New partnership to raise funds for sustainable forestry across Africa

A new partnership between the CDC Group, Finnfund, Norfund, and New Forests has been announced with an intention to develop investment strategies designed to scale and transform the sustainable forestry sector in sub-Saharan Africa. The CDC Group is a development finance institution based in the UK; Finnfund is a Finnish fund for industrial cooperation; Norfund is the Norwegian government’s investment fund for developing countries; and New Forests is a global investment management firm that focuses on sustainable landscape. This partnership aims to raise up to US$500 million over the next three to five years in the fight against climate change.

The partnership builds on each organisation’s existing commitments to responsible forestry, bringing together CDC, Finnfund and Norfund’s expertise in investing for development in Africa, with New Forests’s track record in scaling investment and climate finance in forestry into new geographic and market segments.

Africa is home to around 17% of the world’s forests, including 20% of all tropical forests. These vital ecosystems are under pressure from biodiversity loss and deforestation, as the continent faces a growing wood products shortage as economies and populations grow. Increasing the sustainability of timber production and improving forestry and landscape management practices are critical in combating climate change and creating nature-positive outcomes in the region.

The new partnership aims to support the development and effective management of sustainable forestry practices, including conservation of remaining natural forests, and responsibly expand productive forest plantations, community forests and forest restoration projects across the region. It also hopes to facilitate development of nature-based climate solutions that will help prevent forest loss and preserve Africa’s natural capital. Lastly, it aims to accelerate the creation of green jobs, improve livelihoods, and generate sustainable and inclusive economic development in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

David Brand, CEO of New Forests, shared: “We are excited to partner with like-minded investors in developing a scaled approach to investing in sustainable forestry in Africa. 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.”