High Conservation Values and Protection Zones
High Conservation Values
High Conservation Values (HCV) are an essential element of high-ranking certifications schemes. They are defined as forest areas containing a high concentration of biodiversity values, large populations of most of the naturally occurring species and rare or vulnerable ecosystems. HCVs do not only cover ecological issues but also areas providing basic ecosystem services in critical situations and supply in basic goods for local communities. Moreover, HCVs do also include areas with a high social or religious value for local communities and areas considered as national or international heritage. A total of 70 300 ha or 6% of our forests in Brazil and Gabun have been assessed as HCVs and are integrally excluded from any activities.
For more information on our HCVs in Brazil and Gabun, please go to our documentations.
All water courses, banks and slopes are of high ecological value and therefore protected. They are permanently excluded from any commercial activity and ensure a network of protected areas throughout Precious Woods’forest areas. In addition, a large, unbroken forest area is maintained as a strict protection zone. In Precious Woods’ Brazilian forests these protection zones account for around 25 percent of Precious Woods’ forest area.
Protection zones play also an important role for scientific research. Comparisons of protected areas with logging areas can provide important knowledge about the long term human impact. Permanent sample plots within the Brazilian and Gabonese forestry zones serve similar purposes. The forest recovery rate and development after harvesting can be assessed with these extensive tree inventories. It is also possible to compare the growth rates between trees in protected and non-protected areas to draw conclusions about options to improve sustainable forest management.