In November 2019, the RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard was adopted at the 16th Annual General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand. With the adoption of the RSPO ISH Standard, the RSPO recognises that an inclusive and robust system is lacking for the requirement of Criteria 4.1 – for ISH group members to ensure High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) areas are maintained and/or enhanced. The RSPO previously developed a simplified HCV methodology for identifying and managing HCV areas, that provides guidance for both existing and new planting oil palm plantations procedures. However, with the addition of the HCS element, an update is required to ensure the requirements can be met by ISH groups. 

To address this need, an Independent Smallholder No Deforestation Task Force (IS-NDTF), reporting directly to the Smallholder Standing Committee (SHSC) will be established to oversee the development of the simplified combined HCV-HCS approach to identify and protect HCS forests. 

We wish to invite all interested stakeholders to join the IS-NDTF by sending your expression of interest to [email protected].  The sectoral composition of the RSPO IS-NDTF  is indicated below:



Growers (Smallholder representatives from the different regions)

Minimum of 2

Environmental NGOs

Minimum of 2

Social NGOs


Processors and Traders


Consumer Goods Manufacturers




Financial institutions

For more detailed information, please view the terms of reference attached below.

Please note that nominations close at 11.59 pm MYT on 11 August 2020.

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