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The demand for forests as natural capital is growing

Published: December 13, 2022, 10:30 am Updated: December 15, 2022, 10:51 amSustainable management of European forests is now more important than ever. In addition to sustainable wood, biodiversity, carbon dioxide, soil, sun, wind and water are also fundamental natural capital assets. But resources have become increasingly scarce. – Globally, today we have 10 percent less forest land per capita than in 2010, says Olli Haltia, CEO at Dasos Capital. According to a recent forecast from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global wood consumption is expected to increase by 37 percent from 2020 to 2050. – But the demand for carbon sequestration, biodiversity and land infrastructure will probably grow even faster. In Europe, we must therefore continue to develop sustainable forest management. It is not responsible or possible to rely on imports of wood or other natural capital, says Haltia. Biodiversity contributes to the forest owners’ profitsDasos Capital is a leading European private equity company niched in forest investments. – Preserving biological diversity is something that is increasingly prioritized, says Sami Veijalainen, Senior Partner. Forest certification is a voluntary way to promote responsible forestry. The consumer pays a premium for certified wood products and the forest owner in turn undertakes to adapt forestry according to special rules. According to Veijalainen, the European biodiversity market is estimated at EUR 300 million and the growth is 8–9 percent per year. -Nature protection areas today amount to 11 percent of the forest land Dasos invests in. We also increase the volume of tall stumps, rotting and darkened tree trunks that provide food for insects and bird species. Energy production from forest landForest land is also central as an energy source. The forest acts as a huge solar panel that, via photosynthesis, stores solar energy at the same time as carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere. Around 25–30 percent of the total energy production in Sweden and Finland comes from wood residues and biofuels. The forest’s contribution to energy production is increasing, and forest landowners such as the Dasos have begun to receive significant income from wind energy. -Fusion of fragmented forest areas also helps energy producers build larger parks with significant economies of scale, continues Veijalainen. Wind and solar energy parks often lead to a reduction in forest land and biodiversity. But in Daso’s forest land in particular, the losses are compensated through the setting aside of nature conservation areas. – Our forests produce both bio-wind energy and bio-solar energy, says Pernilla Hokkanen, Risk Officer. Wooden modern materialWood is a modern material which, according to the FAO, plays an important role in replacing fossil-intensive materials. Experts predict that the forest products market will grow by EUR 150 billion until 2030. – Consumer awareness and e-commerce have driven up the demand for environmentally friendly packaging products. Mass wood also replaces concrete and steel in the construction sector, adds Haltia.Forests in a developing society The number of forest products is broadened and ranges from renewable energy sources and biodiversity to timber quality. Careful optimization of forest resources therefore provides a large added value. -Natural capital assets complement each other. Wind energy production and sustainable wood can exist in the same forest. In forestry, it is not an either or, but more often a both. Forward-looking forest owners realize increased value over a longer horizon, concludes Veijalainen.About Dasos Capital:Dasos Capital AB is a Helsingfors-based private equity company that offers strategies within forests and natural capital to institutional and other investors. Daso’s capital funds amount to SEK 15 billion. The number of managed hectares is 260,000 – in the Nordic region, the Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles. Dasos funds are specifically aimed at promoting biodiversity, sustainable wood and land infrastructure for renewable energy production. Read more at: www.dasos.fi The article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with Dasos Capital and not an article by Dagens industri

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