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Tuesday, 05 October 2021
Better By Nature: Talk Summary

Better by nature scribe (© FSC UK)© FSC UK

On Friday 24 September 2021, FSC UK hosted a discussion on Forests, Finance And Nature-Based Solutions To Climate Change.

We used the session to ask:

• What role is there for forests, and FSC as nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change?

• What is the role of the financial sector in the transformation of forests from providers of tangible goods to providers of ecosystem services?

• And what opportunities does COP26 offer?

Session speakers

  • Asger Olesen, Chief Climate and Ecosystem Services Officer, FSC International
  • Stanley Kwong, ESG Associate Director, Real Assets, Aviva Investor
  • Liz Lewis-Reddy, Director, RSK ADAS Ltd
  • Pina Gervassi, Climate and Restoration Engagement Director, FSC International

Asger started the session by outlining why private climate finance is relevant for forests. He provided the perspective of forest owners and the financial sector highlighting the key challenges and opportunities for driving finance to forests. Asger then provided an overview of the role of FSC to provide instruments that can connect finance and forests. He highlighted how FSC ecosystem services claims can be used for impact quantification and reporting across a range of ecosystem services.

Stanley followed and provided an overview of Aviva Investors’ approach to investment decisions processes. This was with an ESG angle and the financial mechanisms available. He explained how sustainable forestry has played a part in Aviva’s climate transition strategy and a breakdown of their requirements in approaching forest investment opportunities. FSC certification was stated as a requirement in sourcing opportunities to provide assurance on biodiversity and social aspects of forest management.

Liz then gave an overview on the development of environmental markets and the approach used by ADAS to assess the actors involved in natural capital supply chains. She highlighted the need to establish standardised approaches to valuing ecosystem services and to understand market demand for such services. Liz then emphasized the role of ‘aggregators’ for facilitating a relationship between investors and land managers.

The final speaker was Pina, who presented the goals and intended topics of focus for FSC at the upcoming COP26 summit. She gave an overview of FSC’s participation in the planning side for events and the strategy involved for climate related communication.

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