Webinar: Strengthening the effectiveness of private sector engagement in addressing deforestation

This webinar on 11 April 2018 discussed innovative ways to channel and leverage finance to forest-related enterprises

Financing forest-related enterprises in ways that reduce both deforestation and poverty is critical to climate action and sustainable development (Photos: K Traumann/CGIAR, Creative Commons via Flickr)

IIED and partners hosted an online seminar to share knowledge gained during a year-long learning partnership on financing forest-related enterprises. Participants joined researchers, forestry experts, government, private sector and NGO representatives from a range of international contexts to discuss lessons on innovative channelling and leveraging of finance to forest-related enterprises. 

This webinar was organised by IIED in partnership with LTS International (LTS) and the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) as part of the Evaluation and Learning Partnership on Financing Forest-Related Enterprises.

It reviewed key findings, as well as opportunities for scaling up, replicability, transferability and continuous learning on financing mechanisms. 

To stimulate discussion, the panel of respondents reflected on:

  • Whether the findings resonate with their experience on financing forest related enterprises
  • Examples of innovative, effective and transformational SME financing that is replicable and/or has transferrable lessons, and
  • Opportunities to leverage domestic and international private sector finance to support scaling up of finance for sustainable forest-related enterprises.

This is the second of two webinars – the first, held on January 17, focused on investing in the long-term sustainability of forest-related enterprises


The Evaluation and Learning Partnership on Financing Forest-Related Enterprises aims to analyse the existing investment portfolio of the CIF's Forest Investment Program (FIP) and review which factors resulted in success for selected FIP and non-FIP projects.

The lessons learned are expected to help increase the viability and scale of transformative investments in sustainable forest-related enterprises that will enhance livelihoods and address deforestation.

IIED and its partners will be sharing a summary of pathways towards successful financing of scalable viable, sustainable, inclusive and transformative investments in forest-related enterprises. This will be distributed before the webinar to all registered participants.

About the speakers

  • Gregory Watson, Inter-America Development Bank (IADB): Gregory is a lead specialist at the Inter-America Development Bank specialising on private sector innovations in natural capital finance. He has led the creation of the EcoMicro green microfinance program and Climatescope; co-led the design of the first private sector Forest Investment Program project approved (Mexico); and co-designed the first FIP equity project (Brazil). 
  • Tabi Karikari, national FIP coordinator, Ghana: Tabi is also agriculture and natural resource management officer with the African Development Bank. His background is in agricultural engineering, specialising in sociotechnical approaches to plan, monitor, evaluate and assess irrigation systems.
  • Curan Bonham, director of monitoring and evaluation at Conservation International: Curan leads CI's Verde Ventures Fund, an investment vehicle that has provided over US$23m in loans to more than 50 sustainable businesses in 14 countries impacting over 500 thousand hectares of high conservation value lands. He is active in supporting the growth of the impact investing sector serving on the Development Finance Committee for the Eco.business Fund, and contributing to the development of impact measurement standards for the Global Impact Investing Network’s Impact Reporting and Investment Standards. Curan has deep sectoral knowledge in agriculture, forestry, and conservation having previously held positions working for a number of international research organisations including Bioversity International, the Chilean Institute of Forestry, the US Fulbright Program, Cornell University, and the United States Forest Service.
  • Isilda Nhantumbo, IIED consultant and lead advisor for the Evaluation and Learning Partnership on Forest-Related Enterprises
  • Philippa Lincoln, evaluation manager for the Evaluation and Learning Partnership on Forest-Related Enterprises, LTS