This article by Paula Chamas and Mark Berry is part of the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit, a resource designed for professionals who want to learn or communicate about the industry. Carbon stored in forests has become a great opportunity for conservation-minded landowners to obtain an additional stream of revenue.
The community of Ixtlán de Juárez in Oaxaca, Mexico is a great example of the multiple economic, ecological and social benefits of a sustainably managed community forest. Forest management and ownership has fostered social and economic prosperity in this community while protecting the unique environmental values of its land. It is an indigenous Zapotec community located in one of the poorest areas of Mexico in the rugged mountains of the Sierra Juarez. Revenues from forest management have been reinvested over the years in the creation and growth of different community-owned enterprises.
As severe wildfires leave their charred mark on the western United States this season, Conservation Finance Network interviewed Blue Forest Conservation staff about the Forest Resilience Bond project. This massive collaboration is bringing private finance to bear on ecological restoration to reduce the risk of these catastrophes.
Have you seen the brilliant crimson and amber of fall foliage in New England? Every year our trees make tourists and natives alike stop and stare in amazement as our region’s forests put on a final show in preparation for winter. But our vibrant forests are at risk. New Englanders are losing 65 acres of forest per day, or 24,000 acres per year, to dispersed and fragmented residential and commercial development. If this trend continues, the region will lose another 1.2 million acres — an area nearly twice the size of Rhode Island — over the next 50 years. And it is not just the fall fireworks that we stand to lose.
Funneling money toward forest conservation in the developing world may sound easier than it is. Once one gets into the weeds of implementing sustainable-forestry-finance frameworks like REDD+ at an international level, the challenges of climate finance come to the surface. This year, the game plan is changing to expand this financing space. United States nonprofits and investors will have new opportunities to help rainforest conservation flourish.
What if the development of these approaches could be responsibly accelerated? What if we could shorten the time it takes for environmental markets and investment vehicles to be defined, piloted, scaled, and matured—without cutting corners? The Conservation Finance Network’s recent report, “Private Capital and Working Lands Conservation: A Market Development Framework,” responds to these questions by translating practitioner insight into a framework and common language in the hope of speeding solutions to market development. The report attempts to describe how stakeholders could better delineate their roles and focus their money and authority. It is meant to help stakeholders set realistic goals, expectations, and timeframes to see more capital deployed faster.
Uniting more than a dozen African governments, 11 technical partners, a range of bilateral and multilateral donors, and over $545 million in private-sector investments in service of restoring 100 million hectares of land by 2030, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) is conservation finance on a grand scale.