Compensate Foundation Receives Grant for Forest Value Calculator in Carbon and Biodiversity Markets

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

In May 2023, the Kone Foundation announced its Metsän puolella (”On the Side of Forests”) initiative, which finances bold, insightful, in-depth projects on a wide scale of forest-related topics. Its aim is to increase multi-voiced public debate in society on the multiple meanings of forests and to highlight voices that have not been heard in discussion about forests.

The first projects to be funded include the Compensate Foundation’s Metsän arvo (”The Value of Forests”) project, which received a 282,000 euro grant. The aim of the project is to shake up the Finnish forestry debate, which is currently very focused on the intensive use of forests for the needs of the forest industry.

The project's primary objective is to shift the perception of forests' value for their owners. It intends to diversify how Finns perceive the benefits available to forest owners, particularly by highlighting carbon and biodiversity markets as potential income sources. This approach aims to enhance understanding of the economic incentives tied to carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation.

Research indicates that Finnish private forest owners, businesses, and consumers are interested in carbon sequestration projects and safeguarding natural assets. However, the lack of market instruments and institutions to bridge the gap between supply and demand poses a challenge. The project seeks to address this gap by providing much-needed information about evolving carbon and biodiversity markets, sparking informed discussions.

The urgency of addressing the climate crisis and nature loss is evident. Yet, the stagnant discourse around the value of forest resources hinders progress. This project intends to bring attention to emerging market opportunities, barriers, and risks, focusing on communication to promote carbon and biodiversity markets as alternatives to traditional forestry.

The project will produce a multidisciplinary study on emerging carbon and natural resource markets. The project will develop an easy-to-use and visually appealing calculator to estimate the monetary value of forests in different markets. The report and the calculator will provide the basis for a broad communication package that will open up the value of forests from different perspectives, for example in carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, recreation, and landscape protection.

The carbon value methodology of the calculator will be developed in cooperation with experts from Arvometsä and the Compensate Foundation. The method of calculating biodiversity and nature values will be developed using science-based methods developed by the University of Jyväskylä. Adventure Club will design a smooth and engaging user experience for the calculator. 

The project is scheduled to commence in December 2023 and is projected to run for approximately 18 months, with the Compensate Foundation taking the lead and responsibility  for maintaining the calculator after the project ends. The outcomes of this initiative will contribute significantly to reshaping discussions about the value of forests and their potential in emerging markets.

More articles