Nedbank Capital, one of the largest South African banks, and Face the Future, a global forest carbon project developer, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week to jointly develop sustainable forestry projects in Africa. Both companies already participate in developing African forestry projects. The MOU will allow the companies to bring together Face the Future’s carbon development skills and Nedbank’s access to finance and carbon market networks to build a project portfolio.
“Our joint expectations are for future collaboration encompassing both existing and new African forestry-orientated projects,” said Paul Griffin, Senior Administrator Carbon Finance at Nedbank Capital. Griffin added, “Above all, we aim to adopt strategies that encourage the relationship to flourish.”
The collaboration between Nedbank and Face the Future is important given the deforestation in Africa. “Deforestation rates in Africa are accelerating,” said Helen Gichohi, president of the African Wildlife Foundation, while delivering a keynote speech at the recent climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
One example of a successful sustainable forestry project is the Kibale National Park (KNP) reforestation project in Uganda, which is mentioned in a press release about Nedbank’s and Face the Future’s collaboration. The project is managed by Face the Future and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), and registered under the Verified Carbon Standard.
The Kibale National Park is described by Face the Future as “one of the last remaining tropical forest blocks in the country.” It is home to at least 372 bird species, four species of wild cats, at least 351 tree species, 13 species of primates, and the only viable population of red colobus monkey in Uganda. Deforestation and use of the park contributed to “significant deterioration,” according to Face the Future, of the park’s forest and its biodiversity over the last 30 years. Since early 1990s, Face the Future has worked working with the UWA to reforest 10,000 hectares in the park.
Nedbank “first became aware of the [Kibale National Forest] project a year ago,” Griffin said. “We regard this as the first act in promoting close environmental collaboration between Face the Future and Nedbank,” Griffin said.
Founded in 1990, Face the Future is responsible for establishing and rehabilitating over 50,000 hectares of forest, and rehabilitating over 100,000 hectares of existing. Face the Future has two registered forestry projects under the Verified Carbon Standard, and the Kibale National Park reforestation project is one of them. The other project is in Borneo.
Denis Slieker, the Director of Face the Future, thinks that the two registered forestry projects show “that sustainable forestry projects can start creating a financial business case, and compete with conversion of forest.”
Photo credits:Flickr user, sarahemcc