Since 1995, the Bonn-based German expert for green impact investing ForestFinance has been planting forests in the project countries Panama, Peru, Colombia and Vietnam. Now, the reforestation company has just planted its ten millionth tree.
“In 2009, we planted and celebrated our millionth tree in Panama City in the presence of the Panamanian Minister of Environmental Affairs. Today – nine years later – we have increased this number tenfold. We have achieved this together with over 19,000 customers and environmentally conscious investors,” explains Harry Assenmacher, founder of the ForestFinance Group.
Programms of afforestation to create forests increase carbon capture and carbon sequestration, and help to anthropogenically improve biodiversity.
ForestFinance about the impact of 10 million trees:
- They influence the local climate and protect the soil from erosion.
- They help the soil to fulfil its function as a water reservoir and contribute to its improvement – especially the acacia trees, which enrich the soil in Colombia with nitrogen and make it fertile again for more demanding plants. Ten million trees bind more than two million tons of climate-damaging carbon dioxide.
- Thanks to ForestFinance’s afforestation and forest management, more than 150 employees have qualified, secure jobs, above-average incomes, can rely on social benefits and further training and make a career within the company.
- In the tropical regions where ForestFinance plants trees, many animals and plants can grow and thrive unharmed.
- And last but not least: Ten million trees have enabled ForestFinance to pay out more than six million euros in harvest yields to its customers up to now.
In addition to the ten million trees planted, many others, which have never been counted, are included in ForestFinance’s forest protection projects on the untouched protection areas in the tropics and in Germany. Some of these are ancient forests that are not cultivated and protected from any kind of intervention. Especially in these natural and original ecosystems, every single tree plays an important role. This approach serves nature conservation and enhances biodiversity.The company has not only created forests on formerly degraded pasture land. With green impact investing, ForestFinance has also improved the lives of local people and animals. Assenmacher recalls: “Since 1995, we have reforested 7,500 hectares of land where cattle used to graze, or where nothing has been growing for years because the soil was depleted. Hardly any animal found food, water or support here. Our projects have demonstrably improved life in this region.”
Green impact investing gets support from prominent parties
The environmental think-tank World Resources Institute (WRI) speaks highly of ForestFinance’s business model in a recent study. The approach of the ForestFinance Group to combine land restoration projects under the umbrella of green impact investing products is, from the WRI’s point of view, a good example of the consolidation of small investments.
Since 1995 the ForestFinance Group has held a leading role in the development of sustainable forest and agroforestry investments, combining financial returns with an ecological and social impact. The long term goal is to create new tropical mixed forests. In all its corporate activities, the ForestFinance Group is guided by the principles of sustainability and ensures that social, economic and ecological goals are equally important and interact with one another. In addition to mixed forests, the ForestFinance Group has been establishing and managing agroforestry systems in Panama (since 2008) and Peru (since 2012).
In total, the ForestFinance Group now manages several thousands of hectares of forest areas in Panama, Vietnam, Colombia and Peru. The Group has designated more than 2,000 hectares of land as protected area, including mangrove forests in Panama, and has planted over 10 million trees worldwide. With more than 19,000 customers and over 20 years of experience the ForestFinance Group is one of the leading providers of direct forest investments in Europe and has already paid out revenues from its own forests to the investors.