We have as little as a decade to keep global warming below 1.5° Celsius — a critical tipping point in global systems. What we do today will determine what kind of planet we leave our children and grandchildren tomorrow.

Cutting emissions is no longer enough. We will need negative emissions: strategies that increase carbon sequestration dramatically and quickly.

These carbon sequestration solutions already exist: in our forests and other carbon-rich ecosystems. But we are losing them every day.

Our mission is to drive the financial investments that are needed to restore and protect these natural places forever. Forest Trends has worked for two decades to build proven models that connect governments, indigenous communities, conservation groups, companies, researchers, and investors to rebuild our planet’s “natural infrastructure.”

As Forest Trends celebrates our 20th Anniversary, we’ve launched our first Catalytic Capital campaign in support of that mission.

For every dollar of catalytic capital raised, our goal is to secure ten dollars in programmatic funding. Those new programmatic efforts can deliver yet another 10x return in leveraged public and private funds.

That goal is not aspirational: it’s grounded in our track record of successfully leveraging seed funding for major impacts. In 2016, we used $200,000 in core mission support from foundations for project incubation and coalition-building in Peru. This led to a $27.5 million grant in 2018 from USAID and the Government of Canada to scale up our nature-based water security model across Peru and laid the groundwork for a national funding mechanism that has already secured an additional $125 million in public funds to sustain this work for decades to come.

We can deliver similar results in the other places where we work – but we need your help. Scroll down to explore our vision for scaling our impact.

Goal: Capitalize a Core Innovation Fund

Our future success depends on our ability to develop and capitalize on new and emerging opportunities.

A primary goal of the Catalytic Campaign is to build a Core Innovation Fund that allows us to continue to see over the horizon, while staying nimble and entrepreneurial.

Many of Forest Trends’ high-impact initiatives began their lives as an exciting idea that we were able to incubate thanks to early-stage seed funds. The Ecosystem Marketplace (the “Bloomberg for environmental markets”), the Cumari Rainforest-to-Table movement, Supply Change, and the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme all exist today because of core mission support.

Goal: Accelerate the Next Generation of Solutions

We have already identified five priority areas for action in the coming years where Forest Trends is positioned to have maximum impact. Catalytic capital provides us with resources to move fast on opportunities to:

Build a Shared Blueprint for Global Restoration
Recently, philanthropists, governments, businesses, and investors have made a flurry of high-profile commitments to restore forests and landscapes. In order for these efforts to have a significant impact, key players need to have a blueprint for coordinated action. We are uniquely positioned to engage these partners to understand what works—and what doesn’t—when financing large-scale restoration and reforestation programs. Learn more about our vision for a shared blueprint for restoration.
Launch Integrated Financing Models for Water, Biodiversity, and Climate
A tendency toward massive capital-intensive projects makes it difficult for the water sector to respond to the changing climate and emerging technologies. So we’re creating strategies that will make it possible for the water sector to adapt to changes more quickly and design flexible “natural infrastructure” mechanisms—while also improving water security and green economic growth. The sooner we test these models, the faster we can get them into practice. Learn more about our vision for integrated landscape finance.
Partner with Local and Indigenous Communities to Build an Economy that Keeps Forests Intact
Research has shown that deforestation rates in forests guarded by local and traditional communities are as much as 11 times lower than surrounding areas. A majority of forest loss comes from conversion for commercial agriculture. We want to clean up deforestation-based supply chains and create new forest-based supply chains for products and services that sustain strong communities and climate resilience. With your help, we can support communities through economic alternatives to forest conversion and capacity building to preserve tropical forests—forever. Learn more about our vision for community partnerships.
End Illegal Deforestation
Your support allows us to address corruption and governance in the forest sector. We can also expand tracking and transparency beyond the “big four” commodities (palm, soy, timber/pulp, and cattle) to create a line of sight for companies and governments on how other commodities such as cocoa and rubber are driving illegal deforestation. Learn more about our vision for ending illegal deforestation.
Catalyze Corporate Action on Zero-Deforestation Supply Chains and End Illegal Deforestation
Your support can help us expand our tracking to cover critical countries and commodities, such as cocoa from Ghana, rubber from Vietnam, or avocados from Mexico, to shine a light on their connection to forest loss. Our vision is to build a pipeline helping corporations to take their supply chains from transparency to traceability to full sustainability. Learn more about our vision for catalyzing corporate action to protect forests.

Goal: Invest in Leadership Development

Forest Trends was founded and built by leaders from very different sectors: conservation organizations, private sector forestry firms, community groups, research groups, multilateral development banks, private investment funds, and foundations.

We need to build on our cross-sectoral connective tissue to actively recruit and develop the next generation of leaders from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. To do this, we need resources and flexibility to engage new partners, and to provide them with the training, seed capital, and resources they need to put transformative ideas into practice.

We also need to attract and retain entrepreneurial thinkers on staff. Core funding allows us to invest in internal leadership development, organizational health, and infrastructure to power the next twenty years of our work.