Bangkok: Major palm oil producers and environmental NGOs announced today their agreement on a method to decide which forests must be conserved for companies to uphold their ‘no deforestation’ commitments. Forest Peoples Programme, which has been engaging closely in the process (links), welcomed the outcome.
We welcome the agreement that the converged High Carbon Stock method will include Social Requirements to ensure that the rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples, local communities, smallholders and workers are properly accommodated. Respect for customary rights, food security, community involvement in land use planning and free, prior and informed consent are critical building blocks to ensure sound development outcomes, alongside incentives and support, for both communities and planters, to maintain forests and high conservation values, said Marcus Colchester of the Forest Peoples Programme. Our next challenge is to develop credible systems to ensure high quality assessments, independent verification and means of redress, he added.
Rear the Final HCS Convergence Statement here