17.12.2020

Investment in forest landscape restoration

Forest from the air

It is necessary to scale up forest and landscape restoration significantly during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. Photo: Tobias Buchberger

To meet the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Rio Conventions, in particular the Paris Climate agreement, Land Degradation Neutrality targets, and the Aichi biodiversity targets, it is necessary to scale up forest and landscape restoration significantly during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

The Restoration Seed Capital Facility, launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the Governments of Germany and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, aims to boost the contribution of private finance to forest landscape restoration, helping to unlock their immense potential for climate change adaptation and mitigation, conservation of biodiversity and provision of sustainable livelihoods.

“Stimulating private finance is a major factor to meet the objectives under the Bonn Challenge and restore 350 million hectares of forests by 2030,” said Svenja Schulze, German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. “The Restoration Seed Capital Facility will help to catalyze restoration action and ambition in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and will assist the world’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” continues Schulze.

Nature-based solutions such as forest landscape restoration can reverse the effects of deforestation and degradation

Nature-based solutions such as forest landscape restoration can reverse the effects of deforestation and degradation and regain the ecological, social, climatic and economic benefits of forests, positively impacting the lives of the roughly one-third of humanity that has a close dependence on forests and forest products.

Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Government of Luxemburg said: “We cannot address the climate emergency without investing in the planet’s natural capital. There is no mitigation policy, no adaptation policy, and no livable future, if we do not begin managing our landscapes, restoring forests and moving towards deforestation free and sustainable agriculture within a framework of strong partnership of science, business and finance. This facility provides crucial funding to mobilise private impact finance in forest landscape restoration to safeguard people’s livelihood, reduce vulnerabilities and preserve our ecosystems.”  

With an initial capitalization of 25 million euros, the Facility supports fund managers and investment advisers who are already developing activities aligned with forest landscape restoration – or who are currently looking to develop such activities – enabling them to develop more forest restoration projects and move faster into the implementation phase. By requiring that cooperating partners bear at least 50 per cent of eligible costs, the Facility further ensures that its funding is spent only on the most promising projects.

Innovative finance mechanisms hold the key to accelerating private investment for forest restoration

“Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, contributing significantly to biodiversity loss and the loss of livelihoods for forest-dependent communities,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. Innovative finance mechanisms like the Restoration Seed Capital Facility hold the key to accelerating private investment for forest restoration, particularly in developing countries."

By accelerating and scaling up private investment in forest landscape restoration and sustainable land use, the Facility aims to support the restoration of degraded land, protect forests and thereby positively contributes to climate mitigation, adaptation to climate change, biodiversity conservation and securing rural livelihoods.