Common Guidance for the Identification of High Conservation Values

HCV Network

A good practice guide for identifying high conservation values (HCVs) across different ecosystems and production systems. Available in English, Indonesian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Wu Chinese, Russian and Burmese.

An HCV is a biological, ecological, social, or cultural value of outstanding significance or critical importance. This suite of values includes rare, threatened, or endangered habitats and ecosystems, large landscape scale ecosystems, and intact forest landscapes, and nature’s contribution to people.

A good quality HCV assessment must interpret findings using a precautionary approach, quality stakeholder consultation, with consideration of the wider landscape and the scale, intensity and risk of the proposed development.

Section 1 introduces the six HCV definitions and provides an overview of the HCV approach. It focuses on how the HCV approach can be applied across ecosystems, commodity production schemes and geographies. Some general information is provided on how the HCV approach can be adapted for use in different ecosystems with a focus on forests, grasslands
and freshwater systems. Next, attention is given to how some of the most common certification schemes are including the HCV approach and finally, how HCVs can be adapted to the country level with HCV National Interpretations.

Section 2 goes beyond the HCV definitions to consider their intent and what assessors should consider when interpreting HCV information and deciding upon HCV designations. It provides good practice guidance on how to determine the amount of information and consultation needed.

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