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Assuring the quality of conservation assessments

Many agricultural and forestry commodity companies are committed to conserving important ecological, social and cultural features of the landscapes they manage. The High Conservation Value (HCV) approach provides a framework for identifying these features.

HCV Resource Network | 2013 — ongoing

The HCV approach has been widely incorporated into initiatives supporting the responsible production of forest products, palm oil, soy and sugar. More than nine sustainability certification schemes, 56 companies, and 12 financial institutions include HCV in their standards or policies for production, procurement and investment.

It is essential that land managers and assessors apply the HCV approach consistently. Responding to evidence that inconsistent use of the HCV approach was undermining its value, Proforest supported the HCV Resource Network to develop and launch the HCV Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS).

This will help licensed assessors to consistently identify important features for conservation and will assist land managers to identify and contract appropriately qualified assessors.

Over the course of 2014, Proforest played a central role in pushing forward the Assessor Licensing Scheme. Through events, workshops and publications Proforest worked with HCV Resource Network partners to publicise, consult on and develop the Assessor Licensing Scheme. By the end of 2014, the scheme was officially launched, 48 applications had been received and 23 provisional licenses were issued.

The HCV Resource Network is a membership organisation which had 25 non-governmental and private sector members at the end of 2014. It is supported financially by membership fees and donations from Mondi, RSPO, WWF Sweden, NORAD and DFID.

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Proforest's support

“Proforest has been a crucial support to the HCV Resource Network over the past few years, providing a central base and financial security for the Network Secretariat, while respecting the Network’s autonomy and multistakeholder complexion. We would not be where we are today without Proforest’s competent, modest and collaborative help.” Marcus Colchester, Co-chair HCV Resource Network in 2014

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