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New guidance for working with High Conservation Values in Malaysia

A joint resource published today will support responsible agricultural and forestry commodity production in Malaysia by providing practical guidance for identifying High Conservation Values in Malaysia.

The Malaysian National Interpretation for the Identification of High Conservation Values has been developed by the HCV Malaysia Toolkit Steering Committee, which comprises Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Malaysia, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA), the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC), the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and WWF-Malaysia.

High Conservation Values – or HCVs – are biological, ecological, social or cultural values of outstanding significance or critical importance within a landscape. The HCV approach aims to ensure that areas for biodiversity, and cultural and community needs are protected while allowing economic development and agricultural production. It is used widely in certification standards for forestry (such as the FSC and MTCC) and agriculture (RSPO, the Roundtable on Responsible Soy etc.) for natural resource management and conservation planning.

Surin Suksuwan, Southeast Asian Regional Director of Proforest, which has facilitated the development of the guidance, said: “The HCV National Interpretation will play an important role in supporting better identification of HCVs in Malaysia by providing the national context for the definitions of each of the six HCV categories, as well as a framework for assessing levels of threat to the HCVs, and relevant case studies and data sources.”

The Malaysian National Interpretation for the Identification of High Conservation Values has been developed via a participatory consultation process involving a wide range of stakeholders including government agencies, producer companies, consultants, academics and researchers, environmental non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations.

The new document is intended for HCV assessors, resource managers, and auditors and should be used in conjunction with the HCV Resource Network’s Common Guidance on the Identification of HCVs.

It is not a binding document, but rather a ‘best practice’ guide. Further details on requirements relating to HCVs should be sought from the relevant certification scheme. Download the guidance here: