Greenpeace has launched a consultation document on REDD safeguards. Called “Forests & People First”, the initiative proposes a set of minimum safeguard standards for REDD and other forest and climate programmes.
Greenpeace’s consultation document starts with an overview of why safeguards are important to REDD and to any forest related activities. The document includes a very useful matrix comparing the various multilateral safeguard policies on REDD. Greenpeace hopes that the comparison will help inform the processes taking place in several countries that are developing their own REDD national safeguard standards. Of course, bilateral deals also make up a large part of REDD and forest financing. Greenpeace encourages, “national governments and bilateral agencies to review their own standards and take the necessary steps to ensure harmonisation with international safeguards.”
Greenpeace points out that this consultation process does not involve an endorsement or a rejection of REDD. Instead it is an attempt to ensure that safeguards are in place to respect rights, protect forests and avoid perverse outcomes:
This document does not seek to endorse or reject REDD+ as a concept, but rather to ensure that a minimum set of robust and effective safeguards be complied with where REDD+ and other forest programmes are implemented. The current standards and architectures of international institutions do not provide sufficient instruments to ensure that rights are respected and forests protected in such programmes, increasing the risk that REDD+ interventions lead to perverse outcomes.
Greenpeace is requesting comment on the consultation document by 2 September 2012, by email to .
Greenpeace’s press release is below and the “Forest and People First” document can be viewed and downloaded below that. The document is also available in Bahasa, French and Spanish on Greenpeace’s website.
Greenpeace starts global consultation to boost forest protection
Santa Marta, Colombia, June 26, 2012 – Seeking stronger global standards, Greenpeace International has launched a consultation process to simplify and support forests and forests peoples protection, particularly with regard to REDD+.
Launched at a World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) meeting in Colombia on Tuesday, the ‘Forests & People First’  consultation document aims to establish a set of minimum standards on human rights, biodiversity protection and governance.
The ultimate objective is to ensure that REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and other forest and climate programmes can be fully effective.
“Forest protection and emission reductions schemes are not going to work without guarantees that local people’s rights are fully respected and that biodiversity is protected,” said Susanne Breitkopf, Greenpeace International Senior Political Advisor, Forest Finance.
“Without strong binding safeguards, we can end up with monoculture plantations instead of natural forests, or even see local communities evicted from project sites taken over by foreigners.”
Currently, there are multiple REDD agencies with multiple safeguards, which is leading to inconsistencies. The consultation process launched by Greenpeace International aims to eliminate gaps and inconsistencies.
The consultation is designed to engage and seek comments from negotiators, policymakers, civil society and others who are involved in or affected by REDD+ interventions.
Strong safeguards can also be a powerful tool for affected communities to defend their rights and interests at national and international levels.
“Supporting strong, coherent safeguards really is in the interest of everyone involved, it’s common sense,” Breitkopf continued. “We invite everyone to contribute to this effort and hope that governments and institutions who have been promoting and supporting REDD+ will adopt the final recommendations.”
“Adopting the recommendations would mean a big step forward for governments and finance institutions. The real test, however – based on evidence of past failures – is the implementation on the ground,” Breitkopf said.
The consultation process invites input from environmental, development, human rights and Indigenous peoples’ groups as well as governments and academia.
Greenpeace hopes that the process will lead to the harmonisation of standards and stronger recognition of an international safeguards framework for REDD+ and other forest initiatives.
For further information contact:
Susanne Breitkopf, Greenpeace International Senior Political Advisor Forest Finance +1 202 390 5586
Natalia Truchi, Greenpeace International Communications , (M) +31 624 940977
Greenpeace Press Desk Hot-line Number +31 20 718 24 70
 The consultation document, Forests & People First, is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/reddsafeguards
The consultation period closes on 2nd September 2012.
Forest & People First (444.6 kB).