Who we are
Our Network brings together the world’s most influential NGOs, producers, supply chain companies, technical service providers and voluntary sustainability standards.
The Network is a member-based organization that promotes the High Conservation Value (HCV) Approach, a pragmatic methodology to identify and protect ecosystems, biodiversity, and the needs of indigenous peoples and local communities where development takes place.
The Network was founded in 2005 to set the standard for implementation of the High Conservation Value (HCV) Approach. It is governed by Members from four constituencies.
Forest Peoples Programme
World Resources Institute
Producer/Supply Chain Companies
Golden Agri Resources
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
Forest Stewardship Council
Technical Service Providers
Forest Peoples Programme
Fauna & Flora International
Centro de Producción Nacional Más Limpia de Honduras
World Resources Institute
Producer/Supply Chain Companies
Golden Agri Resources
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
Round Table on Responsible Soy Association
Forest Stewardship Council
Technical Service Providers
Preferred by Nature
Nativa Meio Ambiente
The HCV Approach was born in the 1990s. A decade later, the Network was founded to steward and promote global uptake of the methodology.
The concept of ‘High Conservation Value forests’ was born in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).1999
With the adoption of the HCV Approach beyond sustainable forestry came the need for operational guidance. The first ‘HCV Toolkit’ was published by Proforest with support from the WWF-IKEA partnership.2003
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was established and required the protection of High Conservation Values in its Principles and Criteria.2004
The Network was founded by Forest Peoples Programme, the Forest Stewardship Council, Greenpeace, IUCN, Mondi, the Nature Conservancy, Proforest, Tetra Pak, the World Bank, WBCSD, and WWF. A Steering Group of 17 organizations governed the Network until 2014.2005
The first Network Charter was adopted and included guiding principles for the use of the HCV Approach.2006
Good Practice guidelines for High Conservation Value assessments were published for the first time.2008
The Network collaborated with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in amending the HCV definitions.2012
The Network became a member-based organization. The Common Guidance for HCV Identification was published.2013
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) started requiring Quality Assurance of all HCV assessments prior to new oil palm plantations. A new entity was set up in the UK to host the Secretariat after 10 years of being hosted by Proforest.2015
The Network and the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) Steering Group agreed to develop guidance on joint use of the HCV and HCS Approaches. It was then decided that all HCV-HCSA assessments would be evaluated by the Network.2016
The Network started evaluating HCV-HCSA assessment reports. RSPO started requiring HCV-HCSA assessments prior to new plantations. Better Cotton Initiative adopted the HCV Approach into V2 of their Production Standard. The Soil Association adopted the HCV Approach into their Farm Standard.2018
The HCV Screening Guide was published to guide prioritization of HCV areas, and protect and restore valuable and vulnerable ecosystems in landscapes and jurisdictions. Better Cotton Initiative and the Soil Association joined the HCV Network as Members.2019
The Network pilots HCV Screenings in Indonesia and Brazil. The Network and the High Carbon Stock Approach Steering Group sign a Memorandum of Understanding.2020
The Network signed an MOU with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. HCV Summit took place with more than 200 participants. Bonsucro joined the HCV Network as Member. Science-Based Targets Network included no-conversion of HCV areas in interim targets. EU taxonomy for sustainable activities included HCV protection in forestry.2021
The Secretariat runs the Network’s day-to-day operations. It provides quality assurance, learning opportunities, tools and guidance, and technical support to ensure robust implementation of the methodology in all ecosystems (land-based, aquatic), scales (local, regional, national), and development contexts (forestry, agribusiness, other).
Ana Sofia Lorda
Ana Sofia Lorda
Sofia's love for nature and oceans developed while vacationing every summer to the beaches of the Mexican Pacific. But her passion did not materialise after earning a bachelor's degree in Biology from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. During her time as a BSc student, Sofía worked as a research assistant in the Biosystematics Laboratory and then interned at Pronatura Noreste for six months, where she was involved in restoration, reforestation, and community garden centre projects. Once she completed her degree, Sofía interned at HCV Network, where she was later promoted to Assistant Project Manager. There, she worked with the Network in various projects including the integration of the HCV-HCS approaches; the research on challenges of HCV management and monitoring in certified palm oil plantings; and the development of risk-based approaches to HCV identification. In 2018, she was awarded a CONACyT Scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management at the University of Oxford. Her interests range from tropical conservation and marine ecology to environmental management and supply chain certification.Sofía is currently based in Costa Rica, and speaks Spanish, English, and French.
Anders has been involved with conservation and certification for more than twenty years, including four years as forest officer for WWF Sweden, and six years as WWF International forest certification and HCV officer. He has participated in numerous national and international FSC processes and working groups, helped to create and develop the HCV concept, and coordinated the FSC Plantations Review. Anders also assisted setting up of the HCV Resource Network, co-facilitated the RTRS standard-setting process, and was a member of the RSPO Biodiversity and HCV Working Group and Compensation Task Force 2011-2016. Other work over the years include developing WWF’s Paper Scorecard and Certification Assessment Tool, assisting Swedish public procurement of wood products, and supporting national implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive. Anders joined the HCVRN as full time Technical Manager in 2013. His current work focuses on risk-based implementation of the HCV concept for smallholders and on procedures for participatory forest monitoring. He has a PhD in conservation biology (Uppsala) and a degree in chemistry and botany (Stockholm). Anders is also a licensed teacher with long experience from training practitioners in the field.
Arie has a background in botany and landscape ecology. He has more than 10 years of experience in conservation including research, natural resource management and certification. Prior to joining the HCV Network, Arie worked as an FSC FM certification coordinator at Rainforest Alliance Asia Pacific. He has also worked in development aid projects for mangrove conservation in East Kalimantan under the CIM/GIZ returning expert program. Arie has completed formal FSC and SAN Lead Auditor trainings and has conducted numerous FSC, SAN and Timber Legality verification audits/assessments in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Lao, PDR, Singapore and PNG. He graduated from the University of Hohenheim, Germany.Arie is based in Bali, Indonesia and is fluent in English, German and Bahasa Indonesia.
Celia has over 30 years’ experience in finance working in a wide range of industries, including scientific research, medicine and manufacturing as well as in practice. She trained with one of the top 10 Accountancy firms in London before moving into industry. She now runs her own accountancy and tax practice and assists the Secretariat on a part time basis. She is based in the UK.
Dongdong is currently a PhD student in Sustainable Construction from Bartlett School UCL and holds a master’s degree in Business Management from The University of Edinburgh Business School. She has previous experience in the construction and commercial real estate sectors, where she helped multinational brands on corporate properties’ pro-environmental and pro-social certifications (LEED and WELL) and provided energy-saving design consultancy for high-end hotels and office buildings in China. She has several years of experience in project management (PRINCE2 Practitioner accreditation) and possesses a mixed professional background in both industry and academia. Dongdong is passionate about sustainability, especially from the perspective of organisational behaviour and psychology and will ensure sustainable operations at the HCV Network Secretariat.Dongdong is based in London and is fluent in English and native to Chinese Mandarin.
Felicia Lasmana is a conservation biologist based in Indonesia, specialized on bats and other mammals. Felly has over 10 years’ experience with baseline surveys, investment due diligence, policy analysis and development, conservation management, and High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and MSc in Environmental Sciences at Padjadjaran University, Indonesia and MSc in Conservation Biology from University of Kent, UK. She has been trained in in forestry, tropical ecology, ecosystem services and sustainable agriculture in Malaysia, China, and Indonesia. Felly is an ALS Fully Licensed HCV assessor (ALS14007FL), a Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Lead Auditor and an Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) approved auditor. She has been involved in HCV assessments and lead biodiversity surveys specialized in mammals in forestry and oil palm in Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar since 2012.
With a background in Environmental Sciences, Jimena has extensive experience in sustainable supply chains certifications, as an auditor and as the technical manager of a certification scheme. She has experience with the coordination of multi-stakeholder processes and with managing complex projects. Jimena is based in Argentina and speaks fluent Spanish and English, and moderate Portuguese.
Nev is a forestry and conservation specialist with over 25-years experience. A graduate of Ecology from Leeds, and Forestry from Aberdeen, he started his career in the early 90’s with conservation volunteering in the UK and Vietnam, and then in the Mentawai Islands and Asmat in Indonesia. After managing conservation programs in Papua, he established company to provide HCV assessment services to the private sector to improving natural resource management. More recently, he has led technical implementation for donor projects incorporating a landscape scale HCV approach for improved protected area management, conservation planning and implementation, spatial planning and sustainable development. Nev is a keen ornithologist, bikepacker and paraglider pilot.
Olivia joined the HCV Network after many years of managing landscape-level conservation projects mostly in Africa, but also in South America and Australia. She is an expert in wildlife protection and monitoring and brought these skills to recent HCV assessments she contributed to in Central Africa. Before formally joining the Secretariat team, Olivia supported the HCV Network with HCV-HCSA assessment training for Licensed Assessors and as a member of the ALS Quality Panel. Olivia's projects will focus on working with Standards to adopt and implement the HCV Approach, while also providing technical input on tools for HCV Identification, Management and Monitoring, and ongoing support to quality assurance. Olivia has a Master and PhD in Tropical Ecology from the Natural History Museum, Imperial College and Plymouth University. Olivia is based in France and speaks English and French.
Paulina joined the Secretariat in 2012 as Coordinator, in 2015 she became Executive Director, and from November 2020 she is Global Director. She has experience in the energy, telecommunications and biofuels sectors in South and Central America, and has worked for several NGOs and for the Mexican government, where she helped create and implement a biofuels research and development network in ten countries. Before joining the Secretariat she developed an index to promote sustainable land investments in African countries, and helped several Latin American leaders develop strategies for urban resilience to climate change. Paulina has an MSc. in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. in International Relations with specialization in environmental politics from Universidad Iberoamericana Mexico City. Paulina is based in London and speaks English, Spanish and basic French.
Rifat is a passionate conservationist with experience in landscape-level initiatives and community conservation. He is specialized in HCV and HCV-HCSA assessments, implementation of the HCV Approach at the landscape level, and spatial data analysis. Before joining the HCV Network, Rifat worked with Proforest in transforming environmental and social conditions with local communities, governments, and companies in several landscapes in Riau, Indonesia. He holds an MSc. in Forest and Nature Conservation Policy from Wageningen University. Rifat is based in Indonesia and speaks Bahasa Indonesia and English.
Robby is an expert in biodiversity conservation and sustainable palm oil with a particular interest in understanding the connection between anthropogenic landscapes and biodiversity. Prior to joining the HCV Network, he worked on the Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil Palm Research (SEnSOR) project with the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) and the University of York, UK, examining the impact of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification on biodiversity management and monitoring in oil palm plantations across Indonesia and Malaysia. Robby also has experience working for a private palm oil company in Indonesia, where he helped with conservation efforts and ensured compliance with sustainability standards. He holds an MSc. in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Leeds, UK, which he obtained through a Chevening scholarship, and a BSc. in Agrotechnology from Universitas Jenderal Soedirman, Indonesia. Robby is based in Indonesia and speaks Bahasa Indonesia and English.
Rod is the Global Director of the Forests Program, with oversight of Global Forest Watch, the Forest Legality Initiative and the Global Restoration Initiative, at the World Resources Institute (WRI). Previously he was Director for Forests at WWF International and provided oversight of WWF’s work on forest conservation and its engagement with the private sector through the Global Forest Trade Network and the New Generation Plantations Project. He was the Editor in Chief of WWF’s ‘Forests for a Living Planet’ series. For several years he worked as a forest policy advisor in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. He began his career as a lawyer in Australia and has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Law from the Australian National University. Rod is a Legal Director of the Network since 2015.
Ruth is an anthropologist with more than 20 years of experience in sustainable development and conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. She has worked for WWF and OXFAM GB on implementing projects and programmes focused on forest governance, FSC certification, sustainable livelihoods, natural resources management, community development, and equitable alliances between communities and the private sector. With WWF, she supported community forest certification, the implementation of the stepwise approach to certification, and the development of the national standards for Brazil Nut Certification in Peru. She has also worked with Rainforest Alliance in several assessments and peer reviews under the FSC standard. Ruth graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. She is based in the UK and speaks English and Spanish.
Stephan has been dedicated to nature conservation from an early age on. While still being a student, he participated in conservation projects in the Netherlands, Ireland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Senegal since the 1980’s. He holds a bachelor degree in Tropical Forestry and a master degree in Landscape Ecology. He moved to Indonesia in the early 1990’s to follow his professional dedication first for a mangrove restoration project, and later on for more than 20 years as a conservation director for WWF. For several years he conducted biodiversity expeditions to remote areas in Borneo and coordinated long-term applied research at field stations. He contributed to the development of comprehensive management plans for national parks and conservation landscapes, engaging with all stakeholders and ensuring the participation of local communities. Stephan started to apply the HCV approach soon after it was initiated as a basis for environmental impact assessments and recommendations of buffer zones and plantation areas surrounded by natural forests throughout Indonesia. Stephan is based in the Netherlands and speaks English, Indonesian and Dutch.
In April 2022, FEMEXPALMA and the HCV Network signed a 5-year cooperation agreement to promote sustainable production of palm oil in Mexico. FEMEXPALMA is a Mexican independent entity that represents palm production at the national level and promotes the increase of productivity in a sustainable way.
With global markets becoming stricter, for Mexican producers to be able to export to key markets such as the European Union, they must meet strict requirements such as certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). To be certified by RSPO, the HCV Approach must be applied prior to the establishment of any new oil palm plantations. With this cooperation agreement, the HCV Network will support FEMEXPALMA’s members and allies to design better strategies to identify, manage and monitor High Conservation Values and support smallholders to achieve RSPO certification and implement good agricultural practices.
High Carbon Stock Approach
The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA) is an integrated conservation land use planning tool to distinguish forest areas in the humid tropics for conservation, while ensuring local peoples’ rights and livelihoods are respected.
In September 2020, HCV Network and the HCSA Steering Group signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their collaboration to conserve forests and uphold community rights in tropical forests. The HCS and HCV Approaches are cornerstones of corporate no deforestation and conservation commitments, and increasingly for actors working at different scales. The collaboration aims to further support effective implementation of these commitments through increased uptake of the HCV and HCS tools.
Through this MoU, HCSA and HCVRN are pursuing two main strategic goals:
- Strive to promote the application of the two approaches in tropical moist forest landscapes and explore further opportunities for collaboration.
- Ensure that, where the two approaches are applied together, this happens in a coordinated, robust, credible, and efficient manner, so that HCS forests and HCVs are conserved, and local peoples’ rights are respected.
World Benchmarking Alliance
From May 2022, the HCV Network is an ally at the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA). WBA is building a diverse and inclusive movement of global actors committed to using benchmarks to incentivise, measure, and monitor corporate performance on the SDGs, and will assess and rank the performance of 2,000 of the world’s most influential companies against seven systems of transformation by 2023.
The scope of WBA’s circular transformation was expanded to cover nature and biodiversity as recognition of the need for greater understanding, transparency and accountability of business impact on our environment. The WBA Nature Benchmark was launched in April 2022, which will be used to rank keystone companies on their efforts to protect our environment and its biodiversity. As HCV Areas are recognised as key areas important for biodiversity, companies that publicly disclose their actions to identify and protect HCVs will contribute to the assessment of their performance against the benchmark.
Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures - TNFD
The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) is a global, market-led initiative, established with the mission to develop and deliver a risk management and disclosure framework for organizations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks, with the aim of supporting a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes.
In April 2022, the HCV Network joined the TNFD Forum. The TNFD Forum, composed of over 400 members, is a world-wide and multi-disciplinary consultative network of institutional supporters who share the vision and mission of the task force.
By participating in the Forum, the HCV Network contributes to the work and mission of the taskforce and help co-create the TNFD Framework which aims to provide recommendations and advice on nature-related risks and opportunities relevant to a wide range of market participants, including investors, analysts, corporate executives and boards, regulators, stock exchanges and accounting firms.
Aquaculture Stewardship Council
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is the world’s leading certification scheme for farmed seafood – known as aquaculture – and the ASC label only appears on food from farms that have been independently assessed and certified as being environmentally and socially responsible. In 2021, the HCV Network and ASC formalised their collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU represents the first step in a fruitful relationship aimed at conserving HCVs in aquaculture. Although, existing guidance on the use of the HCV Approach currently focuses mainly on forestry and agriculture, the HCV Approach is however generic, and in principle also applicable to aquatic production systems. Through this MoU, this is recognised by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) in their ASC farm standard, in which the protection of HCV areas is mentioned in the context of expansion
Accountability Framework Initiative
The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) is a collaborative effort to build and scale up ethical supply chains for agricultural and forestry products. Led by a diverse global coalition of environmental and human rights organizations, the AFi works to create a “new normal” where commodity production and trade are fully protective of natural ecosystems and human rights. To pursue this goal, the coalition supports companies and other stakeholders in setting strong supply chain goals, taking effective action, and tracking progress to create clear accountability and incentivize rapid improvement. In July 2022, the HCV Network joined AFi as a Supporting Partner. AFi Supporting Partners extend the reach and positive impact of the AFi by promoting use of the Accountability Framework by companies, industry groups, financial institutions, governments, and other sustainability initiatives, both globally and in commodity-producing countries.
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