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ForBInc: Forest business incubation toolkit by and for Forest and Farm Producer Organisations

In rural areas, implementing sustainable development and climate action requires the coordinated action of the 1.5 billion male and female forest and farm producers who live there. The profitability and sustainability of their businesses will define whether the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change can be achieved. Significant development and climate finance exists — but the pipeline of investible businesses into which it can flow to scale up integrated solutions is blocked. Far too little is being done to incubate sustainable and locally controlled forest businesses through which that upscaling might happen.

The specific challenges in forest landscapes - including remoteness, high transaction costs, long production timeframes, overlapping rights and high levels of informality - mean that they are perceived as high risk and therefore forest business incubation needs a rather unique approach. A well-designed system of incubators in the forest landscape that de-risks investment into this crucial sector, and fills the business support gap, could really make a difference.

By providing an approach to incubation that is adapted to the forest and farm landscape, this toolkit aims to address that gap. It is written primarily for second-tier umbrella organisations of forest and farm producers, who aspire to offer business incubation services for their members. It draws on findings from 11 case studies of different forest business incubation models and is laid out in a logical sequence of 5 modules with practical tips and guidance throughout.

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Bolin, A. Macqueen, D. Greijmans, M. Grouwels, S. Camara, K. and Ndethiu, L. (eds.) (2018) ForBInc. Forest business incubation toolkit by and for Forest and Farm Producer Organisations. IIED, London
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To restore forests and get out of poverty, rural communities need the knowledge and connections to build flourishing enterprises. Forest landscapes are among the most isolated and marginalised areas in the world, where land, food and energy security and income generation are pressing concerns. Achieving sustainable development in the forest landscape while addressing those immediate needs is a complex challenge that requires joined-up efforts.

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