The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCS Approach) Steering Group is collaborating with HCV Resource Network (HCVRN) to develop procedures for integrated HCV-HCS assessments to support the identification of High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests alongside High Conservation Values (HCVs). A detailed technical HCV-HCS assessment manual is currently under preparation by the HCVRN and the HCS Approach HCV-HCS-FPIC Integration & Protection Working Group to create a step by step guidance narrative for conducting joint HCV and HCS assessments which will be recognised by the Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS) of the HCVRN.
With the new guidance, all joint HCV-HCS assessments will need to follow the upcoming HCV-HCS Assessment Manual and new quality assurance procedures via the HCV Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS). This integration is applicable to companies who have commitments to no deforestation of High Carbon Stock (HCS) and protection of High Conservation Value (HCV) areas.
Once the guidance is published:
- It will be compulsory for any new HCV-HCS assessments to follow the new HCV-HCS Assessment Manual;
- An ALS-licensed assessor will need to be hired to lead the HCV-HCS assessment (where the assessor must submit the assessment report to the ALS for evaluation); and
- At least one member of the assessment team must have training in the HCS methodology. The HCS Approach Secretariat is developing a new training program for practitioners to refresh current HCS licenses and allow for new practitioners to be trained.
The new HCV-HCS Assessment Manual is expected to be published by August 2017. For more information on the implications of integrated HCV-HCS assessments for companies, you may find the factsheet available here.
Currently, the HCVRN is conducting a 30-day public consultation to gather input from interested stakeholders. For further details on providing your feedback/comments, kindly find the link to the HCVRN website here.
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