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Civil Society Recommendations for the SBSTA Agenda

Civil Society Recommendations for the SBSTA Agenda. PHOTO Bonn Alter Friedhof by spaztacular on flickr

The next two weeks sees the latest round of UN climate negotiations in Bonn. REDD-Monitor will not be attending the 34th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the second part of the fourteenth session of the AWG-LCA or the second part of the sixteenth session of the AWG-KP.

Many NGOs will, however, be in Bonn. Before the meeting started, 48 NGOs sent a open letter to all Parties asking that SBSTA gives enough time at its meetings in Bonn “to address both the guidance and the modalities, as each of these elements of the work programme is critical to the success of the REDD+ mechanism”. The letter is available below in English, and attached in Spanish (pdf file, 9.8 kB) and French (pdf file, 11.3 kB).

Open letter to all Parties
cc. Chair of SBSTA

Civil Society Recommendations for the SBSTA Agenda

The undersigned organizations are writing to you with respect to the upcoming meeting of SBSTA in Bonn. The SBSTA agenda[1] provides (at paragraph 20) that SBSTA will initiate a work programme to develop (amongst other things):

    (i) Modalities relating to paragraphs 71(b) and (c) of Decision 1/CP.16 [forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, and national forest monitoring systems]; and

    (ii) Guidance relating to paragraph 71(d) [system for providing information on how the safeguards are addressed and respected throughout REDD+ implementation].

We are writing to ask that all Parties ensure SBSTA give sufficient time during its 34th session in Bonn this June, to address both the guidance and the modalities, as each of these elements of the work programme is critical to the success of the REDD+ mechanism.

Our organizations wish to emphasize the importance of the safeguard provisions in Appendix I of Decision 1/CP.16 (the Cancun Agreement). Adequate support for and proper elaboration and implementation of these safeguards is an indispensible prerequisite for the REDD+ mechanism to deliver lasting climate mitigation results by creating a positive enabling environment for REDD+ implementation and protecting the social and environmental integrity of the mechanism.

A robust system for providing information on how the safeguards are addressed and respected will ultimately improve the efficiency of the REDD+ mechanism by preventing delays that could be caused if potential problems are not transparently identified early on. The elaboration of guidance on how the safeguard provisions should be demonstrably addressed and respected is a key element of SBSTA’s work program leading up to Durban.

We note that the SBSTA was requested by the Conference of the Parties to develop guidance for consideration by COP17 in Durban in November/December 2011. To ensure this request is met, we urge the SBSTA to convene a workshop, open to observers, including representatives of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, to develop this guidance further. There is considerable shared expertise and experiences amongst Parties and observers that should be utilised. We believe that input of the shared experiences of Parties and observers will greatly benefit the effectiveness of this workshop.

We also urge the SBSTA to request submissions from Parties on paragraph 71(d) prior to the convening of the workshop.

Further, we call upon the Parties to ensure SBSTA takes note of other multi-lateral processes developing guidance relating to the system for providing information on how the safeguards are addressed and respected throughout REDD+ implementation. To ensure harmonisation between these processes, SBSTA should invite relevant international organisations and stakeholders to contribute to the work programme to ensure coordination of these processes.

Endorsed by:

Ateneo School of Law (Philippines)
Australian Orangutan Project
Australian Climate Justice Programme
Bank Information Center
Birdlife International
CAPPA-Ecological Justice (Indonesia)
Care International
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED) (Cameroon)
ClientEarth (U.K.)
Conservation International
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (Kenya)
Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR) (Peru)
Euronatura – Centro para o Direito Ambiental e Desenvolvimento Sustentado (Portugal)
Environmental Defense Fund
Federation of Community Forest Users of Nepal (FECOFUN)
Forest Management Trust (U.S.)
Forest Peoples Programme
Friends of the Earth (USA)
Groupe d’Action pour Sauver l’Homme et son Environnement (GASHE) (Equateur Province, DRC)
German NGO Forum on Environment and Development
Global Witness
The Green Belt Movement (Europe)
Grupo FARO (Ecuador)
Humane Society International
Ian Redmond (Chairman, Ape Alliance)
Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM)
Kenya Young Greens
Las Comunidades Cuentan Más (Mexico)
Les Amis de la Nature et des Jardins (ANJ) (DRC)
The Nature Conservancy
Organisation des Amis de la Nature (OAN) (DRC)
Papua New Guinea Ecoforestry Forum
Rainforest Alliance
Rainforest Foundation Norway
Rainforest Foundation U.K.
Rainforest Foundation U.S.
Red Mexicana de Lucha contra la Desertificación y Degradación de los Recursos Naturales (Riod-Méx)
Red Mexicana de Organizaciones Campesinas Forestales Asociación Civil (Red MOCAF) (Mexico)
Réseau des Populations Autochtones et Locales pour la gestion durable des Ecosystèmes Forestiers
de la République Démocratique du Congo (REPALEF) (DRC)
Réseau Ressources Naturelles (RRN) (DRC)
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
SAKBE Comunicación y Defensa para el Cambio (Mexico)
The Wilderness Society (Australia)
Union of Concerned Scientists
Wetlands International

[1] ^^ The English language version of the SBSTA Agenda can be found at

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