There are large opportunities for plantation forestry in Africa, based on attractive growing conditions, land availability and fast-growing markets. However, establishing new forests have proven more difficult than expected. The NAI partners have large experience from commercial forestry in Africa, including developing and implementing projects across the entire value chain. We believe that many important lessons from the past will create basis for attractive investments for the future. There are several interesting opportunities for greenfield and brownfield investments in African forestry, as well as within downstream processing.
Forestry has a very large potential to mitigate climate change, second only to closing the coal power production. Reforestation is also one of the lowest cost methods for mitigating climate change, and has large additional positive environmental, social and economic benefits. Furthermore, large new forests are required for feedstock to biofuel, building material, etc. While the fight against deforestation (incl. REDD+) is important and has generated good results, reforestation is more important for mitigating climate change and larger positive developmental, environmental and social impacts.
Carbon trading has been a failure and generated little revenues for the forestry sector over the last two decades. However recent work of WWF, WRI, WCS, TNC and Conservation International suggest that the forestry sector should attract large new climate related revenues and finance support, in particular in connection with Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR). Most large-scale forest landscape restoration projects are located in Latin America, a small number in Africa and few in S-E Asia, with the largest potential for expansion in Africa.
The NewAfrica Impact Partners have extensive forestry and landscape restoration experience in Europe and across Africa. They have implemented Africa’s largest reforestation project since 2000, establishing 40,000 ha new forest on 100,000 ha landscape.
Developing Forest Landscape Projects
Land based projects are complex and large project require significant preparation. National legislations and requirements are typically extensive and helpful. The FSC standard for sustainable forest management, WWF’s New Generation Plantation Concept and the High Conservation Value Resource Network provides additional standards and tools that must be met for successfully implementing a largescale landscape project. The IFC performance standards EIB requirements etc. provide important further guidance. Forestry provide more progress towards the Global Development Goals than most/any other activity.