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Bhutan Explores REDD+ Safeguards and Multiple Benefits

Bhutan is currently building its capacities in the area of REDD+ safeguards and understanding the multiple benefits that REDD+ can catalyze beyond reducing carbon emissions.

With support from the UN-REDD Programme, the country brought together 35 officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Dzongkhags, College of Natural Resources, the Department of Hydropower Services, and NGOs to take part in a workshop designed to increase knowledge of these issues.

When forests are maintained, restored or enhanced as part of REDD+, this will result in multiple benefits including climate change mitigation and other ecosystem services. While REDD+ has the potential to yield substantial social and environmental benefits, there are also potential risks from its implementation. For example, biodiversity may be lost from non-forest ecosystems as a result of afforestation.

credit: Watershed Management Division, Royal Kingdom of Bhutan
Participants at Bhutan's workshop on REDD+ safeguards and multiple benefits

Workshop presentations covered:

  • The meaning of multiple benefits and REDD+ safeguards;
  • The UNFCCC safeguards (the “Cancun Safeguards”);
  • Building a national approach to safeguards;
  • Safeguards Information Systems; and
  • REDD+ activities and relevant Policies, Laws and Regulations in Bhutan.

On the first day, participants identified priority risks and potential benefits from REDD+ in Bhutan using the UN-REDD Programme Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria. One benefit from REDD+ identified by the participants was enhancing watershed protection and hence securing hydroelectric power generation. The group also underscored the potential threat to forest community livelihoods if REDD+ activities were to create restrictions on access to forest resources.

On the second and third day, policies, laws and regulations (PLRs) were identified which could support Bhutan’s national approach to safeguards. The draft UN-REDD Programme Benefits and Risks tool (BeRT) was used to identify PLRs that relate to the protection and enhancement of non-forest ecosystems and natural forests. The outputs from working through BeRT will be summarized in the workshop report. They will be used to develop the approach to safeguards within the national REDD+ strategy.

The proposed next steps after the workshop, which took place 10-12 October in Paro, Bhutan, are for the National Technical Working Group to undertake further work on developing a national approach to safeguards using BeRT, and for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to make some basic information on REDD+ and REDD+ safeguards available on their website. Raising awareness on REDD+ is a crucial issue in Bhutan. The report containing the workshop findings can be found here.





In this issue


Solomon Islands and Pakistan Move Forward with their National REDD+ Roadmaps

DRC Shares Lessons with Tanzania on Forest Monitoring Systems for REDD+

UN-REDD Partner Countries Increase their REDD+ Technical Expertise

Indonesia and UN-REDD to Host Global Symposium on REDD+ in a Green Economy

UN-REDD Launches Independent Evaluation of National Programme in Panama

UN-REDD Underscores Tenure as a Success Factor for REDD+

Features & Commentary

Cambodia’s REDD+ Pilot Projects Contribute to Settlement of Forest Disputes
By: Heang Thy

UN-REDD Launches Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent for REDD+
By: Gaya Sriskanthan

Moving from Global Advocacy to Country-level Actions on Anti-Corruption for REDD+
By: Estelle Fach and Tsegaye Lemma

Understanding REDD+ and FLEGT Linkages Through Country Experiences
By: Emelyne Cheney and Marjo Maidell

Reports & Analysis

Latest UN-REDD Policy Brief Now Available in French and Spanish

Call for Comments on UN Guide to Support Respect of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights by Private Sector

New Report on Economics of Forest Carbon Projects

New Go-REDD+ Issue Links REDD+ with Poverty Reduction

Looking ahead

FPIC and Anti-Corruption workshop with COICA
7 April, 2013: Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

REDD+ Safeguards and Conflict Resolution workshop
9-13 April, 2013: Paraguay

Multiple Benefits Mapping workshop
8-24 April, 2013: Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, Tanzania

Latin America National Forest Monitoring System workshop
23-26 April, 2013: Tena, Ecuador

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