A country-led approach to REDD+ safeguards and multiple benefits



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The Multiple Benefits REDD project has produced a briefing paper for UNFCCC CoP19, based on a forthcoming full policy analysis paper on how developing countries can safeguard, incentivise and mainstream multiple benefits into national REDD+ programmes. The brief summarises these three complementary strategies of country safeguard systems; mainstreaming into policies and plans; and economic incentive structures for multiple benefits – sustainable livelihoods; improved governance; protection of rights; biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision – from REDD+.

Key Messages:

1) A multiple benefits approach constitutes a no-regrets approach to REDD+. Multiple benefit expectations and safeguard requirements are not burdensome add-ons to a REDD+ climate change mitigation mechanism, but the best business case – more benefits for the same cost - to achieve sustained climate change mitigation results. 

2) Three broad complementary strategies are available to developing countries to meet, or exceed, international commitments on REDD+ safeguards: strengthening country safeguards systems; mainstreaming into national policies and subnational plans; and introducing economic incentives for multiple benefits.

3) Country-led processes that build upon existing country systems are essential foundations for a national safeguards response: building on the existing legal, institutional and compliance frameworks that regulate, implement and demonstrate environmental and social performance within and across sectors.

4) Realising national multiple benefit objectives requires mainstreaming of environmental and social considerations into REDD+ actions at the operational level of subnational planning and mainstreaming of REDD+ into broader sustainable development strategies.

5) A range of economic and policy incentives for multiple benefits are available to national REDD+ programmes. Governments and the private sector have important roles in providing economic incentives through REDD+ for multiple benefits.


Daniela Rey
Steve Swan
Adrian Enright