Taking into account the mitigative benefits of forest maintenance and of reforestation the question seems logic: why is forest cover reducing and not expanding every year?
It seems, like so many things, the single largest impediment has been the lack of money (World Resources Institute 2018).
The conversation should therefore take a turn towards the need to involve and leverage finance from the private sector and through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) (De la Plaza 2018).
The restoration economy is now outstripping mining for its income potential.
Reaching US$9.5 billion in 2015 (World Resources Institute 2018) with traditional (non-sustainable focus) investment portfolios produced 6.91% per annum return, sustainable portfolios were generating 7.24% per annum (www.blackrock.com), ‘there has never been a better time to invest in land restoration’ (World Resources Institute 2018). The biggest barrier to investment from the PPP, it seems, has largely been exposure of the investors to this information.
The World Resources Institute and The Nature Conservancy combined forces to explore and document the synergies between reforestation and its benefits of climate change mitigation as well as environmental reclamation and development with the world of investment with a view to supporting a clear, practical and real case for investors.
Spanning technology, energy, consumer products and service industries as well as the direct business of land management, reclamation and restoration, they document some of the many possibilities for generating profit in tandem with sustainable forest action. Some of these possibilities for action respond to government incentive or legislation, some respond to market forces, while others use it as a means to differentiate themselves from the competition (World Resources institute 2018).
In this case, growing forests can move business forward which can move investors forward which can move forest development forwards. The businesses can be the ones that directly take the actions for forest development or they can be those that work in partnership to fund it. As consumers and investors and business entities, it is our choice to be part of the problem or to be part of the solution.
BlackRock Investing (2018).
De la Plaza, C. (2018). A gloomy future for climate finance at COP24. Global Forest Coalition, 11 December 2018.
FAO (2015). Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015: How Are the World’s Forests Changing? Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Goldberg, S. and Karim, N. (2014). World’s top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers. The Guardian Monday August 4, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/04/worlds-top-pr-companies-rule-out-working-with-climate-deniers
United Nations (2018). We have a global climate agreement.
United Nations (2018). Declaration – Forests for Climate.
World Resources Institute (2018). The business of planting trees – a growing investment opportunity. World Resources Institute (wri.org) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC.org)