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HCV assessment for Olam International

Olam International is one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and supply chain managers. Its subisdiary, Olam Palm, has committed to developing Olam’s oil palm business in full compliance with the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification system. Maintaining biological and social High Conservation Values (HCVs) is a key requirement of any new planting under the RSPO system, and Proforest was tasked with carrying out HCV assessments for Olam Palm’s first three concessions in Gabon.

Olam Palm Gabon | 2010—2011

Proforest carried out an assessment of 3 concessions totalling 52,000 ha in Gabon for Olam Palm, with the technical support of local experts from Terea. On the basis of our pre-assessment one of the 3 concessions was found to consist entirely of primary forest, which may not be converted under RSPO requirements, and was excluded from the field assessment on that basis.

Full field assessments of the other two concessions were carried out, including consultations with local communities and national stakeholders, secondary data collection and analysis, sophisticated aerial assessment of forest cover, and botanical and fauna surveys. These combined surveys were used to define and map areas which are appropriate for the development of Olam’s oil palm plantations, consistent with the RSPO’s requirements for maintaining biodiversity and supporting local livelihoods.

Proforest’s HCV report for Olam enabled the company successfully to complete RSPO’s New Plantings Procedure, and set a quality benchmark for any future work related to RSPO certification of palm oil development in Gabon and the Congo Basin.

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