Our new film shows how the High Carbon Stock Approach is carried out on the ground to identify between high carbon forest that needs protecting and degraded land suitable for farmers to develop on.
In 2014, we began a series of engagements to help our member Florin – a refiner of vegetable oils – ensure that the palm oil they were buying adhered to their NDPE (No Deforestation, Peat and Exploitation) commitments. This led us to the Solomon Islands, where we visited the operations of New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) – a palm oil producer and supplier to Florin. Through field visits, we learnt about NBPOL’s plans to expand its existing plantations; with much of this land belonging to local communities.
In order to guide NBPOL’s efforts to expand its plantations responsibly, we conducted a High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) assessment in 2016. Florin supported these efforts by reviewing NBPOL’s procedures and training NBPOL staff on issues such as community land-use planning. These efforts across 15,277 ha of land led to 5,200 ha of land being identified for conservation, and community land-use planning being conducted across 1,525 ha of land.
Since 2017, we’ve worked with NBPOL to review and train staff on procedures relating to new developments. A key part of these efforts was to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) were obtained from land-owning communities and that environmental and social assessments were carried out in an inclusive and meaningful manner. The review included lessons from the 2016 HCSA assessment in the Solomon Islands, as well as assessments from four other landscapes in Papua New Guinea. This highlighted the importance of genuine participatory mapping of land ownership, use, needs and values together with customary owners throughout the planning process to ensure HCS, HCV (High Conservation Value) and other assessments are understood, relevant and respected.