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Protecting high carbon stock in our plantation landscapes

In our palm plantation activities we are at the forefront of sustainability by applying Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) and RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) to our palm and rubber plantation investments. We also want to take the lead on the conservation of High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests.

These are early days of defining HCS forests and we are working with the leading groups to be an active part of the shaping and tracking of the developing definitions, particularly in terms of how they apply to heavily forested nations like Gabon that wish to develop their local agriculture, assure domestic food security and build the modern agriculture skills in their populations even as they address matters related to activating their rural economy.

Gabon is the first country in Africa to have committed to reducing its Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2025 relative to its 2000 baseline under its 2015 Climate Action Plan for the UNFCCC. This includes the protection of HCS and HCV forests in its land-use plan where it sets out how it will deliver on its UNFCCC commitment.

In December 2015, the international High Carbon Stock Study Group published its Science Study Report in December 2015, in which the Technical Committee presented Olam’s Mouila landscape as a case study to guide an HCS+ process suitable for forest-rich nations – Olam was the first company to field-test the HCS+ methodology.

Considering all our palm plantations in Mouila, the HCS Study Group concluded that our palm project will be at least climate neutral, if not carbon positive (i.e. net fixation or removal of 4.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) over the first 25 years of the project.

The HCS+ Study paper is available on our website here.

Next section: Preventing deforestation in our third party palm and rubber plantation landscapes