Under the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (UN-REDD Programme), UNEP-WCMC and UNDP have developed a ‘Benefits and Risks Tool’ (BeRT). The new tool will help REDD+ countries to address and respect the social and environmental safeguards set out by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Under the UNFCCC, Parties to the Convention have agreed to a set of seven safeguards, known as the Cancun safeguards, which must be promoted and supported when undertaking REDD+ activities. Much of UNEP-WCMC’s work within the UN-REDD Programme relates to the multiple benefits that REDD+ actions can deliver, such as the conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, and how to enhance those benefits and avoid significant risks (see an example of past work here).
BeRT will help countries to assess the social and environmental benefits and risks associated with specific REDD+ actions foreseen in the country, and to analyse how existing policies, laws and regulations address the Cancun safeguards. Working through the tool enables countries to identify gaps in their policies, laws and regulations that need to be addressed for a full coverage of the safeguards.
The outputs from the tool can also contribute to a safeguards information system (SIS), which provides information on how the Cancun safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD+ activities. Here, BeRT outputs can be used to show how the Cancun safeguards are being addressed by existing policies, laws and regulations.
You can download BeRT in English, French and Spanish. Please refer to the accompanying BeRT User Guide (available in English, French and Spanish) for more information on how to use the tool.
Please send questions and comments to: BeRT@un-redd.org.
Testing the Benefits and Risk Tool with UN-REDD Programme colleagues at a retreat in January 2015