New Principles of the HCV Approach

There are an increasing number of commitments aimed at rapidly addressing negative impacts on people and nature linked to commodity development and production.

This is good news.

If we are to meet global sustainability goals by 2030, we need to change how we assess and address our impacts and dependencies on ecological and social values.

Having a shared understanding of what undertaking a particular approach means, or what a methodology should entail, is vital both for achieving impactful change and communicating credibly.

That’s why the HCV Network has developed a set of Principles of the High Conservation Value (HCV) Approach.

Why new Principles?

The Principles will serve as a reference for how the HCV Approach is applied. They also provide consistency across various contexts, geographies, commodities, and scales.

The HCV Network is the custodian of the HCV Approach. But HCVs and the approach are referenced far more broadly than the network.

A wide range of stakeholders – including governments, cooperation agencies, financial institutions, non-profit organisations, technical service providers, independent consultants, supply chain companies and voluntary sustainability standards – are users of the HCV Approach.

What we’d like, and what defines the overarching goal of these Principles, is to ensure that they are considered by those who use the HCV Approach as both fundamental to their ways of working, and necessary for the achievement of fair and sustainable outcomes and impacts.

Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Photo: Paulo Pigozzi.

What is covered?

The Principles of the HCV Approach cover nine aspects. Each is framed with short descriptions, which set out what users of the approach should be seeking to achieve in their implementation processes.

We know from the work of many organisations (including diverse multi-stakeholder engagement platforms and vehicles such as voluntary sustainability standards) that investment in these ways of working is never wasted.

The clarity that comes from shared understanding of how to work towards achieving a shared vision is what ultimately drives progress and positive impact.

The way ahead

We will reinforce the importance of using these Principles for the HCV Approach through the HCV Network’s communications, advocacy and engagement. Our members and partners will do the same.

More information

You can find the Principles of the HCV Approach document on our library.

Please support the protection of the world’s most unique and significant ecological and social values by working with us to achieve greater consistency in how the HCV Approach is applied.

To find out more about the work of the HCVN Network, HCVs, the HCV Approach, and how you could engage, contact us via