What are Safeguards?

Parties to the UNFCCC agreed to a set of seven safeguards (broad principles) that are expected to be applied in accordance with national context and circumstances when undertaking REDD+ activities (see Box below- referred to as ‘Cancun safeguards’’).

The UNFCCC “strongly encourages” developing country Parties, when providing the information on how the Cancun safeguards are being addressed and respected, to include, inter alia, “[a] description of each safeguard in accordance with national circumstances”

Accordingly and to respond to UNFCCC guidance and requirements the GoG’s has adopted a description of the Cancun Safeguards.

The description of each Cancun safeguard to the GoG’s context serves to specify how the objectives encompassed in the broad language of the Cancun safeguards translate into concrete principles and objectives that are to be followed in the context of the implementation of REDD+ Actions in Guyana, and which are anchored in the GoG’s Policies Laws and Regulations (PLRs).

The Cancun Safeguards

When undertaking the activities referred to in paragraph 70 of this decision, the following safeguards should be promoted and supported:

  1. That actions complement or are consistent with the objectives of national forest programmes and relevant international conventions and agreements;
  2. Transparent and effective national forest governance structures, taking into account national legislation and sovereignty;
  3. Respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities, by taking into account relevant international obligations, national circumstances and laws, and noting that the United Nations General Assembly has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  4. The full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, in particular indigenous peoples and local communities, in the actions referred to in paragraphs 70 and 72 of this decision;
  5. That actions are consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity, ensuring that the actions referred to in paragraph 70 of this decision are not used for the conversion of natural forests, but are instead used to incentivize the protection and conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, and to enhance other social and environmental benefits;[1]
  6. Actions to address the risks of reversals;
  7. Actions to reduce displacement of emissions

[1]  Taking into account the need for sustainable livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities and their interdependence on forests in most countries, reflected in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as International Mother Earth Day.

Guyana’s description of Cancun Safeguard A

The REDD+ activities must be implemented in compliance with the objectives of national forest programmes, and consistent to the provisions of the relevant treaties and international conventions Guyana is Party to.”

Guyana’s description of Cancun Safeguard B

The rights of access to information, accountability, justice, gender equality, land tenure and fair distribution of benefits will be respected and promoted in the scope of the application of the REDD+ activities”

Guyana’s description of Cancun Safeguard C

“The REDD+ activities will be implemented in accordance and with respect to the rights of recognition of, and respect for the rights of Amerindian peoples and local communities; including the rights to non-discrimination, traditional knowledge and culture, self-determination, benefit sharing and land tenure rights.”

Guyana’s description of Cancun Safeguard D

“The right to participate, in particular for relevant Indigenous peoples and local communities, is recognized and are to be promoted under the implementation of the REDD+ activities.”

Guyana’s description of Cancun Safeguard E

“The REDD+ activities will promote the conservation of natural forests and biodiversity, the enhancement of social and environmental benefits, and will not result in the conversion of natural forests.”

Guyana’s description of Cancun Safeguard F

“Risks of reversals and displacement of emissions of the REDD+ activities are addressed through the MRVS and national forest monitoring system.”

How does Guyana ensure the application of the Cancun Safeguards?

It is now generally considered by most countries that relevant governance arrangements – such as Policies Laws and Regulations (PLRs)– provide a fundamental framework through which countries can address and respect the Cancun safeguards throughout the implementation of their REDD+ actions.

Accordingly, Guyana will utilize the relevant PLRs that protect and regulate the substantive and procedural rights enshrined in the Cancun Safeguards to ensure REDD+ actions are carried out in consistency with these safeguards.

Comments are closed.