Home Forums ProTerra Auditor Training Course Day 3 – Case Study (HCV identification)

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  • #4733
    master
    Keymaster

    Based on your readings on HVC and on the video on the High Carbon value approach, it was possible to see a variety of tools and techniques to understand land use change overtime. You as an auditor are not expected to develop such type of assessments as part of your ProTerra auditing. Remember that the burden to demonstrate compliance lies with the auditee. Of course, you can prepare for your audit consulting readily available materials, but ideally the auditee should be prepared to clearly demonstrate compliance with the cutoff date of January 2008.

     

    Please in the case study of today write a few paragraphs discussing:

     1.     What are the types of evidences are being presented by auditees (or researched by you in preparation for the audit) that are currently used in ProTerra Audits to access land use change? Please describe any opportunity to further improve these evidences should you find it necessary.

     2.     Considering the high conservation value areas as defined by the HCV Network, ProTerra V4.1 has explicitly included in the list of areas that may not be converted to agricultural land, areas with cultural values, archaeological or historical significance, and/or of critical cultural or religious/sacred importance for the traditional cultures of local communities or indigenous peoples. With respect to these areas to you see the need of any additional preparation from your side or evidence being provided by the auditee? What are sources of information that can help you in your auditing work with respect to this topic?

     3.     Considering the image below, what area, based on the High Carbon value approach and HCV concept, you understand could be clear for agricultural production and what issue should be raised by a ProTerra auditor?

    #6285
    Alejandra Bolanos
    Participant

    1. Evidence may be scarce considering the antiquity which areas of native vegetation were converted into agricultural areas and, one important problem, the fact of in remote forest areas, formal documentation of land rights will often be lacking, which makes the participatory mapping a key factor, enable to identify sites that are important to the community.
    In preparation for the audit, the auditor can carry out some research and look for information such as newspaper articles and reports related to the area to be audited. At the time of the event, the auditees could present evidence like statements from the community, testifying the existence and respect of the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) procedures and that no land was used for agricultural, industrial or other commercial purposes, after 2008.

    2. It is important to prepare for the audit, to conduct research and seek information about the region and the community where the unit is located, in order to learn about its history, culture, religion and traditions.
    As the availability of information is limited, I believe that the best source of information will be interviews with the community.

    3. Based on HCV concept, the High Carbon Stock (HCS) approach stratifies the vegetation in an area of land into six different classes using analyses of satellite data and ground survey measurements. These six classes are: High Density Forest, Medium Density Forest, Low Density Forest, Young Regenerating Forest, Scrub, and Cleared / Open Land. The first four classes should be protected and preserved because of the amount of carbon and biodiversity stored within and for been critical for millions of indigenous and local peoples who depend on forests for their livelihoods. The two last classes could be used for agricultural production.
    ProTerra auditor must request for evidence that proves that those areas are effectively being conserved and continue to be monitored

    #6288
    Alice
    Keymaster

    Many elements are necessary to understand possibilities of land use change, including the presence of areas with cultural values, archaeological or historical significance, and/or of critical cultural or religious/sacred importance for the traditional cultures of local communities or indigenous peoples. And you are correct to point out the importance of interviews with the local community to understand land use changes overtime.

    Something to maybe be considered, as you indicated, is to “investigate” possible land clearance one should check before going on site, the auditor would have information that would help him make the “right questions” to the auditee in relation to this topic and solve any misunderstanding during the audit itself.
    Google Earth was historical photographs than can be checked to help identify possible land clearance. Not sure if for remote locations there is much data, but it can be helpful. I suggest you all take a look it could be a useful tool.

    To previous identify a HCV, the auditor can also do a search on available websites to gather information about protected areas and threatened species, such as http://www.ramsar.org , http://www.iucnredlist.org, http://www.birdlife.org and Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) for Business form IUCN, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nevertheless, the auditor must use the precautionary approach, meaning that when there are reasonable indications that an HCV is present, the auditor should assume that it is present.

    During the audit, ask for maps of their area, demonstration the land use and the types of areas. A visual inspection is also necessary, during the farm tour. Native vegetation, riparian areas for example are easy to spot. Interviews with residents and with employees of the auditee is also a good source of information to determine Species Diversity in the site (protection of water catchments and control of erosion of vulnerable soils and slopes), Landscape-level ecosystems (Intact forest Landscapes), Ecosystems and habitats (Rare, threatened, or endangered ecosystems, habitats or refugia), websites for Local or indigenous Community needs for health livelihoods, water, food, and areas of Cultural Values.

    The amount of carbon and biodiversity stored within an area of land varies according to the type of vegetative cover. The HCS Approach stratifies the vegetation in an area of land into six different classes using analyses of satellite data and ground survey measurements. These six classes are: High Density Forest, Medium Density Forest , Low Density Forest , Young Regenerating Forest , Scrub, and Cleared/ Open Land. The first four classes are considered potential High Carbon Stock forests.

    The areas that can be used for development should be the lands with low carbon and biodiversity values. In the HCV classification, these areas are Scrubs and Cleared/Open Land.

    To clear an area for agricultural production and for any large or high-risk greenfield expansion or new infrastructure projects, the Certified organization shall perform a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (a structured and technically based process for predicting and assessing the potential environmental and social impacts of a proposed project, and the designating of appropriate compensation, mitigation, management and monitoring measures to deal with negative impacts) to identify potentially harmful or damaging impacts and to define a Management Plan to address these where necessary.
    The ESIA must be commensurate to the scale of the operation and infrastructure. It must take into account the sustainability of the environment, wildlife and endangered species, and the social impact on the local population including, where relevant, indigenous people and traditional land users. Guidance from government, academia or other recognized experts should be obtained, as applicable, to complete the ESIA. Where existing, national regulations related to such assessment must be complied with.

    Finally, as you have indicated, the auditor must check if Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local and/or indigenous communities was used and the establishment of Grievance mechanisms was done by the Economic Operator prior to the use of the land in question.

    #6291
    Alejandra Bolanos
    Participant

    Another evidence that auditees could present are images from satellite generated for georeferencing software, like Agrotools. Images from 2008 and closer to the date of the audit could prove that no land was used for agricultural, industrial or other commercial purposes, after 2008.

    #6305
    Alice
    Keymaster

    😉

    #6329
    Alexia
    Keymaster

    Hello Alice and Alejandra

    #6330
    Alexia
    Keymaster

    Alejandra

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