Forests of Innovation

Models for Reimagining the Future of Forests

By Vincent Caruso, Lisa Hagerman, and Nancy Pfund , December 2, 2020

The impacts of cli­mate change are increas­ing­ly vis­i­ble, includ­ing severe fire sea­sons and extreme weath­er events that are becom­ing a reg­u­lar part of life for many Amer­i­cans. As lead­ers in near­ly every sec­tor search for solu­tions to reduce green­house gas emis­sions and sequester car­bon, recent evi­dence sug­gests forests and nat­ur­al cli­mate solu­tions will play a cen­tral role. This paper high­lights sev­er­al emerg­ing exam­ples in which entre­pre­neur­ship, pri­vate invest­ment, and cross-sec­tor col­lab­o­ra­tion are being har­nessed to deliv­er com­mer­cial­ly viable inno­va­tion that ben­e­fits forests and mit­i­gates cli­mate change. In the process, these mod­els are cre­at­ing wide­spread ben­e­fits for local com­mu­ni­ties and ecosys­tems. The exam­ples encom­pass a broad range of sec­tors and busi­ness mod­els includ­ing for­est man­age­ment, for­est-based ser­vices (across death care/​eternity man­age­ment, recre­ation, and car­bon mar­kets), and for­est products.

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