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U.S. Department of State commits up to $9 billion to restore forests

Christian Fernsby |
The United States intends to dedicate up to $9 billion of international climate funding through 2030 to help restore and preserve forests, subject to Congressional appropriations.

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As part of this effort, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Change announced last November it was launching the Forest Investor Club, a network of public and private financial institutions and investors, committed to accelerating investments in forest and nature.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has formally assumed the role of Secretariat for the Forest Investor Club.

Selected by the State Department’s Office of Global Change, WBCSD will play a leading role in the coordination and engagement with members of the Forest Investor Club to catalyze investments in forests and nature.

To expand the geographic scope of restoration, conservation, and sustainable agriculture and forestry, WBCSD will work with members of the Forest Investor Club to identify and facilitate access to a pipeline of investments in forests and nature and develop solutions to investment barriers and bottlenecks.

Forest Investor Club also looks forward to working with the U.K. government and other leading governments to collaborate on our complementary initiatives that will unlock and scale investment opportunities across the globe.

Since its debut 2021, Forest Investor Club members have made significant progress towards achieving the goals of this initiative with new funds and investments in green infrastructure and other nature-based solutions. Notable member achievements include:

• Apple has through its Restore Fund invested with three high-quality forestry managers in Brazil and Paraguay to restore 150,000 acres of sustainably certified working forests and protect around 100,000 acres of native forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

Together, these initial forestry projects are forecast to remove 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in 2025.

• New Forests announced the first close of the Tropical Asia Forest Fund 2 (TAFF2) to develop a diversified portfolio of sustainable forest plantation assets, with $120 million from investors Temasek, Asian Development Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, TotalEnergies, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

• Finnfund, BII, and Norfund launched the African Forestry Impact Platform (AFIP), closing at $200 million, and aiming for over $500 million in investments in the next two-three years.

• The United States Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed over $147 million over the last year related to sustainable agriculture and forestry, green infrastructure, and other nature-based solutions.

DFC also established an internal working group to drive activity related to Natural Climate Solutions (NCS).

• Pollination, along with Indus Delta Capital (IDC) and the Government of Sindh, owns Delta Blue Carbon Project (DBC-1), the world’s largest mangrove restoration project. DBC-1 has been operational for six years and has already restored more than 73,000 hectares of degraded mangrove forests and tidal wetlands.

Carbon Growth Partners, Microsoft, Trafigura, and Respira International purchased the first verified offsets generated by the pioneering program in transactions which could see up to three million carbon credits traded.

The project will sequester an estimated 142 million tons of carbon dioxide over its 60-year lifetime.

• SAIL Ventures closed three transactions totaling $50 million in value (one in the palm oil sector, one in cattle, and one in grains, specifically corn and soy) in sustainable agriculture and forest protection in Colombia, Brazil, and Indonesia over the past 12 months.

In total, these three transactions will protect more than 250,000 hectares of tropical forest, support the companies to intensify over 100,000 hectares of degraded land, and restore over 5,000 hectares of natural forest.

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