Uganda has made significant progress on its REDD+ safeguards process during recent months. A background document and roadmap to inform the design of a national and sub-national safeguards system has been developed, a Safeguards Taskforce has been established, the procurement process for the implementation of the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) contract is on-going and is expected to be finalized and commence around the month of September, and in May a workshop was organized by Uganda's REDD+ Secretariat for members of the National Technical Committee (NTC) as well as targeted members of other institutions, ministries, civil society organizations and the private sector.
The workshop had an ambitious set of objectives. It aimed to familiarize the NTC and stakeholders with requirements and recommendations for a credible safeguards information system (SIS), review Uganda's recently completed draft background document and provisional roadmap, and build momentum for self-selection of stakeholders as part of the country’s stakeholder engagement plan.
Specifically, the meeting discussed the desired impacts of REDD+ in Uganda, and the various options for defining the goals and scope of the country approach to safeguards and the objectives of a SIS. Participants highlighted, among other things, the question of how to design a SIS that allows for information flowing in to be fed back to stakeholders, the need to integrate safeguards from national sources, coupling indicators and risk information with a recommendation to act upon them, and the issue of addressing customary law in the REDD+ process. Considerations for prioritizing among safeguards and indicators, and inclusion of regional plans in the safeguards development process were also discussed.
The country’s REDD+ Secretariat emphasized its ambition to harness the REDD+ process as a catalyst to restore the role of forests, trees and forestry sector as an integral part of Uganda's green growth. The aim is that:
The meeting agreed that a short paper would be drafted, with input from UN-REDD Programme experts, on options for defining the goals and scope of the country approach to safeguards. This paper, along with the recommendations of the workshop, will be presented to the Safeguards Taskforce in their next meeting in June 2015, for deliberation. Other upcoming activities include the clarification of different safeguards through the development of a criteria and indicator system, which will be done with input from relevant experts and linked to existing government of Uganda indicator systems. Identification of priority non-carbon benefits extracted from existing national plans is also scheduled, as well as a working session to develop maps that can support several objectives of these multiple benefits as part of the national REDD+ process.
The background document and roadmap remains a living document, and continues to be updated as the REDD+ process evolves.
Contact persons for this workshop:
Uganda REDD+ Secretariat: Olive Kyampire, Communication Officer ()
UNEP-WCMC: Lisen Runsten () and Elina Väänänen ()