HCV, HCS and EU-USA’s Sins of the Past

At the beginning of its development, countries around Europe and South America have consumed both their protected forests and conservation forests including the inhabitants. As a result, primary forests and sub-tropical animals become a rare entity. If there is a report in FAO statistical database mentioning European and North American countries to have vast forests, then these forests are secondary forests which come from abandoned agricultural land (Soemarwoto, 1992).

To repay for their past sins, Europeans and North Americans rebuilt their forest and conservation area by integrating HCV (High Conservation Value) Approach and HCS (High Carbon Stock) Assessment. Even though it is a good thing, it is no longer possible to return everything that has been lost in the past.

The concept of HCV and HCS as campaigned by NGOs from Western point of view is as follow; There are 6 High Conservation Values namely HCV 1 (Species Diversity), HCV 2 (Landscape Level Ecosystem and Mosaic), HCV 3 (Ecosystem and Habitats), HCV 4 (Ecosystem Service), HCV 5 (Community Needs) dan HCV 6 (Culture Value). Meanwhile the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Assessment is a methodology that distinguishes vegetation area into six different classes. The six classes are HK 3 (High Diversity Forest), HK 2 (Medium Diversity Forest), HK 1 (Low Diversity Forest), BM (Young Scrub), BT (Old Scrub) and LT (Cleared/Open Land).

However, Indonesia is different from European and South American countries. Since the beginning of its development, Indonesia has been applying the same principle as HCV and HCS by carefully classifying its land from the one that can be used and the one that should be preserved. According to Forestry Law No. 41/1999, forests that have met the similar criteria of HCV and HCS is called Protected Forest and Conservation Forest and these forests are in the Protected Area according to National Spatial Plan Regulation (UU No. 26/2007). In the Indonesian context, conservation, HCV, HCS, and biodiversity all have been considered and have a place in the Protected Forest and Conservation Forest. These forests are the “Homey” of biodiversity such as wildlife, variety of plants and microbes, water management functions and conservation of the ecosystem as a whole

Forest that is used to fulfill the need of human development is called production forest. The conversion of production forest uses certain procedure that has been regulated by Forestry Law.  Production forest is also called land bank because of its function in providing land to meet development needs and residents, such as urban areas, settlements, industry, agriculture, plantations which in the spatial law are referred to as cultivation areas.

In short, the demand to apply HCV and HCS in these cultivation areas is probably unnecessary. It is like suggesting solution to the wrong problem.

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