31 October 2014

The ALS is open for applications!

The Assessor Licensing Scheme is looking for futur ALS licensed HCV assessors!

High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments are a key requirement of certification schemes in agriculture and forestry. However, their quality is often variable, which could pose serious social and environmental risks, and reputational consequences for companies, assessors, and certification schemes themselves. With support from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), WWF, Proforest and other stakeholders, the HCV Network Secretariat developed and recently launched the HCV Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS).

The ALS licensed lead HCV assessors and monitors their performance over time by evaluating the quality of their HCV assessment reports. For the first time in history, companies requiring an HCV assessor will be able to access a body of competent assessors capable of carrying out HCV assessments in different commodity contexts. Companies can search an online database for HCV assessors with particular commodity, language, regional and certification scheme experience. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) recently announced that it will require licensed assessors for all New Planting Procedures (NPP) starting January 2015.

The HCV Approach was initially developed in the context of forestry but is now used in many other contexts such as soy, sugar and oil palm. HCV assessments are a powerful tool to identify social and environmental values in production landscapes and define which areas can be developed, and which areas should be set aside because of their high social or environmental value. The ALS will improve assessments by providing guidance, tools and feedback so that HCV assessors can operate at a consistently high level.

The ALS will benefit a broad range of stakeholders. HCV assessors will benefit from access to a new HCV Assessment Manual, support from peers and experts, and training. Companies will benefit from better quality HCV assessments and assessment reports, which will make it easier to develop effective management and monitoring plans. Local, regional and international stakeholders including local communities and indigenous groups, consumers of certified products and environmental groups will benefit from increased quality and transparency in the HCV assessment process, and increased confidence in the way the values critical to them are identified.

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The Network is always looking for partners who are interested in supporting our work, for talented professionals who can join the growing Secretariat team, and for professionals who can lead assessments globally.

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