March 2017. Climate Law and Policy.  SIS Tool CoverPage

How to Design a Safeguard Information System?. 

María del Carmen García Espinosa. 

Developing countries are moving at a fast pace towards completing their REDD+ readiness phase, as well as advancing in the implementation of REDD+ efforts in the context of accessing to results-based payments under a diversity of funding sources. The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ compiles key relevant decisions for REDD+ readiness and implementation, and provides a clear while flexible set of methodological, institutional and financial decisions. Still, safeguards related processes and requirements are a matter of large examination amongst REDD+ countries and donor countries and agencies. This is because of the general guidelines provided by UNFCCC decisions on the subject in contrast with general expectations on the role of safeguards and related requirements in the context of REDD+, but especially because of the country-led nature of how safeguard-related requirements are to be met.

The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ outlines three key safeguard-related requirements that countries should meet when seeking to obtain and receive results-based payments:

1. Ensure that REDD+ activities, are consistent with UNFCCC safeguards, regardless of the source and type of funding;

2. Develop a system to provide information on how safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD+ activities, and;

3. Provide the most recent summary of information on how all Cancun safeguards are being addressed and respected

As for the systems for providing information on how safeguards are being addressed, the REDD+ decision from Durban provides broad guidance on how countries should put in place said systems, by ‘taking into account national circumstances and respective capabilities, ... recognising national sovereignty and legislation, and relevant international obligations and agreements ...’. Such guidance stresses the need for the SIS to:

• Provide transparent and consistent information, accessible by all relevant stakeholders and regularly updated;

• Be transparent and flexible to allow for improvements over time;

• Provide information on how all REDD+ safeguards are being addressed and respected;

• Be country-driven and covering the national level; and

• Build upon existing systems, as appropriate.

In the absence of specific guidelines on how a country should set-up its SIS, a SIS may be broadly understood as a domestic institutional arrangement for the provision of information on how safeguards have been addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD+ at national level. Thus, in the aim of assisting countries in the development of their SIS, and building upon the valuable insights from pioneering countries on safeguard-related processes captured in the document ‘Best Practices and considerations for the Development of Country Approaches to Safeguards and Design of Safeguards Information Systems’, CLP and SNV have developed a ‘Strategic and Design Considerations for Designing a Safeguard Information System A Self-assessment Tool’. This new publication aims to assist country governments, both at decision-making and technical level, to address strategic and design considerations that should be considered when planning the design of their SIS, through a self-assessment approach.

The ‘Strategic and Design Considerations for Designing a Safeguard Information System A Self-assessment Tool' constitutes an innovative tool to assist countries to meeting UNFCCC guidelines, by presenting a broad set of self-assessment questions for a country-driven and country-tailored SIS. This new publication is organised under strategic and design considerations for a step-by-step technical and decision-making process [see figure below].



Further information on the self-assessment approach for planning the design of a SIS, as well as experiences and best practices, can be found in this new CLP and SNV publication.

Download the new publication in CLP’s website:  


Report cover lessons learnedApril 2015 – Ugo Ribet. CLP and the GIZ REDD/CCAD Regional Programme have just released a new Report presenting initial experiences and lessons learned from tropical forest countries currently developing Country-Led Safeguards Approaches (CSA) to meet international safeguard requirements related to REDD+.

Following its adoption at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) in 2013, the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ consolidates the requirements that must be met by countries in order to receive results-based payments. However these requirements were intentionally left somewhat broad in the interests of flexibility and preserving national sovereignty. This is particularly true in the case of the REDD+ safeguards, which must be "addressed and respected" when implementing all activities and during all phases of REDD+. The question is how best to do this?

One-approach countries have chosen to adopted to follow is the Country-led Safeguards Approach (CSA) that allows them to respond to international, safeguard-related commitments in a methodologically robust way, building on their existing governance system (which is composed of the legal, institutional, and compliance frameworks). This approach aims to allow countries to operationalize the safeguards, as well as to monitor and report on their implementation.

The Report provides an overview and analysis of the initial experiences and lessons learned from countries that have already started implementing the CSA approach. The objective of this report is to provide a snapshot of the steps that are being taken on the ground to meet international safeguard requirements through the CSA and to provide insights on best practices and early difficulties encountered and recommendations on how these early challenges could be overcome.

This document is principally geared towards national authorities charged with implementing country-level commitments for safe¬guards, as well as decision-makers and officials involved in REDD+ processes. It could also be of particular use to representatives from development agencies providing technical and financial assistance to countries for the implementation of their commitments around REDD+ safeguards, as well as to civil society engaging, or about to engage in national safeguards processes.

pdfDownload Report