High Conservation Value Approach ‘Key to Effective Landscape Management’ – APRIL Group
APRIL Group highlighted the importance of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach to managing its conservation and restoration areas at the recent High Conservation Value Network Summit. Craig Tribolet, Head of Sustainability Operations, APRIL Group, said the HCV approach was key to the company’s efforts to achieve its 1-for-1 commitment, where the company has pledged to conserve or restore one hectare of forest for every hectare of plantation.
“The HCV process provides a clear, values-based assessment that identifies potential threats to important landscapes,” said Tribolet. “It enables us to undertake effective root cause analysis, define clear operational actions and provides a framework to assess and protect forests, which is fully aligned with our no deforestation policy,” he added.
The 2021 High Conservation Value Network Summit brought together more than 200 representatives from NGOs, consumer goods companies, commodity producers, voluntary sustainability standards schemes, academia and government-led initiatives to discuss the role of the HCV approach in supporting climate, biodiversity and social targets.
The panel discussion on landscapes was moderated by Ellen Watson, Technical Manager, HCV Network, and also including distinguished speakers Isaac Abban-Mensah, Sustainability Controller, Africa, Wilmar International; Jamison Ervin, Manager, United Nations Development Programme; Klothilde Sikun, GIS and Spatial Planning Advisor, GIZ; Natasha Schwarzbach, Sustainable Commodities, PepsiCo; and Marius von Essen, a PhD Candidate from Stanford University.
In his remarks, Tribolet pointed to the fact that APRIL manages an area of approximately one million hectares, including about 365,000 hectares of conservation of which around 150,000 hectares is classified as HCV protected forest.
“The HCV process is also a useful tool to introduce natural forest conservation to communities who may not be aligned to forest protection as a priority,” said Tribolet. “As APRIL works on a big landscape with a range of users including communities, it is important for us to have an effective landscape planning process in place as there will be overlapping interests. The HCV process really helps to better align the interests of all stakeholders, including the local communities, on the landscape around conservation areas, as we seek to further expand our conservation and forest protection efforts,” he said.
Originally developed by the Forest Stewardship Council in 1999, the HCV approach is used in forest management certification. HCV areas are defined as natural habitats that have specific values (from HCV1 to HCV6), from areas containing globally significant concentrations of biodiversity values to areas critical to local communities.
Since 2005, APRIL Group has been committed to the conservation of environmentally and socially valuable forest within our concession areas, based on the HCV approach. APRIL has conducted HCV assessments on its owned and suppliers’ concessions, using the HCV Indonesia Toolkit.