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AXA Commits $49 Million for Brazilian Amazon Rainforest Restoration Projects

AXA Commits $49 Million for Brazilian Amazon Rainforest Restoration Projects

A river runs through Porto Velho in Brazil's Amazon, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. While many of the recorded fires this year were set in already deforested areas by people clearing land for cultivation or pasture, Brazilian government figures indicate that they are much more widespread this year, suggesting the threat to the vast ecosystem is intensifying. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
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AXA IM Alts, a global leader in alternative investments with over €185 billion of assets under management, announces a USD $49 million commitment, on behalf of its AXA IM Alts’ natural capital and impact investing strategy, to invest directly into Mombak reforestation projects, towards the restoration of Amazon rainforest on degraded pastures in Brazil. While investing in these native forest restoration projects, AXA IM Alts has also taken a minority equity stake in Mombak, a native species carbon removals start-up. This equity stake in Mombak will support the company in scaling up its operational and technological systems.

The Brazilian Amazon rainforest is currently experiencing mass deforestation of around 1 million hectares per year,  a result of the expansion of cattle farming and production of agricultural commodities. Deforestation and land degradation are detrimental for the environment as their emissions are cumulatively responsible for up to 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions, destroying the homes, habitat and food sources for the species that live there. Through this arrangement with Mombak, AXA IM Alts aims to contribute to reversing this trend. The projects overall aim to reforest over 10,000 hectares of degraded pastureland, through a combination of native species plantations and assisted natural regeneration (ANR), aimed at generating up to 6 million high-quality carbon credits.

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Building off 10 years of expertise within the sector, AXA IM Alts’ natural capital and impact investing strategy focuses on financing activities that ensure that vulnerable or high value natural habitats are protected from deforestation and natural ecosystems are restored. The strategy involves direct investments into ecosystem protection and restoration alongside investments to address drivers of deforestation and degradation, quantified through the issuance of carbon credits. The portfolio combines strategic equity investments into project developers and companies supporting the natural capital market ecosystem with direct project financing.

Adam Gibbon, Natural Capital Lead at AXA IM Alts, comments: “We are delighted to be supporting Mombak’s ambition to reforest the Brazilian Amazon rainforest at scale through an equity stake and project financing partnership. Globally, reforestation has the potential to capture 2-3 bn tonnes CO2 per annum and with Mombak we want to be at the forefront of making that possibility a reality4 .The forests Mombak restore will be 100% native species, providing habitat to countless species, restoring local hydrological cycles and providing more jobs per hectare than the cattle pasture they replace. This investment is fully aligned with our broader commitment to contribute to mitigate climate change and avert the biodiversity crisis.”


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