Why do we need to invest in forests?

After decades of near total fire suppression, many forests in the western U.S. are significantly overgrown. Combined with the effects of climate change, forests have become a dangerous liability.

  • Overgrown forests are more susceptible to severe wildfire, threaten water quality and quantity, and endanger lives, communities, and habitat.
  • Forest restoration is the removal of brush and shrubs and thinning of trees to restore forests to a healthier and more natural state.
  • The US Forest Service has identified 58 million acres in need of restoration nationwide.
  • Unfortunately, restoration is not being implemented at the needed scale for a number of reasons, including limited funding.
Overgrown Forest – Before

Overgrown Forest – Before

Restored Forest – After

Restored Forest – After

Feather River 1890 (natural tree density results in healthy forest) and 1993 (unnatural tree density results in overgrown forest)
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(Photo: George E. Gruell)

What are the benefits of forest restoration?

By returning the forest to a healthy density, restoration creates widespread social and environmental benefits that positively impact communities near and far.

Benefits of Forest Restoration Infographic

Environmental Benefits

  1. Wildfire Severity

    Reduced risk of severe wildfire benefits forest ecosystems, habitat, and species

  2. Carbon Emissions

    Avoided carbon emissions maintains air quality and protects against climate change

  3. Water Security

    Protected water quality, avoided sedimentation, and increased water quantity help improve water security

  4. Watershed Resilience

    Resilience to drought, invasive species, and infestations makes watersheds more productive

Social Benefits

  1. Community Resilience

    Job creation and protected homes, lives, and livelihoods make rural communities more resilient

  2. Shared Resources

    Preservation of recreational, historical, and cultural resources ensures national forests can be enjoyed by all for generations

Download Infographic

Who Is Involved

Acting as a catalyst to comprehensively address the problem of overgrown forests, the FRB provides an opportunity for stakeholders to work together to achieve common goals.

Forest Resilience Bond Stakeholders Map
  • The FRB fosters collaboration among a number of stakeholders including beneficiaries of forest restoration, the groups that develop, implement, and monitor the FRB, and the investors that provide the upfront capital.
  • The goal of this collaboration is to bring disparate stakeholders together in a way that provides economic value to all parties while accelerating much needed forest restoration.
Meet the Development Team

How can conservation finance help?

Investment in environmental conservation is surging, yet there are billions of dollars undeployed due to a limited pipeline of opportunities for private capital. The FRB is designed to accelerate forest restoration while meeting the needs of investors.

  • Environmental conservation is a multi-billion dollar market with $52 billion invested every year, mostly from public and philanthropic sources. Yet to adequately protect the world’s ecosystems, over $300 billion is required, implying an investment gap of over $250 billion annually.
  • Private capital offers a number of advantages, including the ability to accelerate restoration treatments, motivate collective action, and pursue larger projects that benefit from economies of scale.
  • Private capital represents a promising opportunity to achieve conservation goals. Supporting and growing this market requires research and development (R&D), human and organizational capacity, collaboration, financial capital, and measurement.

Tools for building a conservation finance market

  1. Encourage R&D in conservation finance
  2. Build human and organizational capacity
  3. Enhance collaboration across landscapes
  4. Enhance collaboration across organizations
  5. Expand the diversity of capital sources
  6. Measure and communicate the value of ecosystem services