an account of how such comments were considered, to a fuller integration of relevant stakeholders through the entire design process. Similarly transparency requirements range from posting final verification reports on line, to posting all key documents on line and requiring that all affected communities (many without internet access) receive such information in their local language. Grievance mechanisms also vary among carbon accounting standards/initiatives, ranging from those with no requirements to very stringent procedures and mechanisms, such as the inspection panel of the World Bank.
As with other social and environmental measures, initiatives and standards that are engaging at the jurisdictional (national or subnational) level, such as the REDD Offsets Working Group and VCS-JNR, try to promote consistency with decisions being taken under the UNFCCC. This includes promoting the “full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders” and ensuring that actions “complement or are consistent with the objectives of national forest programmes and relevant international conventions and agreements” (Decision 1/CP.16). This is also true of the agreement to fund results between Guyana and Norway, whereby Guyana is required to make positive progress on indicators that include forest governance and stakeholder consultations.