This article was originally published on European Investment Bank


“Backed by the Natural Capital Financing Facility, a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank and the European Commission, the loans will support new forest and peatland restoration projects that enhance biodiversity, support wildlife comeback and deliver greater value to people.

Financing transformation

New financing for Rewilding Europe Capital totalling 800,000 euros will enable and scale up groundbreaking rewilding projects over the next three years. Support for nature-friendly businesses from the the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), an initiative of the European Invesment Bank and the EU’s LIFE financing instrument to back nature-friendly businesses, will finance forest management in Portugal and wetland restoration in Finland.

The Finnish projects will be managed by Snowchange, a NGO and European Rewilding Network member that specialises in the restoration and recovery of damaged landscapes caused by commercial exploitation, with a particular focus on sites formerly used for intensive forestry and peat mining.

“By restoring degraded wetlands and boreal forests, this hugely exciting and transformative loan will lead to enhanced biodiversity and the creation of new carbon sinks across Finland,” says Snowchange director Tero Mustonen. “Our scalable model, which takes account of the expertise and culture of indigenous Sámi communities, can mitigate climate change and benefit local stakeholders through the development of new nature-based business models.”

The recipient of the Portugal-focused loan is Sociedade Agro-Florestal do Rio Maçãs, a start-up business founded in 2018 focused on securing and transitioning communal forests in northern Portugal into more natural forest habitats.

“This new loan will enable us to diversify and promote native species forest management in Portugal,” says André Rebelo, a co-owner of the start-up and a timberland management specialist. “This, in turn, will bring a financial return by allowing us to blend sustainable forest harvesting with complementary commercial enterprises such as the provision of non-timber forest products, carbon offsetting, and nature-based tourism experiences.”

Influential investment

Launched four years ago by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Commission, the NCFF has backed new investment by nature-focused businesses and is now supporting a wide range of projects and initiativesacross Europe.

The ultimate objective of the facility is to demonstrate to investors the attractiveness of such businesses over the longer term, in order to develop a sustainable flow of capital and achieve scale. Stepping up the financing of projects focused on the enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) is considered one of the prerequisites for achieving the European Union’s  2020 biodiversity goals and beyond…”

Read on at: European Investment Bank.