An article in The Jakarta Post.

Balancing forest protection and economic growth not only requires political leadership but strong leadership from the corporate sector. That is why Greenpeace and hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia and around the world who support forest protection are pushing companies to clean up their supply chains.

When the companies show they want to change and remove forest destruction from their supply chains, we sit down with them and review their policies. Just last week, Johnson & Johnson committed to No Deforestation, following on the heels of other consumer goods giants like Procter & Gamble.

But the measure of success is how the policy is implemented. This is how we can determine how serious companies are about deforestation.

Putting forest protection into practice is not easy, but one problem that can arise is when the process comes under dispute. Exploiting this confusion to continue business as usual, is what we call the “talk and log” approach, and in this scenario the forests are certainly not winning the reprieve they need.

But there is a method to put forest protection into practice, and there is growing consensus from industry leaders on how to implement it.

In the last three years Greenpeace, together with The Forest Trust (TFT) and Indonesian palm oil giant Golden Agri Resources,  have been developing a way to do this — the High Carbon Stock (HCS)   approach. It’s what we call “putting No Deforestation into practice” — a process already trialed by Indonesian palm oil giant Golden Agri Resources, and already under scientific review. The process determines which viable areas of natural forests must be protected and restored, as well as ensuring that the current and future land use rights of local communities are respected.

The HCS approach uses a combination of high quality satellite photos and plots on the ground to divide vegetation into different types. These are then analyzed and sorted to get a picture of HCS forest for conservation, including removing community food growing areas, and incorporating carbon-rich peat land and areas of high biodiversity value into one conservation plan.

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