Promoting and implementing REDD+ safeguards at national level in East Africa

While REDD+ activities have the potential to deliver significant social and environmental co-benefits, they pose a number of potential risks to the environment and to some stakeholders, particularly the communities whose livelihoods depend on the forests. This has attracted significant discussion, particularly among local communities and civil society organisations. Consequently, the need for deliberate efforts to address the social and environment concerns associated with the REDD+ initiatives has gained attention in international, national and local initiatives focused on REDD+. For example, at the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, governments agreed a set of safeguards that should be promoted and supported in REDD+ programmes (UNFCCC, 2010:). Many international institutions have also adopted environmental and social “safeguard” policies to help identify and reduce the likelihood that their investments will cause harm to local people and ecosystems.