24th August 2021 – Today the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA)  and the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi)  launched their Partnership Plan  to advance their shared objectives related to natural forests and ecosystem protection, land rights, climate change and biodiversity loss mitigation within ethical supply chains.
The HCS Approach and AFi are integral to supporting robust no-deforestation and conservation commitments for companies producing, sourcing, or investing in forest-risk commodity supply chains. The collaboration aims to expand global commitments and their effective implementation through the increased uptake of the HCS Approach and the AFi’s Core Principles and Guidance. To achieve their shared objectives, the partnership between the HCSA and AFi will focus on:
- Disseminating materials detailing how The HCSA and the Accountability Framework are aligned and complementary, and how both can be used to support defining forests and achieving no-deforestation and conservation efforts, respect land rights, improve livelihoods, and ethical supply chains.
- Promoting uptake of the HSA and the Accountability Framework when engaging companies and other actors to implement efforts to address and transform forest-risk commodity supply chains.
- Engaging in each other’s initiatives to exchange learnings, expertise, and identify opportunities to strengthen/expand areas of alignment, guidance, and supporting tools.
HCSA and AFi are keen to work with their overlapping organisational members, other interested organisations, and stakeholders to make the partnership plan a success.
The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) is a methodology that distinguishes forest areas for protection from degraded lands with low carbon and biodiversity values that may be developed, whilst ensuring that the rights and livelihoods of communities and workers are respected. The HCSA methodology can be used for integrated land use planning in any country and commodity grown in tropical moist forest landscapes and the HCSA is adapting its methodology for application by independent smallholders and will soon have an open-access framework technical procedure for producing high-quality indicative HCSA-HCV maps at a landscape level.
The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) is a global coalition of leading environmental and human rights organizations working together to accelerate progress and improve accountability of company commitments to protect forests and safeguard human rights in agriculture and forestry supply chains. In June 2019, the coalition launched the Accountability Framework, a set of common principles, definitions, and guidance to support companies in setting ethical supply chain goals, taking action on them, and reporting on progress.
 In June 2021, HCSA joined the AFi coalition as a Supporting Partner and AFi was recognised as a partner of the HCSA Steering Group to support the aims of the Partnership Plan.
i The HCSA methodology can be used for integrated land use planning in any country and commodity grown in tropical moist forest landscapes while the AFi guidance is applicable to natural forests and ecosystem types.