Bank enters sustainable forestry collaboration
South African banking firm Nedbank Capital and public engagement project Face the Future have signed a pioneering memorandum of understanding (MoU) designed to facilitate collaboration between the two, with the intention of enabling them to jointly develop sustainable forestry projects in Africa.
The companies believe this agreement will allow them to harness the practical project and carbon development skills acquired by Face the Future, with the access to finance and carbon market networks developed by Nedbank.
The collaboration aims to jointly build a project portfolio that highlights the importance of targeting climate change, biodiversity and community benefits. The cooperation will focus on Africa specifically.
Nedbank Capital senior administrator for carbon finance Paul Griffin says one such project, the Kibale National Park reforestation project, in Uganda, managed by Face the Future and the Uganda Wildlife Authority, has now attained registration and carbon issuance under the Verified Carbon Standard, resulting in the issuance of almost 370 000 carbon credits in September.
“Nedbank Capital first became aware of the project a year ago and, after reviewing the project’s participants and their activities, and completing on-the-ground due diligence, we purchased 50 000 verified carbon units for the Nedbank group’s carbon-neutral programme.
“We regard this as the first act in promoting close environmental collaboration between Face the Future and Nedbank,” he adds.
Griffin believes Kibale is a pilot project and that it will pave the way between the two organi- sations for a number of projects in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Face the Future is a worldwide forest carbon project developer. Founded in 1990, it has been responsible for re-establishing more than 50 000 ha of forest and for rehabilitating in excess of 100 000 ha of existing forests.
Face the Future director Denis Slieker says the company combines extensive knowledge of carbon certification, forestry and carbon markets with tangible projects, which are developed in close cooperation with local organisations. “In all projects that we are involved in, we strive to combine climate change mitigation, biodiversity enhancement and community benefits. We believe only such projects will be successful in the long term.
“Face the Future has successfully registered two forestry projects under the Verified Carbon Standard – projects that resulted in the issuance of a significant number of carbon credits. This shows that sustainable forestry projects can start creating a financial business case,” he notes. Face the Future, with offices in the Netherlands and Ecuador, has marketed more than 2.5-million carbon credits to date.
“Given Face the Future’s track record, we are gratified to be partnering with a company that focuses on projects that benefit climate change, biodiversity and communities,” says Griffin.
“We are confident that Africa has great potential – which is why we plan to focus on projects on the continent. Together with Face the Future, we are optimistic that we will help bridge the gap between forest owners and the international carbon market.
“Our joint expectations are for future collabo- ration encompassing both existing and new African forestry-orientated projects.”