Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 17% of the world’s forests (including 20% of all tropical forests), which means reducing deforestation in this expansive region could have a huge impact on climate change.

As world leaders, policy makers, scientists and activists meet at COP 26 in Glasgow, sustainable forestry manager, New Forests, has announced a partnership with three development finance institutions (DFIs) that aims to scale and transform the sustainable forestry sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

New Forests will partner with the CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, Finnfund, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, and Norfund, the Norwegian Government’s investment fund for developing countries, in a bid to raise $US500 million over the next 5 years. 

Through providing a viable alternative to the destructive forces of deforestation, the fund hopes to contribute to the drawdown and CO2 emissions, and help to tackle climate change. 

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 1 billion people, and as the countries in the region continue to develop, demand for timber and other forestry products will inevitably grow. By expanding a suite of ‘responsibly managed’ forest plantations, the partnership has the potential to produce green jobs and drive climate-positive economic activity. 

“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.” sayd David Brand, New Forests CEO.

Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund, says: “We are confident that this partnership will catalyse sustainable growth of the African forestry sector, thereby creating jobs, reducing deforestation and addressing climate change.”

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