The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) Steering Group is an organisation with three functions:
- An Approach (HCSA Toolkit development) function: The HCSA Steering Group (SG) develops and periodically reviews the High Carbon Stock Approach Toolkit, and associated methodologies and guides, to provide practical guidance for land managers on how to implement No Deforestation commitments on-the-ground through an integrated conservation and land use planning approach. The Toolkit and associated methodologies are adapted for implementation at different scales by land managers in commodity supply chains in the tropics.
- Quality Assurance (HCSA Toolkit Implementation support) function: The HCSA Secretariat, Quality Assurance Working Group, and peer reviewers provide a quality assurance process for stand-alone assessments. The HCSA also provides accreditation of HCSA trainer organisations and registered HCSA practitioners, as well as maintaining a grievance procedure. These functions aim to support HCSA Toolkit implementation in addition to quality assurance processes undertaken by the High Conservation Value Network ALS system for HCV-HCSA Assessments.
- Monitoring Implementation of the HCSA (Impacts) function: The HCSA monitors the long-term effectiveness (i.e., maintenance of identified conservation areas) of the implementation of the HCS Approach. The HCSA monitoring system is established through spatial data from HCSA assessments which delineates areas for development and areas for conservation. In addition, the monitoring is supported by the provision of spatial data from SG members and other land managers, practitioners, or collaborators using the HCSA. The result of the monitoring will inform future revisions of the HCSA Toolkit and associated methodologies, internal membership performance evaluation processes, alert and response protocols, and support the organization and members in communicating publicly on the impacts achieved by HCSA implementation.