The RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) 2018, adopted at the 15th annual General Assembly (GA15) on 15 November, 2018, in Kota Kinabalu Sabah, includes new requirements to halt deforestation (C7.12) through the use of the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) toolkit. It is recognised that there is an urgent need to produce a relevant implementation procedure, guidance, and communication on Criterion 7.12 of RSPO P&C 2018. 

The major topic revolves around Criterion 7.12; how to halt deforestation in High Forest Cover (HFC) countries and landscapes. HFC countries require economic opportunities that enable communities to choose their own development path, while providing socio-economic benefits and safeguards. As a result, a No Deforestation Joint Steering Group (NDJSG) is to be established. 

While the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) toolkit is well-established, effective communication and implementation guidance for members is crucial. Hence the establishment of the No Deforestation Task Force (NDTF), which is essential for the next 12 months, to develop and oversee the implementation of Criterion 7.12. 

Following best practices, the RSPO Secretariat is now calling for participation and nomination of representation from each stakeholder constituency for NDJSG and/or NDTF. Copies of the ToR for NDJSG and NDTF can be found below. 

No Deforestation Joint Steering Group (NDJSG)

On 16 November 2016, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) endorsed the establishment of the ‘No Deforestation Joint Steering Group’ (NDJSG), a collaboration between RSPO and HCSA to oversee the development of procedures, methodologies, and guidance for the implementation of C7.12 around HFC countries and landscapes.
The NDJSG will be the central body for discussing and guiding development of the framework for implementation and decisions on no deforestation in HFC landscapes within High Forest Cover (HFC) Countries[1], in consultation with Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and in-country Civil Society Organisations.

Membership of the NDJSG shall comprise of 6 members each from both RSPO and HCSA.  The composition for RSPO is as follows:

The Term of Reference (ToR) for the NDJSG can be downloaded here.

The first meeting is expected to be held in the first or second week of March 2019.


No Deforestation Task Force (NDTF)
On 28th January 2019, the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) endorsed the establishment of the ‘No Deforestation Task Force’ (NDTF) to produce and provide guidance and communication plans for ensuring a smooth transition for RSPO members to implement the new requirements of Indicator 7.12.2 of the P&C; while identifying and providing recommendations on any other gaps, requiring guidance for implementation and monitoring of Criterion 7.12 as a whole. 

The NDTF will consist of members representing the sectorial and geographical composition of RSPO, and technical specialists reflecting the nature of this group, as follows:

The Term of Reference (ToR) for the NDTF can be downloaded here.


The closing date for submission of interest for participation and/or nomination is Monday, 13 February 2019. Kindly specify your interest in either NDJSG, NDTF or both. 

If you would like to participate, submit a nomination, or have any further enquiries, kindly contact Amir Afham at [email protected] 


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