WWF welcomes agreement on unified approach to implement no deforestation commitments
The HCS Convergence Working Group announced today that they have reached an agreement on a single, coherent set of principles for implementation of companies’ commitments to “no deforestation” in their palm oil operations and supply chains.
WWF welcomes the news, which is an important milestone toward harmonizing and simplifying guidelines on how to tackle deforestation.
“This agreement is an important step towards defining what zero deforestation actually means on the ground. We need to make sure it is adopted far beyond the palm oil industry by the other sectors that have been driving deforestation around the world,” said Aditya Bayunanda, Forest Commodity Leader of WWF-Indonesia. “Now we have to fully integrate HCS and HCV and clearly define how they are applied beyond the fragmented moist tropical landscapes for which the approach was developed.”
The recent groundswell of deforestation-free commitments are a positive step toward tackling the threats facing the world’s forests, but there has been much ambiguity over what these commitments mean and how they should be verified. Today’s announcement is a sign that together, different stakeholders can develop a clear criteria and unified approach to evaluate land use change in fragmented forests in the tropics, to ensure that these commitments are implemented and verified. As we progress on these discussions, it will also be important to develop similar approaches for natural ecosystems with low vegetation and landscapes with full forest cover.
The HCS Convergence Working Group was formed in 2015 and focused on developing a single HCS methodology for application to oil palm plantations in fragmented landscapes in moist tropical forest. It consists of members of the High Carbon Stock Approach Executive Committee, including WWF.