COALITION AGREES ON APPROACH TO FIGHT DEFORESTATION IN PALM OIL INDUSTRY
Last week, the HCS Convergence Working Group, a coalition of palm oil companies and environmental non-profits, agreed upon a single set of rules for companies to use when implementing their commitments to address deforestation. HCS, which stands for High Carbon Stock, is a measure of how natural, or robust, forest growth is on a plot of land (it excludes mostly young re-growth forest and recently cleared land). Until now, two popular approaches have been used: HCSA, the High Carbon Stock Approach, which distinguishes protected forest areas from low-carbon, degraded lands that can be developed and has a no-deforestation policy; and HCS+, which goes beyond carbon-based metrics to protect essential, non-carbon forest values and improve human rights protections. The new methodology will merge these two approaches and includes measures to protect non-forest areas with high conservation value and to better incorporate the perspectives of indigenous and other forest communities. For the full story, see https://news.mongabay.com/2016/11/industry-ngos-agree-to-single-approach-to-eliminating-deforestation-from-palm-oil-supply-chain/. For more information on High Carbon Stock forests, see http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/briefings/forests/2013/HCS-Briefing-2013.pdf.