New Forests has acquired a majority stake in a Laos plantation to boost sustainable timber in the region.
The Australia-based fund bought 85 percent of Mekong Timber Plantations and will develop the 54,000-acre property as a high-quality sustainable hardwood plantation to serve regional markets.
New Forests, which specializes in sustainable land and infrastructure, made the investment through its $170 million Tropical Asia Forest Fund (TAFF), the only forestry fund for institutional investors in Southeast Asia, the firm says. The fund is backed by nine unidentified institutional investors.
Since closing TAFF in 2013, New Forests has invested in 150,000 hectares (371,000 acres) of eucalyptus, acacia, and rubber plantations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Laos.
Malaysia and Indonesia in particular have seen some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world over the last two decades.
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Photo by Adrian Gnägi