Safeguards in REDD+ help to mitigate any risks and promote co-benefits such as biodiversity conservation or livelihood opportunities. Part of the process of developing safeguards involves analysing and improving legal frameworks.

A similar analysis is conducted when defining the legality definition for FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs).

Although there are big differences in the ways the safeguard framework and legality definition will work, they both help strengthen the legal framework around shared principles.

The parallel development of the safeguard framework and legality definition also creates opportunities for gap assessments.

Example: Vietnam

Vietnam is developing a national REDD+ safeguards framework, based on a comprehensive gap analysis of relevant national policies, laws and regulations. Vietnam is also reviewing its definition of legal timber and timber products, in the context of FLEGT VPA negotiations.

Political complexities and other factors can make it difficult for the processes to develop REDD+ safeguards and define VPA legality to inform each other directly. However, the two processes are similar. Each can therefore provide useful lessons for the other, such as lessons about the multistakeholder mechanisms for negotiation and implementation, communication and capacity building of civil society.

For more information, see 'Publication on safeguards roadmap for Vietnam's national REDD+ action programme'.