The study, commissioned by the RSPO Biodiversity and High Conservation Value Working Group (BHCV WG), investigated the challenges to effective management and monitoring of HCVs in RSPO-certified oil palm plantations and provides preliminary recommendations for addressing these challenges.

The centrepieces of the study are two sets of semi-structured interview surveys: company surveys and community surveys. The first set of surveys included 19 representatives of 16 palm-oil producing companies from 10 countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa. The second set was conducted with members of six village communities located in or near oil palm plantations in West Kalimantan and South Sumatra in Indonesia. The survey's findings were complemented by a literature review.

The study found that most of the surveyed companies had active HCV M&M plans and that M&M activities were generally similar between companies and regions. However, despite the similarities in M&M activities, there was a wide variation in participants' reports of the resources allocated to M&M and the quality of the M&M. The study also revealed that numerous challenges are encountered with M&M, which may put HCVs at risk of damage or destruction. These challenges can be grouped into four larger categories:

  1. Technical challenges
  2. Economic challenges
  3. Collaboration challenges
  4. Social and community engagement challenges

These findings were corroborated by the six community surveys, which showed community involvement in M&M to be deficient. In only two surveyed communities, villagers had been organised to participate in M&M teams. Results suggested that community participation in HCV identification was absent or token in four of the six study villages.

Based on the findings of the company surveys, the community surveys and the literature review, the report proposes two sets of practical recommendations as a pathway to establishing best management practices (BMPs) for HCV M&M. To field-truth the findings of the present study and confirm the pathway to development of BMPs that has been proposed, a follow-up study is now required.

RSPO and the HCVRN would like to thank all project partners, companies, and communities for their participation and contributions to this study.

Download the HCV M&M Report here, the Executive Summary here and the Appendices here.

If you have questions about this project please email Ana Sofia Lorda at