New HCS Approach SG Member – Ekologika

The HCS Approach Executive Committee is pleased to announce that PT. Ekologika Consultants has come on board as a member of the HCS Approach Steering Group (SG).

Ekologika provides biodiversity, environmental, socio-economic and cultural assessments evaluations and surveys in Indonesia within the natural resource and sustainable development sector. Its staff has decades of experience working with conservation and development organisations, as well as the private sector. Ekologika’s Director and Biodiversity Conservation and Forestry Expert, Neville J Kemp, was involved early in the development of the HCS framework and the first HCS Approach Toolkit. Both Neville and Ninil Jannah (Commissioner, Social Expert) were also involved in the development and delivery of the HCSA Practitioner Training conducted in 2016. More information is available on their website:

Ekologika joined as a member in February 2017 as a Technical Support Organisation.

A full list of HCS Approach SG Members can be found here and information about membership can be found here.

New HCSA Executive Director

The HCS Approach Executive Committee is pleased to announce our new Executive Director, Judy Rodrigues, who will join the organisation in March 2018.

Since its inception, the HCSA Steering Group Co-Chairs have led the organisation’s strategy and have overseen its workstreams, with support from the Secretariat. With the HCSA’s increased size and impact, we welcome Judy Rodrigues taking on the role to lead the work of the Secretariat and work closely with the newly elected EC and Co-Chairs on the HCSA strategy and direction.

Judy Rodrigues brings with her a wealth of technical, organisational and multi-stakeholder experiences and accomplishments from decades of work in the conservation arena. We look forward to the collaborative leadership that Judy and the strengthened HCSA team will bring to address the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

HCSA Training for HCVRN Licensed Assessors

From 29 January to 2 February 2018 Licensed HCV Assessors and their GIS experts received training on the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA). The course, led by HCV Resource Network (HCVRN), prepared assessors to lead HCV-HCSA assessments. From November 2017, Members of the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) Steering Group must hire HCVRN Licensed Assessors to conduct integrated HCV-HCSA assessments.

For more information and for a list of Licensed Assessors qualified to lead HCV-HCSA assessments, please see the HCVRN website here.

Scope of HCSA Assessments

In December 2017 the Executive Committee of the HCSA Steering Group approved an ‘Advice Note’ to confirm that the scope of the HCSA assessments covers the whole development area, concession or permit area. This means that valid HCSA assessments cannot be carried out over only parts of or a portion a concession, as key elements of the methodology require consideration of broader landscape level aspects.

For the full Advice Note, please see here.

New HCSA Steering Group Executive Committee and Co-Chairs

We are pleased to announce the new Executive Committee (EC) members of the HCSA Steering Group. Please join us in welcoming the following organisations:

Plantation Companies: Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), Musim Mas and Wilmar
NGOs: Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and WWF
Commodity User Companies: Unilever
Technical Support Organisations: Proforest

We’re also pleased to announce the new Co-Chairs, Grant Rosoman from Greenpeace and Perpetua George from Wilmar.

We’d like to thank TFT and Aida Greenbury for their work and dedication over the years. We look forward to working with them in their current and new capacities.

You can read more about the role of the EC here.

Upcoming HCV-HCSA Assessment Manual Webinar

The HCV Resource Network (HCVRN) will be hosting a webinar to present the HCV-HCSA Assessment Manual and explain ALS quality assurance of integrated assessments. The webinar is open for anyone who is interested in learning more about HCV-HCSA assessments or has any questions. Details are as below:

HCV-HCSA Assessment Manual Webinar
Date: Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Time: 9.00am – 10.00am (GMT) / 4.00pm – 5.00pm (WIB)
Click here for more details and to register. Alternatively, you can directly register here.

For more information, kindly contact us at or HCVRN Secretariat directly at

Announcement: RSPO and HCSA SG to formalise dialogue on ‘No Deforestation’ Guidelines for inclusion into RSPO Standards

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Executive Committee of the High Carbon Stock Approach Steering Group (HCSA SG) announce their intention to undertake exchanges on how to implement no-deforestation commitments within the RSPO Principles and Criteria Review process.

The process has already started with the formation of a small joint committee involving representatives of RSPO Secretariat, RSPO P&C Task Force and the HCSA SG Executive Committee to discuss proposals for the inclusion of the HCS Approach to address no-deforestation in the RSPO P&C. The P&C review Task Force will then deliberate in their next meeting (22-24 November) whether these proposals should be included, adapted or not incorporated into the next version of the revised RSPO P&C.

For more information you can contact the Secretariat at

Announcing the release of the HCV-HCSA Assessment Manual

Over the past year, the HCS Approach Steering Group has been working together with the HCV Resource Network (HCVRN) to develop integrated procedures that will support the identification of HCS forests alongside HCVs.

HCVRN and the HCS Approach Steering Group are now pleased to announce that the new HCV-HCSA Assessment Manual has been published, and is available for download on the HCVRN website at:

The manual is primarily targeted at guiding assessment teams through the HCV-HCSA assessment process. However, the manual is also useful for HCS Approach Steering Group member companies commissioning HCV-HCSA assessments.

The HCVRN has also prepared a leaflet to support HCS Approach Steering Group member companies and licensed assessors through the transition from the HCS Approach Quality Assurance system (peer review) to the HCV Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS) Quality Assurance system. This leaflet can be downloaded here.

Should you have any questions about HCV-HCSA you may contact us at or the HCVRN Secretariat at

New research supports that protecting ‘high carbon’ rainforests also protects threatened wildlife

This week, a research paper titled ‘High carbon stock forests provide co-benefits for tropical biodiversity’ was published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The research highlights that methodologies, such as the High Carbon Stock Approach, that identify and conserve forest areas containing large amounts of carbon, are beneficial for biodiversity conservation.

The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent, who have been undertaking wildlife surveys in the forests of Borneo, in an area undergoing conversion to oil palm. Their findings revealed that when high-resolution maps were used to map forest and carbon resources, areas of high carbon were clearly seen to support the most mammal species. This relationship was driven by species of conservation concern such as orangutan and clouded leopards, suggesting that mammals vulnerable to deforestation and forest degradation will benefit the most from carbon policies.

The results have important implications for policymakers in business, government organisations and NGOs, by confirming that mechanisms like UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) Framework and HCS approaches to designate land for protection have strong potential for biodiversity conservation in the oil palm sector.

The paper was written by the University of Kent with support from the HCS Approach Steering Group, and can be accessed here.

Further information on the study’s release is available on the University of Kent’s website here.

This article was also covered by Mongabay. You can find a link to the post here.

A resource site on the HCS Approach