Smallholders can now effectively identify and protect High Conservation Values on and around their farms, helping them connect with sustainable supply chains and protect the natural ecosystems they depend upon for daily needs.

Sustainable Development Goal 15 – Life on Land

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.


of the world’s food is produced by smallholders.


of farms globally are less than 2 hectares in size.


of rubber is produced by small, family run plantations in Asia.

The HCV Approach has been adapted for use by small and medium farmers to support sustainable practices.

Adapting the HCV approach for use by smallholders

Although the HCV Approach was originally designed for developments such as large plantations or farms, it has been adapted for use by small and medium farmers to support sustainable practices.

The Secretariat has developed simplified HCV procedures for smallholders for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the Better Cotton Initiative and Fairtrade.

Nature Positive Farming

Smallholders on forest edges depend upon forest resources yet are often driven to clear forests for crops to meet their short-term economic needs.

Developed by the Network Secretariat in collaboration with Proforest, Nature Positive Farming links companies with commitments to source conversion-free produce with small farmers who are protecting forests and maintaining High Conservation Values, proactively preventing further clearing in conversion frontiers.

  • Halts ecosystem clearing by engaging smallholders on conversion frontiers early on.
  • Prepares smallholders for inclusion in sustainable supply chains and certification.
  • Helps farmers meet minimum requirements for controlled produce in non-certified supply areas.

Nature Positive Farming is being trialed with oil palm-producing communities in a landscape in Indonesia. The Network Secretariat is actively seeking partners to continue to pilot NPF in other regions and other commodities where there are high levels of smallholder-driven conversion.

Get Support

The Secretariat can support smallholder initiatives by:

  • Developing tailored smallholder HCV procedures for certification schemes.
  • Providing learning opportunities on Forest Integrity Assessments which are well suited for community-based sustainable forest management.
  • Piloting Nature Positive Farming with companies as part of implementing their HCV and smallholder-inclusion commitments.

For more information contact Olivia Scholtz.

Related Content

  • 17 February 2022

    New EU rules for deforestation-free products: Great for forests, a double-edged sword for smallholders

    Read More
  • 28 March 2021

    Nature Positive Farming: a win-win for smallholders and nature

    Read More
  • Announcements
    16 May 2019

    How to make biodiversity management simple for smallholder cotton farmers around the world

    Read More

Get Involved

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.

Get Involved