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Sustainable timber plantation in Vietnam wins competition for best climate innovation

1 November 2018

With an innovative idea for sustainable timber plantation management, the organisation Viet Nature is the winner of the Mobilising More 4 Climate (MoMo) Challenge 2018. With this project they contribute to both climate adaptation and mitigation in Vietnam. 

Viet Nature has a long term wildlife and habitats conservation project in Vietnam, where illegal logging continues to be a problem. Their innovative model combines large timber plantations of acacia with Tarrietia javanica – a native timber species. 

Combining these different tree species leads to a mixed plantation and a resilient ecosystem. In the Viet Nature model, wood is harvested after 12 years in contrast to harvesting after 6 years. This doubles the rotation time of the forest. This results in a financial advantage because the value of the wood has at least tripled and allows the plantation owners to work towards FSC certification. In addition, a longer rotation time contributes to a greater capacity of the plantations to sequester CO2 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

€ 25,000 seed funding

The prize is € 25,000 starting capital to further develop and implement the idea. The finals took place during the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum 2018 in Paris. In a Dragons' Den competition, the finalists pitched to an audience of more than 100 impact investors. MoMo 4 Climate, an initiative of IUCN NL, is a competition for business models that contribute to climate mitigation or adaptation in developing countries. 

Promising proposals 

43 organisations submitted a climate idea to the Challenge prior to the event. A panel, consisting of Dutch experts in the field of climate finance, assessed all proposals during the year and nominated the most promising proposals. Yesterday, Viet Natures proposal for Sustainable timber plantation management emerged as the winner. 

Tuan Anh Pham from Viet Nature has carefully thought through how she can use prize to mobilise more climate finance. Pham: "We want to spend € 25,000 on a first pilot with 2 to 4 farmers on approximately 9 hectares of land around the Khe Nuoc Trong project area."

Joëlla van Rijn, climate finance coordinator at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and member of the MoMo panel looked at the idea from a financial point of view: "The Viet Nature proposal contributes both to climate adaptation and climate mitigation. Due to the longer rotation time, these forest plantations have the opportunity to build a robust and strong ecosystem. That is climate-proof due to greater density and diversity of species."

MoMo continues to mobilise 

MoMo 4 Climate continues to take on the challenge of mobilising private financing by recruiting innovative projects in developing countries in the clean-tech, food, agro, forestry and water sectors. 

Earlier this year MoMo Tanzania was launched and local entrepreneurs submitted climate proposals with a good business case. In Tanzania MoMo focuses on the SAGCOT region, the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor or Tanzania. In cooperation with the Netherlands embassy and the SAGCOT center, IUCN NL will organise the final of MoMo Tanzania early 2019. 

MoMo 4 Climate is an initiative of the Dutch National Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN NL) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the MoMo initiative is to guide ideas with potential for a positive climate impact to projects that are 'investor-ready'.

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More articles by: Jan Willem den Besten