In a bid to develop investment strategies designed to scale and transform the sustainable forestry sector in sub-Saharan Africa, CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution; Finnfund, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation; Norfund, the Norwegian Government’s investment fund for developing countries; and New Forests will work hand in hand to realise the target.

This is according a press statement released by the groups and seen by Nairametrics.

The partnership seeks to raise $500 million over the next three to five years in the fight against climate change, building on the combined expertise from CDC, Finnfund and Norfund’s in their existing commitments to responsible forestry as well as New Forests’ track record in scaling investment and climate finance in forestry into new geographic and market segments.

The vital ecosystem in Africa consisting of around 17 per cent of the world’s forests, including 20 per cent of all tropical forests are under pressure from biodiversity loss and deforestation, this is as the continent is faced with a growing wood products shortage which contrasts the economies and populations growth.

This underlies the need to increase the sustainability of timber production and improve forestry and landscape management practices which is critical in combatting climate change and creating nature-positive outcomes in the region.

What they are saying

David Brand, CEO at New Forests expressed excitement to work with like-minded investors in developing a scaled approach to investing in sustainable forestry in Africa. He said, “New Forests’ vision is to see the forestry and land use sectors as central to the transition to a sustainable future. As we look towards fulfilling this vision, sub-Saharan Africa must be part of the equation”

Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of CDC Group noted that responsible investment in sustainable forestry will preserve Africa’s rich natural environment and is also a key step towards addressing the climate emergency, while bringing prosperity and green jobs to rural communities.

He said, “As each COP conference demonstrates, co-operation is at the heart of climate action. We’ve already assembled a wealth of expertise to work together and as we develop the partnership, we will be looking to invite other like-minded leaders in the sector to join us.”

Similarly, Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund, stated that the partnership will catalyse sustainable growth of the African forestry sector, thereby creating jobs, reducing deforestation and addressing climate change.

Jaakko Kangasniemi, CEO of Finnfund, on his part, noted that Sustainable forestry is one key way to curb deforestation as well as climate change, as she explained that investing in responsible forestry companies has long been one of Finnfund’s focus areas.

What the partnership is expected to deliver

The new partnership is aimed at providing much-needed capital which on the long run would lead to:

Support the development and effective management of sustainable forestry practices, including conservation of remaining natural forests.
Responsibly expand productive forest plantations, community forests and forest restoration projects across the region.
Facilitate development of nature-based climate solutions that will help prevent forest loss and preserve Africa’s natural capital.
Accelerate the creation of green jobs, improve livelihoods, and generate sustainable and inclusive economic development in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.