GVL Welcomes High Carbon Stock Convergence Agreement

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Golden Veroleum Liberia welcomes and strongly supports the agreement on a unified approach to implementing the ‘No Deforestation Commitments’ announced on November 8 by Greenpeace in Bangkok, Thailand. The High Carbon Stock Convergence Agreement is the outcome of discussions conducted by the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Convergence Working Group from October 2015 through November 2016.

GVL, Greenpeace and The Forest Trust worked together from early 2013 to establish the first HCS protection methodology in Liberia. GVL remains fully committed to the HCS process – all of our community agreements and all development areas take full account of the HCS No-Deforestation principle and all HCS forests are clearly excluded from any future development. GVL is an actively participating member of the HCS Approach (HCSA) steering committee and has been a strong proponent of ensuring convergence on a single approach to No-Deforestation, according to a press release.

The creation of the first African implementation was done in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties with field work in Butaw, Tarjuowon, Tartweh, Kabada and Du-Wolee Nyennue communities in Sinoe County and Wedabo community in Grand Kru County.

GVL’s environmental teams, led by Liberian management, environmentalists and field staff, worked with Greenpeace and the Forest Trust, and are today experts on HCS preservation in Liberia.

“We start from satellite mapping and then proceed to ‘ground truthing’ in the field,” said Mr Flomo Molubah, GVL’s General Manager for Sustainability in Sinoe. “The field work is done with local community elders who know their lands and community youth who learn surveying and GPS satellite-based mapping techniques.” This assures that GVL uses the most modern methods and standards of forest preservation, the release said.

GVL believes this convergence is a significant step forward for the high carbon stock concept and consolidates alternative ideas into a single coherent and robust approach.

Applying a unified HCS methodology is important for Liberian Palm Oil products to be accepted for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) requirements in important markets such as Europe and America.

The next important objective for GVL is to work with communities, the Government of Liberia and funders to begin the Community Oil Palm outgrower program. Outgrower farm management organizations will be owned by the community. If successfully implemented, it is intended that the outgrower farms and other means of income, such as rubber, vegetable and animal crops, will allow communities to preserve larger areas of the HCS forests that they own, while providing other non-forest dependent means of bringing prosperity to communities.

The unified standard opens another step towards international support of Liberian smallholder Palm Oil, the release concluded.

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