In the planning and implementation of REDD+, countries require that safeguards be put in place to ensure that REDD+ activities take into account a range of policies and rights, including those related to conservation, stakeholders, and their access to sustainable livelihoods.

A key requirement for REDD+ is developing a Safeguard Information System for providing publicly available information on how safeguards are being addressed and respected in REDD+ Readiness and implementation activities.

A Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) helps to ensure compliance with relevant safeguards by integrating key environmental and social considerations covered by the relevant safeguard policies and procedures at the earliest stage of decision making. It also creates a platform for the participation of key stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities who depend on forest resources.

A key output of the SESA is an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF). The ESMF helps countries manage and mitigate the environmental and social risks and impacts of future investments associated with implementing a country’s REDD+ strategy. The ESMF provides a direct link to the relevant safeguard standards.