The inaugural Forest and Landscape Investment Forum (FLIF) will be held in Kigali on 16 & 17 May. Participants from around the world will gather in Rwanda’s capital to discuss a broad spectrum of investments in forests and landscapes for sustainable environmental, social, economic and financial returns.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in support of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Rwanda (MINIRENA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) and Rwanda’s Green Fund (FONERWA), is convening this forum as a way to further the global discussion on forest landscape restoration (FLR) and investment, and related topics. The event has attracted a broad array of participants from investment companies, national and international cooperatives, technical assistance providers, development banks and others from across East Africa and all over the world seeking business opportunities in sustainable landscapes. Guidance for businesses who are engaged or want to further engage with sustainable investment in landscapes is sure to be a central theme at the event through discussions and new publications such as the anticipated launch of a report co-authored by IUCN with the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative.
As one of the event’s partners, IUCN’s regionally-based FLR hub is looking forward to a productive forum which, ideally, will spark enthusiasm around FLR in the investment community. The FLIF will help to advance efforts to achieve the Bonn Challenge global restoration goal, and support the Africa-focused AFR100 target of restoring 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes in Africa by 2030.
“FLIF is a vital step towards involving investors in FLR,” confirms Charles Karangwa (Regional Coordinator of the IUCN FLR hub). “It will undoubtedly plant the FLR seed in the investment sector which will hopefully not only lead to more investments in FLR, but will also help us in reaching ambitious restoration goals set out by various countries in our region through the Bonn Challenge. Next to triggering the investors, we also need to find ways to bridge the gap between ‘money holders’ and small holder farmers, so they will be able to access finance. FLIF is a great opportunity to see if we can take initiatives like this to the next level.”
FLIF will also facilitate progress on a Forest and Landscape Investment Platform for East Africa which is currently being designed through the AFR100 initiative framework. The platform aims to greatly improve communication between project developers and investors who are joining forces to do more for FLR in the region, and will open the doors for long-lasting investment partnerships in FLR throughout eastern and southern Africa.
For more information on FLR in Africa, read about the Kigali Declaration