Forests

Deforestation accounts for some 24% of carbon dioxide emissions and almost 20% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Curbing deforestation is therefore a highly effective way to reduce emissions, and, with primary forest in general terms biologically rich, it is also an effective way to conserve biodiversity. Forests also provide vital ecosystem services, such as water regulation, and support the livelihoods of local communities and wider society.

Actions to curb deforestation are known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), and REDD has risen quickly in priority over recent years of the international climate change talks.  REDD projects seek to create a financial incentive for the protection of existing forests, either through carbon trading or direct payment for forest protection and management.

With REDD likely to be the first internationally co-ordinated, biodiversity-related market of significant size, the lessons learnt both from how REDD markets, standards and regulation develop and the challenges of establishing REDD projects, will be important considerations if other ecosystem markets are to be established and successfully scaled-up in the future.

The issues

Forest-related issues affect a wide range of stakeholders from government to multi-lateral institutions, investment and commercial banks, forestry and agricultural companies, NGOs, carbon and ecosystem service project developers, fund managers, PE houses and VCs. Issues include:

  • Potential large-scale growth in the forest carbon market following post-Kyoto climate agreement and growth in domestic carbon markets, eg US.
  • Forest ecosystem valuation and market opportunities with increased recognition of the economic value of ecosystems and biodiversity, eg water regulation.
  • Sustainability of forestry operations of increasing concern for stakeholders, including investors and financial institutions.
  • Investment opportunities in community forestry.
  • International growth in sustainable forest investment funds.

How we can support you

PwC is a leading adviser in the forestry sector with the largest forestry practice of any professional services firm. With 20 years' experience in Sustainable Forest Management, we help clients with issues ranging from responsible and sustainable forestry, biodiversity and climate change to

  • Structuring afforestation, reforestation and forest conservation projects
  • Feasibility studies and risk assessments
  • Carbon credit transactions
  • Regulatory support
  • Carbon accounting and reporting policies
  • Assurance for performance reporting