Publicly available indicative High Carbon Stock Forest maps for Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines

Mapping High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests is a critical step towards protecting them from deforestation. High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) member Barry Callebaut (BC) teamed up with the EcoVision Lab at ETH Zurich University to produce large-scale indicative HCS forest maps for Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Utilising HCSA’s classification for vegetation stratification, over the past four years the ETH team combined new spaceborne LIDAR, satellite imagery, and calibrated regional carbon biomass data to produce large-scale indicative HCS maps which are highly automated and objective.

These maps represent a good first step towards automating large-scale indicative HCS forest maps covering large tropical forest regions.  Nevertheless, it is important to locally calibrate the maps to validate and/or improve the accuracy of the maps before using them for integrated conservation land use planning, management, and monitoring.  Additionally, the large-scale maps may be used to complement, but not substitute, HCS forest mapping as required for HCSA assessments as per HCSA Toolkit requirements. 

The HCSA will continue to work with HCSA members and partners, including BC and ETH, to regularly update large-scale indicative HCS maps and improve their accuracy. The HCSA will support making the refined maps publicly available for use by land managers implementing the HCS Approach, in particular, smallholder farmers and small to medium enterprise third-party suppliers to HCSA members.

For access to the pre-print ‘High carbon stock mapping at large scale with optical satellite imagery and spaceborne LIDAR’ paper published ETH Zurich and University of Zurich and for access to the indicative HCS maps for Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines visit this link.


Development Manager

Natalia Merchan

Natalia Merchan joined HCSA as a Business Development consultant in 2020. She is responsible for fundraising in general and building relationships with new donors. Natalia has over 10 years of fundraising experience with foundations, major donors, institutional and corporate donors. Prior to joining HCSA, she worked with Greenpeace as a major gifts’ advisor raising funds for the forests campaign. She holds an MSc. in Environmental development from the University of Amsterdam.

Digital Designer & Communications Officer

Kirsti Drain

Kirsti joined in 2022 and is responsible for visual digital content production for HCSA’s new website, digital assets for all communication channels, as well as design for corporate reports and bids. She has over 20 years of experience in design and content across web, digital and print channels in a broad range of sectors. She previously worked as senior graphic designer for Capital City College Group in London and digital designer and content editor for the Commonwealth. She has a BA in Film and Photographic Arts from the University of Westminster.

Outreach Executive

Saffira Mohamed

Saffira Mohamed joined the High Carbon Stock Approach in 2022 as Membership Officer. She supports the Membership Outreach Manager and Membership Committee. Saffira has experience in avifauna surveying and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry from University Putra Malaysia with a focus on Forest Management.

Communications Manager

Leslie Jewell

Leslie is responsible for producing and managing HCSA’s internal and external communications. Her background is journalism, starting as a reporter and then current affairs producer with BBC World Service Radio and BBC Radio 4. She moved into international TV news, working in Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia as Bureau Producer in Moscow for BBC News and covered New York and Washington as North American Bureau Producer for Reuters. She studied politics at Cardiff University and speaks French, Italian and Russian.

Head of Development

Jesús Cordero

Jesús Cordero is our Head of Development. He leads on the development and deployment of our Membership Strategy, coordinates the Membership Committee, and supports the development of our Information Management, Communications, Fundraising and HR functions. Jesús has extensive experience with membership and communications management and innovations as well as promoting smallholders’ livelihoods in the tropics via sustainable land use management approaches. Jesús speaks English and Spanish, and he holds a degree in Forestry, an MSc. in Agroforestry (Cranfield University), an MSc. in Communications for Innovation and Development (University of Reading) and an M.A. in Translation Studies (University of Portsmouth).

Landscape and monitoring manager

Jonathan Byers

Jonathan Byers is responsible for managing the HCSA Global Forest Watch Pro monitoring platform. Jonathan has a diverse background in natural and physical science research, cartography and GIS, non-profit management, education, and digital storytelling. Most recently he led a National Geographic funded project to study the habitat and behaviour of the endangered Matschies’s tree-kangaroo in Papua New Guinea to assist community conservation efforts. He previously worked on cartography projects for Panthera to provide high-resolution maps for tiger anti-poaching efforts in Malaysia, and for the National Park Service mapping glacier retreat in California and Alaska. Jonathan holds an MSc. Degree in Geography from the University of Montana.

Administrative Officer

Anis Farhana Wahab

Anis Farhana Wahab is the Administrative Officer of the High Carbon Stock Approach. She supports the HCSA Executive Director, HCSA Executive Committee and working groups on HCSA governance and priority workstreams. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Major in Biology with Minor in Psychology) from Carleton University.

Quality manager

Daneetha Muniandy

Daneetha Muniandy joined the HCS Approach in 2020 as the Quality Assurance Officer. She is responsible for supporting HCSA Grievance Mechanism Unit, HCSA trial applications and other HCSA QA work. Daneetha has experience in forest conservation and holds both, a diploma and degree in Forestry from University Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Finance Manager

Lee Kuan Lih

Lee Kuan Lih joined HCSA as a Finance Manager in 2020. He is responsible for the company’s bookkeeping, budgets, and cash flow control. Prior to joining HCSA, he was a finance manager in Helikonia. He was also in charge of financial matters at Apple Crumby & Fish, a start-up e-commerce platform for essential baby products and had previously worked as an auditor. Kuan Lih holds a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (majoring in accounting and finance) from Monash University, Malaysia. He is also a Certified Practising Accountant as a member of CPA, Australia.


Adrian Choo

Adrian Choo is the Executive Director of the High Carbon Stock Approach. He leads the development and implementation of HCSA’s strategic business plan, oversees the HCSA membership and Secretariat and fosters partnerships to drive HCSA’s impact and growth. Adrian has extensive experience in tropical forest certification, palm oil sustainability and high conservation value areas. He led the Sustainable Markets Programme Strategy at WWF-Malaysia and was Chair of FSC Malaysia for several years. Adrian has a BA in Forestry and a PhD in Biocomposite Technology from Universiti Putra Malaysia, where he was also a Post-doctoral Research Fellow.