The Papua New Guinea High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) toolkit was developed through consultative processes and peer reviewing by experts and stakeholders. The HCVF concept was initially developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for use in forest management certification. Within FSC certification, for compliance with Principle 9, forest managers are required to identify any High Conservation Values (HCVs) that occur within their individual forest management units and manage them in order to maintain or enhance the values identified.
The key to the concept of HCVFs is the identification and maintenance of High Conservation Values (HCVs). The FSC’s definition of HCVs encompasses exceptional or critical ecological attributes, ecosystem services and social functions.
The High Conservation Value Forest Toolkit for Papua New Guinea can be described by the following key statements:
- Is intended only for use by forest managers undergoing FSC accredited forest management certification and by FSC accredited certification auditors assessing or monitoring conservation values in Papua New Guinea as part of a complete FSC assessment or evaluation process
- Will create an industry standard and provide guidelines to compliance with FSC’s 9th Principle by helping to identify, manage and monitor forests of High Conservation Value
- Stresses equal importance to social, biological, and environmental values which forests in PNG contain
- Has been developed through a full consultative process taking into account the major stakeholders involved with forest ownership and industry participation
- Is owned by the PNG FSC National Initiative
- Is referenced in the current PNG FSC National Standards
- Will be updated along with the PNG FSC National Standards at a periodicity of every two years after the endorsement of the PNG FSC National Standards
- Is a major step forward that ensures that the interest of all stakeholders in forest conservation is integrated.
It is anticipated that this document will assist in making FSC certification acceptable within the forest industry in Papua New Guinea.