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A Climate Smart future for forest economies

Introducing the

Our vision is to sustainably and responsibly unlock the full climate potential of forests and forest products. We aim to ensure all forest value chains and forest-dependent economies are "climate smart", meeting social and ecological safeguards.


Climate Smart Forest Economy refers to a holistic approach for the forest and associated value chain management that can maximize climate and economic benefits while meeting social and ecological safeguards.

Ensuring all forest economies are climate smart can protect, maintain, manage, restore, and regrow forests, while assigning greater value to forests, creating further incentives for restoration and reforestation. It offers an opportunity to decarbonize sectors that interface with forests through their value chains, such as construction. In addition to positive climate outcomes, this can result in substantial social and economic benefits.  

Construction Site

We are starting with... 

Population growth and rapid urbanization are driving further growth of the global building stock, which is expected to double by 2050


Business as usual is not an option for realizing this growth. Traditional construction is bad news for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Although efforts to decarbonize construction are ongoing, they are insufficient to meet the scale of this challenge.

We need innovative, climate smart building materials to ensure we can meet the growing construction need, without creating a climate disaster.

To drive change in... 

Forests are a lifeline to ecological health and the wellbeing of communities around the world, but their ability to continue to provide these benefits is eroding. Growing populations, rapid urbanization, and high poverty levels are contributing to a rise in deforestation

Forests require sustainable markets to provide incentives to unlock more private capital for responsible forest growth and management

We need to create commercial incentives for reforestation and sustainable forest management.

Green Forest

By transitioning to a climate smart forest economy, we can create jobs and boost economies, while decarbonizing the built environment and driving investment into forests. Innovative construction materials, such as cross-laminated timber, can help substitute materials with a high-carbon intensity, sequester carbon in buildings, and contribute to increasing natural carbon sinks through reforestation and sustainable forestry practices for growing, managing, and harvesting wood.

The challenge is achieving the right balance across the value chain, and ensuring that safeguards are in place to protect other forest values, beyond their value as a carbon sink. 

This is where our collaboration comes in.


The Climate Smart Forest Economy Program (CSFEP) is a collaborative initiative from EIT Climate-KIC, World Economic Forum, and the World Resources Institute, with seed funding from Good Energies Foundation. It also counts on independent scientific council from The Nature Conservancy, and support from Dalberg Catalyst.

Our mission is to generate and disseminate knowledge, inspire and raise ambition of critical stakeholders from the public and private sector, and support initiatives that demonstrate how the Sink, carbon Storage, and fossil-carbon Substitution (3S) functions of forests and forest products can be maximized for enhanced climate, social, and economic benefits.

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