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Reports & Analysis

New Report on Freedom of Information and REDD+

This new report of the UN-REDD Programme, describes how the implementation of freedom of information laws can inform the development of transparent systems to access REDD+ information.

Access to information is both as a prerequisite for full and effective engagement of stakeholders and as a foundation for transparency and accountability in REDD+. A new report of the UN-REDD Programme, entitled "Ensuring inclusive, transparent and accountable national REDD+ systems: the role of freedom of information", describes how the implementation of freedom of information laws can inform the development of transparent systems to access REDD+ information. The right of access to information is grounded into international environmental, anti-corruption and human rights law.

The report first suggests different types of REDD+ information of value to stakeholders. This ranges from basic information such as how REDD+ works, and how it will affect key stakeholders such as local and indigenous communities, women and the poor, to more granular information about the methods, data and assumptions that underlie REDD+ results-based estimates or social and environmental safeguards.

The implementation of freedom of information laws has in the past decade generated lessons to learn from. Best practices, for example, include pro-active disclosure (rather than "by request" only), adapting the format of information materials to the audience, minimizing the time limits and fees to access information, dedicating public information officers and producing a "citizen’s guide" to access to information and other communications materials.

In the publication, 10 UN-REDD Programme partner countries – Cameroon, Colombia, DRC, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines are examined to extract trends on how REDD+ participating countries implement the right to information in general and in environmental, climate and forestry matters. Although implementation of existing freedom of information laws varies, most countries are on a forward trajectory for freedom of information, with civil society organizations generally describing the situation as "improving rather than deteriorating".

While the use of freedom of information regimes in REDD+ processes or in the forestry sector is generally low, a number of the countries studied have undertaken steps, as part of their REDD+ readiness programmes, to ensure that detailed information on national REDD+ processes reaches all stakeholders. A number of countries are also developing plans for - or are in the early stages of implementing - online REDD+ monitoring systems, which can also be used as a platform to provide information related to safeguards.

Bringing together the best practices in implementing freedom of information laws and the existing practices of providing access to REDD+ information, the study concludes with specific recommendations to national REDD+ institutions, legislators and parliamentarians, implementers of REDD+ activities, civil society and indigenous peoples organizations, and bilateral and multilateral donors.
Read the executive summary in English, French, Spanish.

Read the full report in English (the French and Spanish version will soon be available here).





In this issue


Donor Support Increases for UN-REDD

UN-REDD at COP18 and Forest Day 6

REDD+ Progress in Bhutan and Cambodia

New Head of UN-REDD Secretariat

UN-REDD Advances Work on Safeguards and Multiple Benefits of REDD+

Forest Experts Collaborate to Develop New Forest Governance Guide

Features & Commentary

REDD+ in Indonesia – Is Indonesia Ready?
By: Rogier Klaver

More Countries Engage with IPCC's Emission Factor Database
By: Matieu Henry

Reports & Analysis

New UN-REDD Publications

DRC Finalizes Series of Studies on Drivers of Deforestation

Three New Go-REDD+ Issues from UN-REDD in Asia-Pacific

Looking ahead

Scoping mission to Colombia
21-24 January, 2013: Bogotá, Colombia

Republic of the Congo Inception Workshop
22-25 January, 2013: Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo

Regional Forum and Workshop on Anti-Corruption and Free, Prior and Informed Consent for REDD+
29 January-2 February, 2013: Lima, Peru

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