High Conservation Value (HCV)
All natural habitats have inherent conservation values, they may contain species only found in that location for example or have specific cultural importance. High Conservation Values (HCV) are those where the biological, ecological, social or cultural value is outstandingly significant at a national, regional or international level.
As early as 2011, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) committed to protecting areas that include HCV. This includes committing to not operating in nationally and internationally designated protected areas. We have assessed our plantations and mapped 53,000 hectares which are now set aside for conservation.
As a member of RSPO and in line with our commitment to HCV conservation we are obligated to carry out HCV assessments using qualified assessors prior to any new development. (Since November 2014, GAR has voluntarily halted all new development in its main (nucleus) estates and the company is focusing on yield improvement on its existing plantations.
Under our HCV commitments we are focused on maintaining and restoring riparian buffer zones throughout all our operations in recognition of their importance in providing ecosystem services. As of end 2018, we have rehabilitated around 2,700 hectares of riparian zones. Our leading research facility SMARTRI is also collaborating with Cambridge University on a new riparian restoration research project.