On 13 March 2013, together with PT SMART, we announced the implementation of a high carbon stock (HCS) forest conservation pilot project in PT Kartika Prima Cipta, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The purpose of the pilot project is to establish a framework for a successful HCS forest conservation by the broader palm oil industry.
For the purpose of the pilot, the Team (i.e. GAR, PT SMART, The Forest Trust and Greenpeace) defines HCS as comprising BT, HK1, HK2 and HK3 areas. The implementation of the HCS approach will depend on the result of the pilot and after consultations with stakeholders.
During the pilot, the Team continues to engage with the Government of Indonesia, civil society organisations, local and indigenous communities, key growers and other stakeholders in the Indonesian palm oil industry to address the following key success factors:
- Community buy-in, which would require palm oil companies to fulfill their plasma commitments to smallholders by compensating them for not being able to plant on HCS land. In addition to a compensation plan for HCS land, there would need to be a plan for the community to be involved in protecting HCS land.
- Government of Indonesia buy-in, whereby the government would take an active role in formulating policies to further promote HCS conservation. These would include amending the policy on abandoned land and implementing a land swap policy to facilitate the exchange of HCS land for alternative planting sites. The government would also map no-go HCS zones to indicate land on which there is to be a moratorium on clearing and planting.
- Industry buy-in, whereby at least ten key growers would adopt the HCS forest conservation strategy and implement their respective pilot projects before GAR rolls out the next phase of its HCS forest conservation. In addition, industry bodies such as the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (“GAPKI”) would adopt an HCS conservation policy.
Under this multi-stakeholder engagement process, the Team seeks to rally all stakeholders to identify HCS areas, develop an enabling legal framework for HCS conservation, and implement measures to conserve HCS.
On 30 October 2013, we published a six-month progress report on the HCS pilot project.