RSPO Principles and Criteria define the framework of sustainable palm oil production. Criteria 5.2 and 7.3 require the certified plantation unit to identify, manage and monitor the area with one or more high conservation values. Besides that, RSPO’s New Plantings Procedures clearly stated all new planting from 1st January 2010 shall conduct a comprehensive and participatory independent social and environmental impact assessment followed by preparation of the implementation plan. One of the studies that must be included is HCV assessment conducted by RSPO registered HCV assessors.

To date, RSPO approved 74 individual HCV assessors from Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG and Ghana. According to the previous RSPO’s guidelines to HCV assessors and clients RSPO members, all the approvals are only valid for a year.

As of June 2011, two third of approved assessors registration has expired. In order to facilitate the renewal process, RSPO’s Executive Board decided in July 2011 to extend the validity of all the RSPO approved HCV assessors for another 6 months. The expiry dates of the registered HCV assessors will be extended as follows:

All the HCV assessors are requested to resubmit the application to the RSPO Secretariat before the new expiry date. New assessors are encouraged to submit their application anytime. Steps for application and re-application are as follow:

  • Request for application and re-application by all assessors: Applicant is requested to submit 1) RSPO Checklist for applicants of RSPO approval as HCV assessors; 2) Latest CV; 3) Relevant academic transcripts; 4) Proof of participation in HCV-RN workshops/training/membership; 5) Examples of your work
  • Review the application: Each new application and re-application will be reviewed by the secretariat and members of BHCV WG.
  • Decision on acceptance: The decision on acceptance or rejection of each applicant or re-applicant will be made prior to the new expiry date. Each applicant or re-applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application.
  • Publication of a new approved assessor list: New approved HCV assessor list will be published and placed on the RSPO website.

The new approval will be valid for 3 years and review will be conducted after 3 years. The executive board members also made decision that formal complaint of any approved HCV assessors will be evaluated by the Biodiversity and High Conservation Value Working Group (BHCV WG). Decision of BHCV WG will then be posted on the RSPO’s website. 

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