On March 7, 2017, FAST co-hosted an exchange meeting in Utrecht, The Netherlands, entitled: Ways to achieve impacts at scale by linking innovative finance, inclusive business models and landscapes. The meeting was co-hosted by Tropenbos, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) in the context of the CGIAR Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Program. Delegates attended from government, NGOs, financial institutions, and the private sector.
The meeting centered on defining main research questions and knowledge needs that would help the consortium more effectively address global challenges associated with the need to reduce deforestation, forest degradation and conversion of species-rich agricultural and forest landscapes. This conversation was led by Dr. Pablo Pacheko, Principal Scientist and Team Leader for one of CIFOR’s flagship projects ‘Value Chains, Finance and Investments’. One of the three areas of interest in this project is on access to finance.
Flagship project 3 (FP3) facilitates innovations in public policy, business models and private investments and finance to stimulate the sustainable supply of timber from natural and planted forests, enhance the sustainable production of high-value tree crops (oil palm, rubber, cocoa, coffee and coconut) and reduce the impacts of agricultural expansion (soybean and beef) in forests. It does this by supporting the uptake of more intensive and integrated agricultural production and forest management systems that comply with higher social and environmental standards, thus supporting forest conservation and improving the integration of smallholder and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
In February 2017, FAST and CIFOR signed a memorandum of understanding for joint collaboration and fundraising, and FAST President and CEO Noemi Perez joined CIFOR’s Advisory Group. FAST is also carrying out joint fundraising efforts with Tropenbos and IIED in order to develop a publication to showcase Financial Institutions that are actively financing the forestry sector and that are part of FAST's network.