The HCV Approach
High Conservation Values (HCVs) are biological, ecological, social or cultural values which are considered outstandingly significant or critically important, at the national, regional or global level.
All natural habitats possess some inherent conservation values, including the presence of rare or endemic species, provision of ecosystem services, sacred sites, or resources harvested by local residents. However, some values are more significant or critical than others, and it is the HCV approach which offers an objective way of identifying those values to be maintained or enhanced.
The six High Conservation Values cover a broad array of conservation priorities shared by a wide range of stakeholder groups. In any management plan, from forest management to agricultural plantation site selection and design or freshwater resources management, it is these values that need to be maintained or enhanced.