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CBD Sends Input to UNFCCC on Biodiversity, ILC Aspects of REDD+ Safeguards

CBD30 September 2011: A submission of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) contains summaries of four expert workshops on the links between biodiversity and REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries), including relevant biodiversity safeguards.

The workshops were organized by the CBD Secretariat pursuant to relevant decisions of the CBD Conference of the Parties, and took place during 2010 and 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya; Singapore; Quito, Ecuador; and Cape Town, South Africa. The submission includes the Co-Chairs' summaries of the workshops.

With regard to safeguards, the Cape Town workshop concluded, inter alia, that existing frameworks lack adequate safeguards to address: the risk of afforestation in areas of high biodiversity value; the risks of displacing deforestation and forest degradation to areas of lower carbon value and high biodiversity value; and the potential loss of traditional ecological knowledge. The Quito workshop found that biodiversity safeguards and safeguards for indigenous peoples and local communities (ILCs), will be essential for the long-term success of REDD+. While recognizing that REDD+ cannot solve all relevant governance and environmental challenges, safeguards and actions, including for the equitable sharing of benefits, need to be based on clear policies and understanding of sustainable land use, natural resource use, and land tenure rights. ILC impacts and benefit-sharing are closely linked to solving land tenure and rights issues, including the rights to the forest carbon.

The Singapore workshop noted the need for particular attention to biodiversity issues when aiming to increase the forest area in the context of REDD+, aiming for multi-functional forest landscapes, and the useful guidance of the CBD Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity in this context; the need to ensure the rights of ILCs egarding customary use of traditional territories, land and natural resources through national legislation/instruments; and the need for regular monitoring and review of biodiversity and ecosystem services. While identifying specific risks for biodiversity and ILCs from REDD+, the Nairobi workshop concluded that at this stage, the biggest risk is that a well-designed REDD+ mechanism is not agreed upon and successfully implemented.

The submission was made with reference to the invitation to UNFCCC Parties and accredited observers by the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) at its 34th session, to submit views on Methodological guidance for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (FCCC/SBSTA/2011/L.14) [CBD Submission]