Joint international efforts contributed to the design and implementation of social and environmental information systems for REDD+ in six countries

CARE Norway, jointly with the REDD+SES Initiative, strengthened social and environmental information systems (SIS) in Indonesia (Central and East Kalimantan), Brazil (Acre and Mato Grosso), DRC (Mai Ndombe), Ecuador, Peru (San Martin) and Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula).


CARE Norway

The purpose of the project was to support countries in developing REDD+ safeguard information systems (REDD+ SIS) through capacity building, technical support and influence on policy and practice.

Why did Norway decide to support this project?

The rationale behind this project was a growing appreciation at local and global levels of the value of forest ecosystem services beyond carbon and the existence of real opportunities for REDD+ investments to leverage wider social benefits. Designing and implementing REDD+ safeguard information systems (SIS) would have had a crucial role in enhancing the social and environmental benefits of forests.

The project focused on achieving the following five outcomes:
  1. Six countries have developed and institutionalized multi-stakeholder safeguards information systems building on REDD+SES to monitor and thereby enhance the social and environmental performance of their REDD+ programs
  2. Clear guidance based on a unifying conceptual framework has improved understanding of the development of safeguard information systems, making effective use of international safeguards mechanisms including REDD+ SES
  3. Practical methods and tools for effective and efficient monitoring of social, governance and environmental performance of REDD+ programmes are developed, disseminated & widely used.
  4. Six countries have shared learning with each other and a wider REDD+ safeguard information systems community of practice, to strengthen their safeguards information systems and the REDD+SES initiative as a whole
  5. Longer term institutional arrangements for the REDD+SES Initiative at global level are developed and operationalized to provide ongoing support for countries developing and implementing safeguards Information systems

Please find CARE`s final results report to Norad on these outcomes in the PDF file in the box to the right.


In this project, CARE Norway contributed to strengthen social and environmental safeguards for REDD+ in targeted countries as part of the REDD+ SES Initiative. The project results summarized hereunder were generated through joint efforts between CARE and the REDD+ SES Initiative.

Outcome 1- Seven national and subnational programs have made substantial progress developing country-led multistakeholder SIS and two have implemented their SIS.

Outcome 2- SIS guidance is used in all six target countries and in four additional countries.

Outcome 3- This project has developed methods and tools for social and governance assessment supporting progress in five target countries and five additional countries.

Outcome 4- CARE contributed to the REDD+ SES exchange in all six countries. According to the outcome evaluation report referred to by CARE, this learning exchange has strengthened results for the SES Initiative as a whole.

Outcome 5- The REDD+ SES International Steering Committee performed its global oversight and governance functions for all targeted countries. Due to lack of and funding for the REDD+ SES Initiative from 2016, it was decided to maintain the REDD+ SES secretariat at Conservation International, the convenor of the CCBA.

Lessons learned

Some lessons learned of this project are summarized below:

  1. The development of REDD+ safeguards and SIS through a multi-stakeholder process helps to involve stakeholder groups that may have been marginalized or lacked trust in the government into the REDD+ process and to ensure political support for the effective implementation of safeguards.
  2. The approach for developing SIS should be tailored to each country. While some countries have strong existing information systems for monitoring biodiversity, forest governance and other aspects which they use for their SIS, other countries do not have systems in place or functioning and thus may need to develop new systems in order to provide information on how safeguards are addressed and respected.
  3. Indicators can perform an important role in further specifying the information that should be collected, particularly where safeguards have not yet been incorporated into legal and policy frameworks, e.g. indicators based on voluntary standards. 
  4. Facilitating exchange and learning between countries has been key to share good practices and helped to start discussions around common challenges that countries are facing in the development of SIS. It also helped to create a network of practitioners that shared progress and learning on REDD+ safeguards and on other related issues.
  5. Articulation between national and sub-national level is a challenge, in particular in countries where sub-national jurisdictions are developing their own REDD+ programs. While REDD+ safeguards need to be reported at national level, they must be applied at sub-national level where 20 REDD+ activities are implemented, requiring close coordination between sub-national and national level government.
  6. Countries have found it very important to build on existing platforms to engage stakeholders. Where some stakeholder groups had not been involved, countries have created working groups or councils to ensure their participation.
Published 22.10.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015