The RSPO is committed to the conservation of primary forests and high conservation values (HCV). The RSPO principles and criterions 5.2 and 7.3 stated that:

Criterion 5.2

The status of rare, threatened or endangered species and high conservation value habitats, if any, that exist in the plantation or that could be affected by plantation or mill management, shall be identified and their conservation taken into account in management plans and operations.


Criterion 7.3

New plantings since November 2005, have not replaced primary forest or any area required to maintain or enhance one or more high conservation values.

One of the key indicators for compliance of criterion 5.2 and 7.3 are documentation of the HCV assessment.  

The RSPO New Planting Procedures (NPP) which is implemented since 1st Jan 2010 further elaborates on the requirements for criterion 7.3. The first step is to conduct a comprehensive and participatory independent social and environmental impact assessment (s) and the assessment (s) must include identification of all primary forest, HCV area, areas of peat soil, and local peoples’ land. A summary of the HCV assessment report must made available for 30 days public consultation.

RSPO and the HCV Resource Network produce this guidance on credible reporting of HCV assessment and this document has been finalized during the RSPO’s Biodiversity and HCV Working Group Meeting.  

  • Who should use/ refer to this guidance?

HCV assessors, certification bodies and RSPO’s grower members


  • What are the main purposes of this guidance?  

              i.        To ensure RSPO’s HCV reports are credible and robust

             ii.        To help managers to set out terms of reference for contracted HCV assessors


  • What are the key elements of a credible HCV report?

A credible HCV report should include status, executive summary, introduction and public summary, scope, HCV assessment team, methods, landscape context, findings, HCV management, monitoring, conclusion, appendices and references. 


Document Size
HCV assessments for RSPO certification: reporting requirements     160kb        

If you have further enquiries, please kindly contact RSPO secretariat ([email protected]).

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