How do you define forest? That was the question The Forest Trust Founder Scott Poynton was grappling with in 2010, alongside Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) and Greenpeace, when the three organisations were working together to find a balance between the need to conserve forests and the need to create jobs, services and much needed development in countries like Indonesia.
The aim was to ensure a practical, transparent, robust, and scientifically credible approach to implement commitments to halt deforestation in the tropics, while ensuring the rights and livelihoods of local peoples are respected. The result was the High Carbon Stock Approach, which was launched in 2011. You can watch a short documentary film that gives further insight into the High Carbon Stock approach below.
A subsequent toolkit was published in 2015 to help the widespread adoption of the High Carbon Stock Approach, which was endorsed by a combination of companies and environmental activists, including GAR and Greenpeace, as well as Asia Pulp & Paper, Unilever, Wilmar, Forest Peoples Programme, Rainforest Action Network and WWF. Today, the approach is being used by global business as a way of putting their no deforestation commitments into practice.