Social and environmental safeguards are essential for the success of REDD+. This was a key message from the Copenhagen climate change negotiations. Guidelines for such safeguards are already in place for forest certification schemes. This experience can provide valuable lessons for developing and implementing equitable and sustainable REDD+ in the Asia-Pacific region. To explore these lessons, 19 government, civil society, and forest industry representatives gathered in Sabah, Malaysia from 21 to 23 April 2010.
- National ‘good forestry' standards are urgently needed for REDD+, with effective tools for monitoring compliance. Global standards will necessarily be too broad to be effective at the national level.
- REDD+ will need to provide clear incentives to those responsible for ensuring the required changes in forestry practice and policy. Weak incentives provided by timber markets have slowed the adoption of certification.
- Effective and credible multistakeholder consultations are necessary for the transparent development of standards for certification or REDD+. This will take some time and require considerable investment in capacity building.
- Good forestry practices such as reduced impact logging and effective conservation of fragile forest ecosystems have significant potential to both reduce emissions and enhance forest carbon stocks.