SIDE EVENT: The “True” Value of Forests

Opportunities and Challenges for Forest Finance

Forests contribute approximately one percent to the world’s GDP, a value of nearly $468 billion USD (FAO 2011). This figure only includes round wood production, wood processing and pulp and paper, and does not account for the immeasurable benefits that forests contribute to local livelihoods as well as indirect social benefits, such as cultural and indigenous values. The lack of internationally agreed socio-economic indicators creates a data gap and countries still cannot easily measure the “real” value of forests.

Significant data gaps make the valuation of non-wood forest products especially complicated, and as Jan McAlpine, Director of the UNFF Secretariat,  stated, it is estimated that the value of forests is around three to five times higher than what the presented data indicate. How can we better calculate the economic contributions of forests across sectors, including informal work? And, how do we figure out innovative ways to finance sustainable forest management?

On Thursday April 11th (13:00-15:00 Topkapi A), Yale University and International Union of Forest Research Organizations are hosting an event entitled “Private Sector and Forest Finance.” The side event is based on a new white paper and will feature a unique group of renown forestry enterprises and environmental consultants including EcoPlanet Bamboo, SCA, GreenWood Resources, and Pӧyry. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Ben Cashore, and cover the challenges and opportunities of private sector forest finance , as well as social and economic impacts of forests. The full side event announcement is below.

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Sponsored by EcoPlanet Bamboo, Asia Pulp and Paper, Pöyry Management Consulting, GreenWood Resources, and Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA)

Organized by Yale University’s Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Private Sector & Forest Finance

11 April 2013 • 13:00 – 15:00

Room: Topkapi A

UNFF10 • Istanbul, Turkey 

  • Wu Hongbo, United Nations, Under-Secretary General
  • Benjamin Cashore, Yale University, Professor
  • Camille Rebelo, EcoPlanet Bamboo, Partner & Co-Founder
  • Hans Djurberg, SCA, Head of Sustainability & Forestry
  • Hannes Lechner, Pöyry, Senior Principal, Global BioFutures Practice
  • Jeff Nuss, GreenWood Resources, President & CEO
  • Lloyd Irland, Irland Group

This side event will be an excellent opportunity for organizations that are currently investing, or considering investing, in sustainable forest management operations to better identify finance opportunities, risks and best practices.  It is also an opportunity to learn more, and provide feedback on, the range of economic and social impacts of forests that are relevant to, and help shape, decisions about forest finance.

The event will be set around the emerging themes of a white paper that Cashore and Irland were commissioned to write, entitled “Assessing the Economic and Social Contributions of Forests: Implications for the Private Sector Role in Forest Financing.”  The format of the event will include a panel of forest industry leaders.  The panelists will be given the opportunity to share ideas, give a brief overview of their interests, and participate in a question and answer period.

#forestfinance @YaleFES