This report, authored by Rachel Neugarten and Conrad Savy of Conservation International, reviews existing approaches to threshold setting for conservation planning in data-poor contexts and their potential applicability to a stakeholder-led HCV decision making process. Global guidance for identifying, delineating and managing HCV areas has been developed and nineteen countries have developed national interpretations. To date, there has not been a systematic review of national HCV guidance.

The authors reviewed existing toolkits and other guidance material, looking for shared themes and examples that could represent best practice with the potential for developing consistent national guidelines. HCV guidance from all or nearly all of the countries reviewed adhered to best practices related to incorporating stakeholder consultation, referring to international standards such as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and including management recommendations (Figure 3-2). Guidance from relatively few countries adhered to other best practices such as describing detailed methods for mapping HCV, identifying multiple overlapping values, conducting both preliminary and full assessments, including sample survey instruments, or recommending peer review of HCV assessments. Guidance from different countries was inconsistent in its definition of threatened species, definitions of protected areas, and treatment of primary, secondary, and plantation forests. There were also inconsistencies related to minimum qualifying areas for HCV 2 (large intact ecosystems); different quantitative thresholds for erosion prone areas, buffer zones, and basic needs of local communities; and different management recommendations for maintaining or enhancing HCV values.