The need for reforestation
Reforestation and landscape restoration as means of combating climate change are now high on the agenda of many governments and organizations, especially in the wake of COP21 in Paris. Close cooperation between businesses and investors is needed to meet this challenge and to develop plantation forestry into a stable and sustainable business that will be beneficial to all involved. The opportunities for all stakeholders are huge. A number of projects is already in place and initiatives such as AFR100 are demonstrating a strong commitment, but the pace and scale of operations is still far too low to reverse forest loss.
The initiative ‘Forests for the Future – New Forests for Africa’ has been established with the aim to stimulate and drive large scale reforestation in Africa. The target to reach 100 million hectares of new forests, which African nations have set them themselves is of an exceptional size. To realize this, African leaders see the need for sustainable forestry projects based on a long-term approach and multi-stakeholder benefit. They particularly see the benefit to intensify the cooperation with the private sector as they have the resources, innovation and the ability to deliver.
‘Forests for the Future – New Forests for Africa’ is a multi-stakeholder movement of forest plantation companies, financial institutions, governments, NGO’s and local communities who will actively set up projects and initiatives to boost reforestation with the focus on degraded land. There are several issues that need attention: like education, awareness and availability of land. The key enabler for reforestation is access to finance. Funds need to become aware of the huge impact they will have when investing in forestry.
Start of the conference
The working conference on March 16 and 17, 2016 in Accra, Ghana
The first landmark that has been set was the working conference with key players in reforestation and a keynote of the Honourable Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General. The conference is an initiative of the Dutch forestry consultation company, Form International, the sustainable forestry plantation company, Form Ghana, Nyenrode Business University, based in The Netherlands and in close cooperation with The Forestry Commission Ghana and the World Resources Institute.
» potential Pledgees
Chief of Berekum addressing the conference