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UN-REDD invites comments on draft social and environmental principles and criteria

UN-REDD invites comments on draft social and environmental principles and criteria

UN-REDD is inviting comments on a third draft of its social and environmental principles and criteria. This is part of a comments process that has been going on since March 2011. Comments on the most recent draft are invited between 15 October and 31 December 2011.

Comments should be sent to

The first draft of the principles and criteria were presented at the UN-REDD programme policy board meeting in March 2011. A second version was produced and comments invited from “the Policy Board, the Independent Advisory Group on Rights, Forests and Climate Change, national practitioners, and a targeted group of expert reviewers”. UN-REDD has made comments on its third version open to anyone with an internet connection.

One obvious question is how the principles and criteria will be implemented and what mechanism UN-REDD will set up to ensure that they are being complied to. Version 3 of the principles and criteria includes the following statement:

Further guidance is also being developed by the UN-REDD Programme on the reviewing and reporting procedures with regards to the use and application of both the Principles and Criteria and the Risk Identification and Mitigation Tool. The UN-REDD Programme is committed to providing access to grievance resolution to address complaints regarding the enforcement of the Programme’s Principles and Criteria and Operational Guidance.

The question of whether REDD will be a carbon trading mechanism is not, as far as I can tell, open for discussion as part of this commenting process.

The announcement on UN-REDD’s website is posted in full below.

UN-REDD Programme Draft Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria

We invite you to comment on a new version of the UN-REDD Programme Draft Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria.

REDD+ has the potential to deliver substantial benefits beyond carbon. However, fulfilling this potential depends on careful planning and implementation that effectively address such issues as monitoring, transparent and effective governance, participation, inclusiveness of all stakeholders and respect to indigenous people’s rights. Accordingly, the UN-REDD Programme is working with partners and REDD+ countries to develop tools and guidance to enhance the multiple benefits of REDD+ and reduce risks from inadequate planning and implementation.

As part of this work, a set of Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria are being developed.

The Principles and Criteria are intended to contribute to the UN-REDD Programme’s developing framework for ensuring that the Programme’s activities contribute effectively to promoting social and environmental benefits and reduce any potential risk from REDD+ implementation. In particular, we propose that the Principles and Criteria are used by the UN-REDD Programme as a tool for:

  1. assisting countries in formulating national REDD+ programmes and initiatives for which they seek UN-REDD support;
  2. reviewing national programmes prior to submission for a UN-REDD Policy Board decision on funding and
  3. assessing national programme delivery.

The Principles and Criteria are coherent with and draw from the guidance provided by the Cancun agreements, and emerge from the existing rich body of knowledge and literature on safeguards, standards and certification. They consist of broad principles (overarching, fundamental, active statements) within which a list of criteria have been identified as conditions to be met by UN-REDD Programme-funded activities in order to contribute to the achievement of the Principles.

We invite you to comment on the draft Principles and Criteria (version 3 of October 2011). In addition to comments on the Principles and Criteria themselves, comments are welcome on how the three specific uses for them should be implemented in practice. In addition, an associated tool will be made available for comment in draft form in mid-November. The tool will articulate in greater detail the significance and meaning of the Principles and Criteria. We will circulate a reminder of this review process when this draft tool is released.

Please send comments and any questions you might have to . Your feedback will be part of a public consultation process, running from 15 October to 31 December 2011, that will also include information and feedback sessions at upcoming international REDD+ gatherings and facilitated consultations with pilot REDD+ countries.

Download the draft Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria (English, Spanish and French).

Download the feedback form (English).

The Principles and Criteria have been greatly enriched through the consultations held so far. See a response matrix on the feedback received on previous draft versions of the Principles and Criteria.

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