Mads Asprem, CEO of Green Resources, gave a presentation at the New Forest for Africa conference in Accra, Ghana on 16 March. Asprem started the presentation by pointing out that the money spent on the conference would have enabled Green Resources to plant 1 million trees. He encouraged the 140 participants to think about this in their way home and make sure that they accomplished something practical in the support of forest planting and restoration following the conference.
The highlights of Asprem’s speech were:
- Several recent studies show the need to significantly expand the global plantation forests, including reports by Nova Institute, WWF’s Forest for a Living Planet and WRI. Land availability means that Africa has to be part of any meaningful expansion of the world’s plantation forest areas.
- There is huge potential to expand forest cover in Africa, and Africa has excellent people to do it.
- African forestation creates more positive social, environmental and economic impacts than establishing new forests anywhere else in the world. We believe the landscape model will be the only successful approach to forestation in Africa.
- Private companies are the locomotives in African forestation:
- accounting for all large scale forestation, while Government plantations are shrinking
- developing wood processing facilities producing environmentally friendly, high quality products and benefiting 1000s of small forest owners supplying the new factories
- It is the private sector that does ‘proper’ forestry in Africa. Private companies have established and own all African FSC certified plantation forest outside of South Africa.
- Only 100,000 ha plantations established since 2000 is a fraction of what is needed. Planting peaked in 2011 and is smaller than the loss of Government plantations during the same period. Green Resources has been the leading planter since 2000.
- Development banks should play a positive role in funding for private forestry companies. Equity and 15-20 years debt with realistic interest must be made available if large scale planting is to take place.
- Donors should recognise that the private sector is the best channel for forestation and landscape restoration and shift significant grant support towards building infrastructure for private sector forestry.
- Carbon finance should focus on practical and implementable projects that are benefiting the environment and local people. Successful REDD+ projects (ex. rainforests) must include afforestation.
- No. of funded planted & certified trees should be a key impact matrix for donors and lenders.
For the full presentation click here
For more information please contact:
Mads Asprem, CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emma Shepheard-Walwyn, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Manager
For more information on the conference and the ‘New Forests for Africa’ initiative visit: www.newforestsforafrica.org