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Update on RSPO Principles and Criteria 2018 - Criterion 7.12.2 and Annex 5

The RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) 2018, adopted at the 15th annual General Assembly (GA15) on 15 November 2018, incorporated the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach as a new requirement to halt deforestation (Criterion 7.12).

Further, Criterion 7.12.2 requires that any new land clearing after 15 November 2018 (i.e. after the adoption of the P&C 2018 at GA15) must be preceded by a High Conservation Value (HCV)-HCS assessment. This applies to all plantations (existing and new), which are certified or yet to be certified by RSPO.

We recognise that there are an array of scenarios in which HCV assessments have previously been undertaken and have been approved or are in the process of approval. Annex 5 of the P&C 2018 is intended to provide a smooth transition for RSPO members to implement these new requirements. However, it has been brought to our attention that there are additional details relating to Annex 5 that need to be clarified.

To assist with this, the No Deforestation Task Force (NDTF) was established and tasked by the RSPO Board of Governors (BoG) to provide clearer guidance to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of P&C 2018 indicator 7.12.2. The NDTF will also provide decisions on cases that do not yet fall within the categories set out in Annex 5. 

Should you have any queries, please contact Amir Afham at amir.afham@rspo.org or Khing Su Li at khing.suli@rspo.org.