The development of REDD+ safeguards in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: recent experiences and processes

The development of REDD+ safeguards in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: recent experiences and processes

In the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), countries have initiated their work on REDD+ safeguards but no country has yet made a formal submission to the UNFCCC. REDD+ Initiative at ICIMOD, with the long-term goal of developing a conducive social and environmental safeguard to assist the countries in their REDD+ readiness phase, has initiated South- South learning platform to foster learning and sharing REDD+ experiences between the countries.

In 2015 and 2016 ICIMOD’s REDD+ Initiative organized two regional level South-South learning workshops on “REDD+ safeguard” respectively. First workshop entitled ‘Demystifying REDD+ Safeguards for South Asia’, was held on November 2015 in Kolkata, India, in order to engage experts from HKH countries to help interpret REDD+ safeguards for the region as recommended in the COP decisions. This was the first kind of workshop to bring the HKH regional countries mainly Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Nepal together to discuss REDD+ safeguards and identifying way forward for countries in engaging and updating each other in the process. This provided an opportunity for regional experts engaged in establishing safeguards to network and exchange ideas and information.

The second workshop on “REDD+ Safeguard for Himalayas” conducted on June 2016 in Pokhara, Nepal brought together the same countries participated in first workshop to share their country status and progress of National Safeguard System. It also attempted to identify gaps in existing policies, laws, and rules under REDD+ safeguard system to comply with the Cancun Safeguards principles, and also examined bottlenecks in implementing REDD+ safeguards principles in these countries.

Through such consultative processes, REDD+ Initiative has prepared this submission “The development of REDD+ safeguards in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Recent experiences and processes” to demonstrate that the participating HKH countries are committed to developing REDD+ safeguards. This document covers the importance of REDD+ safeguard and the relevance of governance for HKH countries. Emphasizing the information that are required to be submitted to UNFCCC for claiming performance-based payments, this report identified overall progress of National Safeguard System, analyzed gaps and common challenges to implement REDD+ safeguard in these countries. This report is a testament of how the HKH countries are fully complying with the UNFCCC guidelines by engaging in the development of their National Safeguard System.

The report was co-funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nepal.

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