High Conservation Value (HCV) Screening

HCV Network

High Conservation Value (HCV) Screening is a desktop exercise that uses the six high conservation values (HCV) whose definitions are globally applicable, but which can be interpreted and adapted to different countries and landscapes to characterize the environmental and social aspects of a landscape or jurisdiction.

  1. Species Diversity: Concentrations of biological diversity including endemic species, and rare, threatened or endangered species, that are significant at global, regional or national levels.
  2. Landscape-Level Ecosystems, Ecosystem mosaics and Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL): Large landscape-level ecosystems, ecosystem mosaics and Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL) that are significant at global, regional or national levels, and that contain viable populations of the great majority of the naturally occurring species in natural patterns of distribution and
  3. Ecosystems and Habitats: Rare, threatened, or endangered ecosystems, habitats and refugia.
  4. System Services: Basic ecosystem services in critical situations, including protection of water catchments and control of erosion of vulnerable soils and slopes.
  5. Community Needs: Sites and resources fundamental for satisfying the basic necessities of local communities
    or indigenous peoples (for livelihoods, health, nutrition, water, etc.), identified through engagement with these communities or indigenous peoples.
  6. Cultural Values: Sites, resources, habitats and landscapes of global or national cultural, archaeological or
    historical significance, and/or of critical cultural, ecological, economic or religious/sacred importance for the traditional cultures of local communities or indigenous peoples, identified through engagement with these local communities or indigenous peoples

HCV screening (or an HCV screening exercise) is a tool for identifying which types of HCVs may be present in a landscape, and where targeted follow up work is most needed – based on e.g. where HCVs face different types of threats and the objectives of the screening. In general, screening is high-level, large-scale, and conducted through desktop work – combined with some consultation.

Screening can highlight important values and areas, identify information gaps and spark stakeholder discussion
about long-term sustainability in their landscape. Then stakeholders can determine how screening results would fit
into larger plans for the jurisdiction or landscape, and what resources may be required to move forward with prioritizing
actions in these large-scale settings.

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