In November 2019, the RSPO Independent Smallholder (ISH) Standard was adopted at the 16th Annual General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand. With the adoption of the RSPO ISH Standard, the RSPO recognises that an inclusive and robust system is lacking for the requirement of Criteria 4.1 – for ISH group members to ensure that High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) areas are maintained and/or enhanced. The RSPO previously developed a simplified HCV methodology for identifying and managing HCV areas that provides guidance for both existing and new planting of oil palm plantation procedures. However, with the addition of the HCS element, an update is required to ensure that the requirements can be met by ISH groups.
To address this need, the Independent Smallholder No Deforestation Task Force (IS-NDTF), which reports directly to the Smallholder Standing Committee (SHSC), has been established to oversee the development of the simplified combined HCV-HCS approach to identify and protect HCS forests.
Julián Peña (Solidaridad Network)
Rob Nicholls (PT. Musim Mas)