In November 2019, the RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard was adopted at the 16th Annual General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand. With this adoption, the RSPO Secretariat recognises that an inclusive and robust system is lacking for the requirement of Criteria 4.3 – for ISH group members to ensure new plantings, since November 2019 do not replace any HCV areas and HCS forests as defined by the simplified combined HCV-HCS approach. The call for participation has been announced for an Independent Smallholder No Deforestation Task Force (IS-NDTF), which will be addressing the requirement of Criteria 4.3 (i.e. development of a simplified combined HCV-HCS approach).

While the simplified combined HCV-HCS approach is being developed, the RSPO Secretariat acknowledges that ISH group members with plans for new planting will be impacted by the development of this approach. As a result of this, the RSPO Secretariat has developed an interim measure, the Independent Smallholder – Land Use Risk Identification (IS-LURI) for ISH group members intending to clear plots of land for new planting, or expansion of existing plots. This interim measure is applicable while the simplified combined HCV-HCS approach is developed. The measure is in place to identify low risk areas in which new plantings will be allowed in.

All “Risk” areas identified through the IS-LURI will not allow for new planting to take place until the simplified combined HCV-HCS approach and tool for independent smallholders is published and ready for use.

The IS-LURI and the Guidance Document can be downloaded for use by ISH groups HERE.

For further information or clarification, please contact [email protected].

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