Consultancy for "Supporting the Development of a Safeguards Framework for Vietnam’s National REDD+ Investment Plan (NRIP)"


A Legal Analysis Supporting the Development of a Safeguards

Framework for Vietnam’s National REDD+ Investment Plan (NRIP)

Organisation:      SNV Netherlands Development Organisation

Program:            REDD+

  Donor:                BMUB

Abstract:            Consultancy service to provide a legal analysis supporting the development of a safeguards framework for Vietnam’s national REDD+ investment plan (NRIP)    

Location:            Hanoi

  Duration:            Indicative 17 days over the period from mid-August to end September 2017

Background and rationale

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) has been working in Vietnam since 1995. Using market based approaches and balancing benefit for gender equality promotion, SNV is committed to reducing poverty by catalysing environmentally sustainable solutions for the poor in agriculture, energy, water & sanitation, and REDD+.

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a mechanism that has been developed through international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that will provide results-based financial incentives to developing countries for actions which reduce emissions from forested lands and investing in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. Vietnam has demonstrated considerable interest in REDD+ and has made important progress to date in terms of preparing for REDD+ implementation at both national and sub-national levels.

In order to participate in REDD+, developing countries need to meet UNFCCC requirements at the national level which include the following four key elements:[1] 1) A National REDD+ Strategy or Action Plan; 2) A Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL); 3) A Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System, including a robust National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS); and 4) A Safeguards Information System (SIS). Vietnam has made important progress to date on these overall requirements with a National REDD+ Action Plan and a FREL recently approved by UNFCCC.

With respect to REDD+ Safeguards, based on the UNFCCC decisions,[2] there are three key requirements that all REDD+ countries must comply with in order to access results-based payments, regardless of the source of funding:

 1.    Implement REDD+ measures in a manner consistent with the Cancun safeguards;

 2.    Establish a system to provide information on how the Cancun safeguards are being addressed and respected (SIS); and

 3.  Provide a summary of information (SoI) on how the safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD+.

SNV in partnership with the Vietnam REDD+ Office (VRO) is implementing a project entitled “Operationalising National Safeguards Requirements for Results-based payments from REDD+”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The project aims to support Vietnam to become eligible for results-based payments through the establishment of a country safeguard framework and improved institutional capacity for REDD+ safeguards implementation, monitoring and reporting at national and sub-national levels. The project collaborates closely with the UN-REDD Programme and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) in supporting Vietnam to achieve this objective.

To date, work on safeguards in Vietnam has included the establishment of the Sub-technical Working Group on REDD+ Safeguards (STWG-SG), the conduct of a legal study on Vietnam’s existing safeguards-relevant policies, laws and regulations (PLRs) and the extent to which they are consistent with the scope and content of the Cancun safeguards (2014). Throughout 2016, an assessment of the degree to which these PLRs are being implemented in practice was conducted. In addition, a considerable amount of work was carried out to provide a national “clarification” or “interpretation” of the Cancun safeguards in accordance with Vietnam’s national context including through extensive consultations with the STWG-SG. Finally, a framework design document was produced for Vietnam’s Safeguard Information System (SIS) in late 2016.

Whilst the work to date has been useful, it has been limited by the fact that until recently Vietnam had not defined specifically what its REDD+ policies and measures (PaMs)  were going to be (a safeguards framework is generally designed to ensure consistency of a country’s PaMs with the Cancun safeguards). In April 2017, Vietnam’s Prime Minister approved a revised National REDD+ Action Plan (NRAP). The new NRAP outlines 7 work packages with a total of 35 PaMs for the development and implementation of specific interventions to achieve REDD+. A further 4 work packages, which focus on the necessary steps to achieve REDD+ readiness are included in the NRAP.

In order to operationalise this NRAP, the VRO, with support from the UN-REDD Programme is supporting the formulation of a National REDD+ Investment Plan (NRIP) for the period 2017-2020, aiming to turn all PaMs into concrete interventions with quantified targets, supported by adequate financial resources.

It is important that any potential environmental and social risks linked to the design and implementation of these interventions are identified as part of the NRIP development. Such an assessment can directly inform the design or formulation of the NRIP and lead to the design of a resource-efficient country safeguard framework.

The design and establishment of this safeguard framework will itself involve certain activities and costs which will need to be included in NRIP, particularly due to the fact that the development of guidance on how to ensure that safeguards are effectively implemented is included as a priority activity in the revised NRAP.

VRO, UN-REDD and SNV have agreed that the development of Vietnam’s NRIP would benefit from support from the SNV-led IKI project. It was agreed that SNV would lead the initial process of assessing potential risks and benefits linked to the revised NRAP PaMs and to carry initial activities to contribute to the design of a country safeguards framework anchored to and based on, Vietnams existing PLRs and institutions.

The identification of risks and benefits assessment will be mainly carried out by SNV project staff. Support from a national legal expert will be required to analyse the relevant aspects of Viet Nam’s safeguard relevant PLRs. Much of the relevant primary legislation has already been identified and analysed, though this initial assessment needs to be updated in light of several relevant new laws having been passed. The particular emphasis of this assignment however, will be on identifying and assessing relevant secondary legislation as it is this subsidiary legislation that details the specific procedures and guidelines that need to be followed to ensure that the objectives of the framework laws have been complied with.


The overall objectives of the assignment are to:

  • Produce an updated identification and analysis of Vietnam’s safeguard relevant PLRs, taking recent legislative developments into account as well as applicable subsidiary legislation.
  • Identify major gaps in the safeguard relevant PLRs in relation to the Cancun safeguards.
  • Develop document that outlines the relevant PLRs, institutions and procedures to be followed to minimise potential social and environmental risks identified in the NRAP, and which will be the basis for the development of a future safeguard framework.


Working closely with and under the direction of the SNV’s International REDD+ Technical Advisor as well as project partners, Climate Law and Policy;

  • Conduct a revised identification safeguard relevant PLRs (primary and secondary legislation) applicable to the Cancun safeguards. (5 days)
  • Produce a document that outlines the relevant PLRs, institutions and procedures to be followed to minimise potential social and environmental risks identified in the NRAP, and which will be the basis for the development of a future country safeguard framework. This will include a detailed description (including procedures and process diagrams) as to how the safeguard-relevant legislation functions in practice (link between framework primary legislation and implementing secondary legislation i.e. circulars, directives, the procedures outlined in the legislation and the institutions responsible) under Vietnamese law in general and their potential application in the context of REDD+ activities. (10 days)
  • Lead/facilitate a workshop to present the findings of the study to the STWG-SG core group and to gather feedback from participants on the proposals (2 days)


The work specified in this term of reference will be delivered between 14th August 2017 to 30th September 2017.


  • Document outlining safeguard relevant PLRs, from primary to secondary legislation and detailing the procedures to be followed to ensure compliance with the primary legislation
  • Document that outlines the relevant PLRs, institutions and procedures to be followed to minimise potential social and environmental risks identified in the NRAP, and which will be the basis for the development of a future safeguard management framework.
  • Workshop presentations and notes


  • Degree in law and legal qualification, specialisation in environmental/social justice/rights law.
  • Minimum seven years of experience in conducting legal analyses of environmental and social policies and legislation in Vietnam or in carrying out environmental/social safeguards assessments in Vietnam (for major ODA clients e.g. World Bank, ADB, JICA, UN agencies etc.)
  • Specific knowledge and understanding of REDD+ and REDD+ safeguards desirable.


Interested consultant(s) send application letters and CVs, together with an indication of expected fee rate, to [email protected] by 17th August 2017.


[1] UNFCCC Decision 1/CP.16 paragraph 71

[2] Namely, UNFCCC Decision 1/CP.16 Appendix 1 paragraph 2; UNFCCC Decision 1/CP.16 Paragraph 71(d); UNFCCC Decision 2/CP.17 paragraph 63 and 64; UNFCCC Decision 12/CP.17 Paragraph 2; UNFCCC Decision 9/CP.19 paragraph 4 and UNFCCC Decision 17/CP.21

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
SNV - Netherlands Development Organisation
Application Deadline: 
Thu, 2017-08-17