International Institute for Sustainable Development

Institut international du développement durable

Designing Effective REDD+ Safeguard Information Systems: Building on existing systems and country experiences (Policy Paper)

Jessica Boyle, Deborah Murphy

A key determinant of REDD+ success will be the continued development and implementation of safeguards. An important element of REDD+ safeguards is systems for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected. Effective systems to share information will help promote transparency, guard against unintended social and environmental harms, and provide information on the impact of REDD+ actions.

A decision of the 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban in 2011 agreed on broad provisions for guidance, including that safeguard information systems (SIS) "build upon existing systems, as appropriate." IISD and the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins have explored how existing systems and country experiences can be built on to develop a REDD+ SIS under the three-year initiative, Building REDD+ Policy Capacity for Developing Country Negotiators and Land Managers, supported by Norad.

The policy paper is the result of substantive research that included an extensive desk study, in-country semi-structured interviews with REDD+ experts and practitioners, and regional expert meetings. A policy brief and key messages are also available here.

Using the Durban guidance on safeguards as a starting point the research examined:

  • Information collected through eight existing systems that could feed into reporting on REDD+ safeguards.

  • How the existing systems ensure transparency, consistency, accessibility, flexibility, country-driven processes and the lessons for a REDD+ SIS.

  • Early action in five countries—Ethiopia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Tanzania and Vietnam—to provide lessons and insights for the further development of REDD+ SIS.

In exploring these key areas, this research aims to contribute to improved REDD+ SIS by identifying how REDD+ practitioners can build on existing systems and learn from early action. The research concludes that systems for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected do not necessarily require new mechanisms, methodologies or indicators. There are opportunities to build upon existing architecture, including methods and processes to report on obligations and provide information under international agreements, national legislation, bilateral and multilateral agreements and REDD+ pilot-level initiatives.



  • Publication type: Paper
  • Publication date: October 22, 2012
  • Page count: 64
  • Publisher: IISD
  • © Copyright 2012 IISD
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