A responsible corporate company joins hands with an environmental NGO to take on the cause of sustainable forestry in Uganda. Nedbank Capital and Face the Future have signed a pioneering Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) designed to facilitate future collaboration between the two companies with the sole intention of enabling them to jointly develop sustainable forestry projects in Africa.
Both companies have been active participants in the development of African forestry projects. They believe that 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, to jointly build a project portfolio that addresses the importance of targeting climate change, biodiversity and community benefits. The cooperation will focus on Africa specifically.
Paul Griffin, Senior Administrator Carbon Finance at Nedbank Capital, says that 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 approximately 370,000 carbon credits in September 2011.
50 000 verified carbon units
“Nedbank Capital first became aware of the project a year ago and, after reviewing the project’s participants and their activities, and upon 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.”
Of particular significance is Griffin’s characterisation of Kibale as a “pilot project” – a context in which he reveals that the current pipeline of potential projects between the two organizations include activities in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
100 000 hectares of forests rehabilitated
Face of the Future is a worldwide forest carbon project developer. Founded in 1990, it has been responsible for reestablishing more than 50 000 hectares of forests and for rehabilitating in excess of 100 000 hectares of existing forests.
Denis Slieker, the Director of Face the Future, says that his 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.”
Sustainable forestry can compete with forest conversion
“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, and compete with conversion of forest.”
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, who points out that few carbon projects are located in Africa.
“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 shall help bridge the gap between forest owners and the international carbon market.
“Our joint expectations are for future collaboration encompassing both existing and new African forestry-orientated projects.”
Positive outlook for the future
Griffin is hopeful that the launch of this cooperation with Face the Future will attract additional interest and funding for future projects.
“Above all, we aim to adopt strategies that encourage the relationship to flourish.”
Slieker says that the MoU recognises the synergies of the partners’ abilities and experience in pursuing African forestry projects. He points out that the MoU outlines the roles and responsibilities that leverage the strengths of the two companies with the objective of developing further forestry projects in Africa.
“Africa is desperately in need of such lungs. We, along with Nedbank, will strive to go at least some way towards meeting that need. When green meets green, a great deal can be achieved.”