High Carbon Stock Study

Managing the impacts of land development on the environment, communities and local economies is at the forefront of challenges for sustainable development in the tropics. The Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto members have committed to reduce the impact of their operations and established the High Carbon Stock (HCS) study to provide a robust basis for decision-making and operational improvement.

The Mullion Group’s Dr John Raison was appointed as the independent Co-Chair of the Steering Committee and leader of the Technical Committee established to oversee the HCS study process and ensure that the study was carried out in an independent, systematic, robust and timely manner. John led the overall design of the study, selected and negotiated appointment of 7 global experts to the Technical Committee, provided the interface between the Technical Committee and the Steering Committee, led the development of the final publicly available reports from the study, and led communication of the outcomes to a broad range of stakeholders.

The study’s geographical focus was Southeast Asia and West and Central Africa, and it provides:

  • Carbon thresholds to define HCS forests. These forests should not be converted because they contain high carbon stocks, as well as other important forest values that may not have been included in the High Conservation Value (HCV) initiative, which focuses only on HCVs of ‘outstanding’ value;
  • Guidance on how to make reliable estimates of carbon emissions from land conversion, and how to achieve carbon neutral development; and
  • Guidance on how to enhance the protection of human rights and to generate socio-economic benefits.

The overview report can be found here.