Overview of the Safeguard Information System

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Warsaw framework for REDD+ (WFR) in 2013, which sets out all the methodological guidance and requirements for the implementation of Jurisdictional REDD+ programs. In order to obtain and receive results-based finance[1], the WFR stipulates that jurisdictional REDD+ programs must have “in place” [2] all of the following elements:

1. A National REDD+ Strategy or Action Plan

The REDD+ Strategy is a component of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). The LCDS is however broader than the REDD+ Strategy component and includes low carbon development areas in the energy sector, the low carbon sectors such as agriculture, as well as areas of health and education. 

Guyana’s LCDS was first formulated in 2008 and aimed to support the country in the pursuit of a ‘resilient, low-carbon, socially-inclusive economy’, paving the way for national efforts to reduce emissions in the forest and land use sector.

The LCDS sets out a vision through which economic development and climate change mitigation will be reconciled through the generation of payments for “forest climate services” in a mechanism of sustainable utilization and development (i.e. REDD+). The result is intended to be the transformation of Guyana’s economy whilst combating climate change. Guyana’s LCDS was updated in 2011 and 2013, and expanded in 2021, when a draft LCDS 2030 was launched for national consultation. After seven months of national consultation, overseen by a Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee (MSSC), the LCDS 2030 was finalised in July 2022. As part of the closing stages of the national consultation, the LCDS 2030 was endorsed by the National Toshaos’ Council (consisting of elected indigenous leaders) and the National Assembly (Parliament of Guyana).  

2. A National Forest Reference Emission Level and/or Forest Reference Level (FREL)[3]

Guyana’s proposed forest reference emission level (FREL) has gone through technical assessment (TA) in the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the document has been made available for public in UNFCCC REDD+ Web Platform. The FREL report can be found here.

The UNFCCC TA report can be found here. The assessment team notes that the data and information used by Guyana in constructing its FREL are transparent and complete and are in overall accordance with the guidelines for submissions of information on FRELs (as contained in the annex to Decision 12/CP.17).

The updated FREL will be submitted in 2024 to the UNFCCC.

3. A National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS)

The national scale Forest Carbon Monitoring System (FCMS) is fully operational and a critical element of the Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification System (MRVS) as it provides details of the methods required to provide statistically robust estimates of the Emission Factors (EFs) –the EFs are used with activity data to estimate carbon emissions from changes in forest cover in Guyana.

Building on Guyana’s reporting commitments under the Guyana Norway Bilateral Agreement to measure and report on the country’s performance against the REDD+ Performance Indicators, the country is committed to continue to develop and maintain the MRVS as a platform through which the country can report on forest change and associated emissions.

Today the system has matured to report annual forest carbon emissions and removals by activities caused by deforestation and forest degradation. The results generated from the MRV system have potential applications to a range of functions relating to policy setting and decision making within the natural resources sector, particularly forest management. Over the past decade, Guyana’s MRV system has generated a wealth of data that can be used to understand the multiple uses of forests. To date, twelve national assessments (2010 to 2022) have been conducted, including the latest MRVS Report – Assessment Year 2022.

4. A Safeguard Information System

The GoG has put in place a Safeguard Information System (SIS), which is understood to be a domestic institutional arrangement responsible for providing transparent and consistent information as to how the safeguards are being addressed and respected in the context of the implementation of the REDD+ actions.

A SIS framework document and dedicated SIS webpage outlines all aspects of GoG’s SIS, including its objectives, scope, indicators, functions and institutional arrangements.

5. A Summary of Information

Additionally, the WFR requires that jurisdictional REDD+ programs have submitted their ‘most recent summary of safeguard information’ (SOI) on how all the safeguards have been addressed and respected before they can access results-based payments (as contained in Decision 9/CP.19, para. 4).

To date, the GoG has submitted two SOIs to the UNFCCC. These can be accessed here.

A third SOI will be submitted in 2024 to the UNFCCC.

[3] Decision 9/CP.19, supra note 1, at para. 3

[2] Those contained in Decision 1/CP.16 paragraph 71

[1] Each national submission of a proposed FREL/FRL, in the context of RBPs, is subject to a technical assessment. Each submission is technically assessed by an assessment team in accordance with the procedures and time frames established by the COP.

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