HCV, Serious Or Just Market Imaging?

HCV, Serious Or Just Market Imaging?

High Conservation Value is one of the commitments of natural resource-based companies that was developed approximately 20 years ago which was used by FSC and RSPO by issuing HCV/HCV certificates with 6 principles including:

  • HCV 1. Biodiversity
  • HCV 2. Landscape-level ecosystems, Ecosystem Mosaics, and Intact Forest Landscapes
  • HCV 3. Ecosystem and Habitat
  • HCV 4. Ecosystem Services
  • HCV 5. Community Needs
  • HCV 6. Cultural Value

HCV certification can be a good business venture. It’s been a long journey, more than 20 years, many companies should have implemented this HCV properly and correctly, then HCV can be a good answer to the climate crisis. Companies that get HCV certificates have a better market opportunity by getting a good price for the products they sell. However, whether HCV has been managed properly or is it just being used to raise a good image in the market to gain recognition with a certificate then affects the selling price of the product.

Promising Certificate

The HCV certificates issued by the FSC and the RSPO are considered good enough to ensure that forest management companies (HTI and HPH) and plantation companies can leave forest areas and also prioritize the rights of indigenous peoples or communities around the concessions either as ritual sites. , environmental services and community business needs.

On paper that is reported by a company that meets 6 HCV indicators, it is considered that the company is eligible to get a certificate with various assessment indicators. But the extent of direct monitoring or evaluation of the spaciousness of the certifying body. Is the HCV area well managed, the size is appropriate, the process of determining the HCV area through FPIC or not? Because usually monitoring is done when the company proposes HCV certification.

The process of taking caterpillars on fallen trees (Shorea Pachyphylla), the caterpillars are used for fishing. Usually, the fish caught are “baung” fish (Hemibagrus Hoevenii)

Open Opportunities for Change

Governments, buyers, banks, and consumers to ensure and emphasize that HCV is important for the sustainability of nature, people, and business. It is recognized that the application of HCV is still difficult, because of deforestation, forest, land fires, and weak regulations from the government, especially in terms of implementation and monitoring.

In addition to meeting the needs of the international market, HCV can also be a means of land banking. Why become land banking, because until now the central and local governments do not have regulations that require the development of HCV in well-managed concessions without ignoring the rights of the community. The regulations issued ensure the protection of HCV so that it is not considered abandoned land by the government and also to see the seriousness of the company in managing the HCV area. This rule does not only apply to companies that have developed HCV areas, but to companies that do not have HCV areas so that all companies have the responsibility to develop HCV  areas. This rule actually already exists in West Kalimantan, it’s Perda No. 6 of 2018 where companies are required to develop an HCV area of ​​7 percent of the existing concession area. Unfortunately, this good regional regulation from the beginning was published until now has not run optimally.

HCV certification is one of the requirements for forestry companies and oil palm plantations. In practice in the field, this provision is not binding on companies that are members of the RSPO or FSC including their suppliers. Of course, this makes many companies reluctant to allocate a large part of their permits to be allocated to HCV areas unless it is a requirement from their buyers. This makes the HCV area only a formality to meet market demands, especially if there is no regular monitoring and evaluation on the HCV area that has been reported to the certification body. Due to the absence of regulations that ensure the application of HCV, it is very easy for companies to change the function of HCV for thousands of reasons. On the other hand, the government does not use the existing regulations to pressure companies to manage HCV properly which has a social and environmental impact.

Periodic monitoring and evaluation in the field are rarely carried out by the certifier, it will be carried out if there has been a violation campaign with a complaint scheme. this is certainly very ironic, if there are no complaints and campaigns for violations, it is probably considered fine.

Below are 2 maps that show indications of changes in HCV areas to oil palm plantations that occur in oil palm plantation companies located in the Ketapang Regency. It should be noted that more than 90% of oil palm plantation companies in the Ketapang Regency have sustainable policies and commitments, which are also large international companies and the majority are members of the RSPO, whether they are members of the Group or independent.

Changes in HCV areas to oil palm plantations in 2020 are indicated by arrows pointing to red boxes and coordinate points.

Given the existing conditions, it is necessary to implement strict policies by organizations providing HCV certification and conduct regular monitoring and evaluation, both desktop and field checks, as well as transparency to the public regarding the location and condition of HCV/HCV areas so that the public can also monitor and convey information. related to the condition of the HCV area.

The Indonesian government already has a certification body such as Indonesia Sustainability Palm Oil (ISPO) which should be able to make HCV one of the mandatory requirements for oil palm plantation companies. This needs to be done because the Indonesian government wants to prove to the international that it is serious about building sustainable palm oil plantations. However, the policies issued do not only fulfill administrative aspects but there must be a check on real conditions in the field and transparency of information starting from the process, data collection, and decision on the issuance of certification. So that the certificate issued can be accounted for to the public. The West Kalimantan provincial government is one step ahead by issuing Regional Regulation Number 6 of 2018, unfortunately, this regional regulation, as described above, has not run optimally. In addition, district and city governments have not made Regional Regulation No. 6 of 2018 a reference to produce policies that ensure companies have HCV with various management tools and social and environmental responsibilities.

So actually, HCV has become a necessity because of market needs or because of the awareness of the government, investors, buyers, and companies involved in improving and fulfilling the rights of the community and the environment?

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