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Map of SBSTA Submissions

REDD+ Safeguard Information System

In June 2011, the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) requested input on a guidance document for its REDD+ "safeguard information system." 26 groups have submitted input to date; this Working Paper describes and summarizes those submissions.

Executive Summary

In December 2010, the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requested the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) to develop guidance relating to paragraph 71(d) of the Cancun Agreements in time for COP 17 in Durban, December 2011.

Paragraph 71(d) speaks to a system to provide information on how the safeguards in Annex 1 of the Cancun Agreements are being addressed and respected (termed the “safeguard information system” or SIS).1

In June 2011, SBSTA discussed the development of a guidance document on the SIS, and invited Parties and accredited Observers to submit their views on such guidance.2 Submissions were welcomed on: characteristics; design; provision of information; potential barriers, if any, to providing information on addressing and respecting safeguards; and other relevant issues.

SBSTA received 26 submissions in total, 14 from Parties and 12 from Observers. Several submissions represent the view of more than one Party or Observer. While most submissions followed the structure suggested by SBSTA in June, they often covered substantively different topics under each heading. In an effort to bring greater clarity to discussions surrounding the SIS, ClientEarth and the World Resources Institute (WRI) have divided the information in the submissions into four categories:

  1. The Role of the Safeguard Information System
  2. The Type of Information that Parties Should Provide
  3. How to Collect and Provide Information
  4. Other Elements of the International Safeguard System

A summary of our key findings for each category is provided below. Tables of the specific language from Party submissions make up the rest of the document. In some cases it was difficult to be certain of the exact meaning of the language included in the submissions.3 Every effort has been made to accurately reflect, in this abbreviated format, the views contained in the submissions. ClientEarth and WRI regret any misrepresentation of those views that may have occurred in an effort to achieve brevity, clarity and comparability.


  1. This paragraph speaks to “a system for providing information on how the safeguards referred to in appendix I to [the Cancun] decision are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities referred to in paragraph 70 above, while respecting sovereignty.” 

  2. SBSTA also invited input on other elements of REDD, including reference levels and MRV. Please note that document only reviews submissions related to the safeguard information system. 

  3. For example, it was sometimes difficult to know when reading the submission if Parties/observers envisaged activities (like reviews) happening at the national and/or the international level. 

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