Resilience Dispatch #34: Our Impact in 2023

Jan 1, 2024

Dear Friends,

I am very proud to share with you our 2023 Impact Report. In it, you can read about our achievements this past year, stories of change, progress, and hope for the future.

Forest Trends was founded with the mission of putting an economic engine behind nature conservation – the idea being that our economy, our society, and our wellbeing all depend in very real and material ways on healthy natural ecosystems.

Climate change, forest loss, the biodiversity crisis, the sustainable development imperative: none of these can be fixed through business as usual. None of these challenges will be addressed by individuals, individual institutions, or individual countries. It will take all of us together.

This is why we spend so much time investing in people and in relationships. The magic of coalitions lies in what each of us brings with us. We need to invest in a rich set of relationships, including with leaders who haven’t historically been given a seat at the table.

Forest Trends is, by design, a small organization. This forces us to work with partners and through coalitions. It means we can’t afford to be sharp-elbowed or close-minded. We’re designed that way because we believe that is how we are going to achieve real, sustained results. This Impact Report includes updates on a few of our evolving initiatives built on this model. Coalition-building can be hard, but it works, and it is what we will continue to focus on in the years ahead.

Make Your Gift Today
Your generous support helps increase the impact of our programs, mobilizing climate solutions and investments where they’re most needed. It fuels our ongoing work toward healthy ecosystems, clean water, robust science, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities. You may learn more about our work or give online at

Reflecting on what lies ahead in 2024 and in this most critical decade for climate, I think it’s also important to keep reminding ourselves where we are on the path. It is up to us to shape these innovative approaches and deliver real results for people and the planet. At Forest Trends, we take that responsibility seriously.

There are no foregone conclusions; we all are the builders of how human civilization is going to respond to the climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development challenges. If we want them to, markets can finally benefit poor people and nature, which they’ve never done before.

The years ahead are going to ask a lot of us all, but I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together this year. Forest Trends will continue to stand up for climate, for our partners (and especially the indigenous and rural communities so often caught on the front lines), and for the future. We hope you will join us in both the work and the celebrations of successes.

Wishing you and your loved ones a great deal of joy this holiday season and in the New Year!



We’re mobilizing finance for nature-based solutions.

In 2023, we helped mobilize finance for nature at scale through market development, project incubation, generating pipelines of investment-ready projects, and designing innovative financing approaches – while pushing to make climate and conservation finance more transparent and equitable.

A high Andean wetland restoration project in the Milloc watershed in Peru. Milloc supplies the cities of Lima and Callao and has been degraded by illegal peat extraction for years. Financing comes via the traditional public investment system – the same one used to build roads and hospitals. One third of the costs directly support local jobs. All efforts have been supported by the NIWS project.
$330 million
value of the investment portfolio we’ve built in Peru for nature-based solutions for water security and climate resilience – the most ambitious in Latin America. This portfolio has grown 18% between October 2022 and September of this year.
$2 billion
average annual value of voluntary carbon market transactions in 2021 and 2022, according to Ecosystem Marketplace, the world’s biggest repository of data on voluntary carbon markets trading – and one of the few major market players that are non-profit.Read more about how we’re mobilizing finance for nature.

We’re equipping the next generation of climate leaders.

We’re a small organization by design: we believe our impact is ultimately far larger when we work through partnerships and support local champions. A key pillar of our work is leadership development and capacity building – with a special focus on amplifying diverse voices, including women, indigenous peoples, elders, and youth.

Credit: Jony Wagner. Discussing the carbon cycle during a “Climate Finance and Indigenous Peoples” workshop in Cacoal, Brazil. February 2023.
indigenous women activists sent to COP28 Dubai by Brazil’s Ministry of Indigenous Peoples with our support.
representatives from Liberian ministries, government agencies, provincial donors, and civil society organizations attended three consultation meetings around the country to evaluate the legal compliance of logging company concessions in Liberia’s forests; establish a transparent process for forest management; and help negotiate solutions for cases of illegal logging operations.Read more about our leadership development and capacity-building work.
Our team’s strategy continues to be to put in place a team of practical people behind the scenes, to have a good network, and to know who the key players are. I call it the “golden cellphone.” This enables us to create impactful and measurable results as soon as a window of opportunity appears.”

Kerstin Canby, Senior Director of our Forest Policy, Trade, & Finance Initiative, on the relationships that allow the team to influence forest trade policy at key moments in decision making

We’re partnering with indigenous and local communities to thrive in the new green economy.

We provide incubation support to forest-friendly business models and producers to bring their enterprises to market scale – from business planning and seed funding, to market connections that help producers capture more value and sustain a healthy planet.

Workshop on sustainable livelihoods, such as cacao cultivation, in the Alto Urubamba community in Peru. This work is part of a pilot project with the Territorial Governance Facility. 
villages, and tens of thousands of laborers, benefitted from our work to improve the sustainability of the timber supply chain among the “wood villages” in Vietnam.
 indigenous people in Brazil benefitted from training and investment in the production of cacao, açaí, handicrafts, and native plant seeds as sustainable livelihoods.Here’s how we’re bringing forest-friendly business models to scale around the world.

This is just a sample of what we’ve achieved this year! 

Download the Forest Trends 2023 Impact Report