The 2018 RSPO Principles & Criteria (P&C) requires all growers to have completed High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments of their land holdings for new plantings from November 2005. The intention is that areas of land under the control of RSPO growers that contain or support High Conservation Values (HCV) are not cleared for planting after this date.
Recognising that past land clearance arising from activities of non members who might have cleared lands prior to HCV assessment and/or unfamiliarity with RSPO requirement in the early cases of land clearance would otherwise preclude future membership and certification of growers, the RSPO has developed a formal procedure to address this barrier in a fair and transparent manner.
The RSPO Remediation and Compensation Procedure is the first of its kind to be developed by any standards setting scheme and provides a mechanism to remediate and compensate for past land clearing without prior High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment and implement acceptable conservation measures on- or off-site.
In 2020, the Biodiversity and High Conservation Value Working Group (BHCVWG) of the RSPO commissioned an independent review of the RSPO Remediation and Compensation Procedure (2015) (RaCP) implementation. The overall scope of the review was to provide an objective assessment, evaluating progress, assess effectiveness and developing recommendations on how RaCP implementation could further be improved.
The review acknowledges that the “level of disclosure of non-compliant clearance has far exceeded expectations and this can be interpreted as evidence of a high level of commitment to the RaCP by growers'', and that the “proportion of cases outstanding has decreased significantly for the first time in 2020”. On the other hand, the review has also identified administrative bottlenecks, insufficient technical capacity, and low awareness amongst growers as the main constraints with the management of RaCP projects. Although the review acknowledges that none of the steps in the Procedure are redundant, it recommends the simplification of all steps and improvements to address gaps and weaknesses in continuity, especially in relation to social liability. A systematic and structured work plan has been developed by the Secretariat based on the recommendations, and has been reviewed and discussed by the BHCVWG.
The BHCVWG and the RSPO Secretariat have already started working on some of the recommendations, and this press release aims to update members on this process with a view to improving the implementation of the RaCP.
Read the full report here.
Read the response to the full report here.