Following a year of intensive work, the HCS Convergence Working Group has reached an agreement on convergence between the HCSA and HCS+ approaches. The Group has agreed on a single, coherent set of principles for implementation of companies’ commitments to “no deforestation” in their palm oil operations and supply chains.
The agreement outlines:
• Fundamental elements of the converged methodology that protects HCS forests, HCV areas and peatlands (including forest stratification and decision-making in "young regenerating forest" within fragmented landscapes), the role of carbon and robust implementation of FPIC and other social requirements.
• The intention for functional and institutional integration of HCS with the HCV Resource Network.
• A roadmap for resolving outstanding issues through a collaborative process.
"The Agreement is a significant step in uniting the palm oil industry and all its stakeholders toward a common understanding about how to protect forests and peatlands. More importantly, it will lead to collaborative and concrete actions on the ground toward achieving this goal,” said Dato' Lee's Yeow Chor, Group CEO, IOI Corporation Berhad (IOI Group).
"Agreeing a single approach to put No Deforestation into practice is a huge step forward for the palm oil sector and the environment. HCS convergence has not been an easy road but we got there in the end - this is a game changer for the forests and communities where oil palm is expanding in Asia and Africa," said Kiki Taufik, Global Head of Indonesian Forests, Greenpeace.
Organizations reaching agreement are:
Forest Peoples Programme
IOI Corporation Berhad
Rainforest Action Network
Union of Concerned Scientists
The full agreement is available for download here. The press release is available here.