Other safeguards frameworks and standards

In addition to Cancun safeguards, Uganda may consider other safeguards frameworks or standards that could contribute to the to the implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy, in line with the country’s approach to safeguards. Below two key frameworks are mentioned, namely the World Bank’s safeguards policies and the safeguards requirements of TREES standard. However, other frameworks and standards may be considered in the future.

World Bank environmental and social safeguard policies

The environmental and social policies of the Bank are known as the “Safeguard Policies,” consisting of eleven operational policies, constitute the mechanism for addressing environmental and social issues in our project design, implementation and operation, and they provide a framework for consultation with communities and for public disclosure.  In August 2016, the World Bank adopted a new set of environment and social policies called the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). As of October 1, 2018, the ESF applies to all new World Bank investment project financing (adapted from Word Bank website, consulted in March 2022). More information about the former safeguards policies and the ESF is available in the Work Bank’s website.

Uganda implemented the World Bank safeguards policies and processes as part of the requirements under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). The country received financial and technical support from the FCPF to advance with the REDD+ readiness phase. This allowed, among other results, to develop the Environment and Social Management Framework (ESMF) with the objective to assess and mitigate potential negative environment and social risks and impacts in a manner consistent with World Bank’s safeguards (operational) policies.

Following the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA), which was carried out to analyze the positive and negative environmental and social impacts of the suggested Strategic Options; to generate recommendations to the REDD+ strategy, these are the World Bank safeguards (operational) policies that may be triggered by REDD+ sub-projects:

  • OP 4.01 Environmental Assessment
  • OP 4.04 Natural Habitats
  • OP 4.36 Forests
  • OP 4.11 Physical Cultural Resources
  • OP 4.12 Resettlement
  • OP 4.09 Pest Management
  • OP 4.20 Indigenous Peoples
  • OP 4.37 Safety of Dams

All activities under the National REDD+ Strategy Options that are to be financed by the World Bank shall comply with environmental and social safeguards requirements of the Bank safeguards policies and, where applicable, Uganda’s Environmental and Social Assessment Regulations, promulgated under the National Environmental Management Act in 2020. The applicability of each policy to a subproject will be determined during project screening to ensure that proposed sub-projects are subjected to appropriate environmental assessments. The results of the screening exercise will determine the categorization and the safeguards instruments that will be required during preparation and/or implementation of candidate sub-projects associated to the different National REDD+ Strategy Options. More information is available in Uganda’s ESMF (April 2021).

The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard – safeguards requirements (adapted from ART website)

The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) has been developed to achieve the environmental integrity needed for REDD+ emission reductions and removals at national and jurisdictional scale. ART provides a credible standard and rigorous process to transparently register, verify, and issue REDD+ emission reduction and removal credits that ensure environmental and social integrity.

The REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard (TREES) is ART’s standard for the quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions and removals from REDD+ activities at a jurisdictional and national scale. ART and TREES have been designed to help accelerate progress toward national scale accounting and implementation to achieve emissions reductions and removals at scale and to achieve Paris Agreement goals.

Among other requirements, TREES sets out requirements for the demonstration of implementation of the Cancún Safeguards. Participants need to demonstrate they have implemented REDD+ actions defined in the REDD+ implementation plan in consistency with Cancún Safeguards ensuring activities do no harm, while drawing on the step-wise nature of REDD+ implementation.

National government Participants must demonstrate conformance with Cancún Safeguards related requirements, these are:

  1. Having addressed and respected the safeguards (Section 12 of TREES document), by reporting on conformance with all Cancún Safeguards, in a progressive manner through indicators established for each safeguards theme. At the start of the first crediting period, Participants must demonstrate conformance with Cancun Safeguards by reporting against all structure and process indicators. In addition, at the beginning of the first crediting period, Participants must either demonstrate conformance with the outcome indicators or present a plan for achieving conformance with the outcome indicators within five years of joining ART. In subsequent crediting periods conformance with all safeguards indicators needs to be demonstrated.
  1. Having submitted the most recent Summary of Information to the UNFCCC for any year where results-based payments under TREES are sought.
  1. Having either a digital or analog system for providing information on safeguards.

Additional details regarding the requirements presented above are requested for subnational governments. Also, reporting and evidence of conformance with safeguards is subject of the Validation and Verification process that will be conducted in accordance with the TREES Validation and Verification Standard. Detailed information and guidance is found in TREES Safeguards Guidance Document.