New Forests is increasing its footprint in Asia with the first close of a sustainable forestry fund raising $165 million (US$120M). 

Asia has the world’s fastest growing demand for wood products. The Tropical Asia Forest Fund 2 (TAFF2) aims to build a portfolio of sustainable forest plantation assets in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. 

The fund hopes to raise a total of $412 million ($US300M), targeting a final close later this year.

The strategy has attracted investment from the Australian Government, Asian Development Bank (ADB), David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Temasek and TotalEnergies.

New Forests is an investment manager that owns and operates nature-based real assets, and natural capital strategies. It’s been investing in sustainable forestry in Southeast Asia since 2013 when they closed the first TAFF fund.

The company’s specialist approach brings best practice forestry management, as well as market and supply chain development. They develop sustainable governance practices and leading environmental and social management.

“Asia is central to the economic and sustainability transformations happening in the 21st century. Asia has an important role to play in aligning its growth with climate positive, nature positive, and sustainable development outcomes. The TAFF2 investment strategy has been developed to invest capital in these transformations, using the blended finance structure to mobilise more capital towards high social and environmental impact outcomes.” says David Brand, New Forests CEO. 

David founded the company in 2005 with a new vision for how forestry assets can be managed sustainably. He acquired distressed forestry assets from the likes of Timbercorp and Gunns, implementing an overhaul of management to improve environmental outcomes, reduce deforestation and offer investors an attractive balance or risk, return and impact. 

The company now manages a total of $7.8 billion ($US5.8B) in assets worldwide, covering 1.1 million hectares.

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