The HCV Resource Network and the HCS Approach Steering Group agree to deepen collaboration

The Executive Committee of the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) Steering Group and representatives from the Management Committee of the High Conservation Value Resource Network (HCVRN) met in Singapore on Friday the 1st of April, 2016 to discuss next steps with regards to joint quality assurance of HCV and HCS assessments, a future joint HCV-HCS assessment manual and the potential for a shared institutional home for the HCS and HCV approaches.

Recognising the potential for significant efficiency gains for companies, communities and practitioners alike in integrating the governance and quality assurance of the HCV and HCS approaches, both groups agreed to:

a) From April 2016 to January 2017, develop common procedures to evaluate the quality of HCV and HCS assessment reports, including joint HCV-HCS reports. Procedures will be developed and implemented under the umbrella of the existing HCV Assessor Licensing Scheme and will build on the interim peer review procedure and transparency requirements developed by the HCS Approach Quality Assurance working group, which was launched in December 2015.

b) In the short-term, both parties agreed to develop integrated guidance on how to conduct joint HCV-HCS assessments in a range of situations, including with smallholders, at landscape level, and high forest cover regions, building on the work of the HCS Approach HCV-HCS-FPIC Integration working group, the HCS Approach toolkit, the Common Guidance for HCV Identification, Management and Monitoring, the HCV Assessment Manual, and the HCSA and HCS+ convergence process that is currently underway.

c) In the medium-term, both groups will work towards joint governance of the HCV and HCS approaches and encourage broader uptake of HCV-HCS guidance and quality assurance mechanisms by stakeholders such as certification schemes and companies committed to deforestation-free production and sourcing.

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