Rockefeller Backs Mombak's Amazon Reforestation Fund
The Rockefeller Foundation has made a significant announcement recently, disclosing a $5 million investment in "The Amazon Reforestation Fund," established by Mombak, a Brazilian startup that's on a mission to generate top-tier carbon credits through reforesting the Amazon rainforest.
This investment is a key component of a $100 million funding initiative aimed at supporting the most extensive reforestation endeavour for carbon removal in the region. This initiative will empower Mombak to not only extract carbon from the atmosphere but also to enhance soil quality, promote biodiversity, and establish sustainable economic alternatives for local communities.
Maria Kozloski, Senior Vice President of Innovative Finance at The Rockefeller Foundation, highlighted the potential of nature-based solutions to significantly curtail global emissions by a third within the next decade.
She emphasised that, despite this potential, such solutions are considerably underfunded, with an annual financing gap of around $700 billion. Kozloski expressed The Rockefeller Foundation's pride in contributing to bridging this gap through investment in Mombak's groundbreaking approach to carbon removal via Amazon reforestation.
Mombak's inaugural project, situated in Northern Brazil, is set to plant an impressive three million trees, encompassing over 100 native species, including 200,000 seedlings of endangered plants.
A milestone of over one million trees will have been planted by next month, encompassing species at risk, such as Cedro Rosa (Cedrela fissilis), Castanheira (Bertholletia excelsa), Itauba (Mezilaurus itauba), and Mogno (Swietenia macrophylla).
The initial project has already made a positive impact by generating over 50 formal jobs within the local municipality. Mombak has plans to initiate several similar projects before the close of 2023.
Central to Mombak's operational model is the conception, verification, and sale of carbon removal credits. The company accomplishes this by restoring Brazilian pastureland through the introduction of native and diverse tree species, thereby rebuilding the Amazon forests.
The increased carbon absorption by these newly established forests results in high-quality carbon removal credits. These credits are subsequently made available for purchase through spot sales and long-term customer agreements.
Peter Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Mombak, affirms that The Rockefeller Foundation's investment bolsters the credibility of their projects. He acknowledges that trust is a significant challenge in their industry and sees their endeavours as contributing to the creation of carbon projects with the utmost integrity.
In addition to securing strategic investors, Mombak has established partnerships with prominent NGOs. Fernandez emphasises their commitment to elevating industry standards, with the support of their investors and partners.
Through a comprehensive product development initiative driven by investors and customers, Mombak has devoted more than a year to meeting rigorous specifications and criteria related to carbon removal, biodiversity, sustainable resource utilisation, and community engagement.
Thomas Belazis, Director of Innovative Finance at The Rockefeller Foundation and overseer of the investment, expresses enthusiasm for supporting Mombak's proficient team in addressing a crucial market void for top-quality carbon credits. Belazis asserts that they are pooling capital into the Amazon, aligning with other esteemed investors, to confront one of the most urgent climate challenges worldwide.
The Rockefeller Foundation's substantial investment of $5 million in Mombak, in conjunction with several renowned investors, symbolises a recent stride in fortifying the carbon credit marketplace.
From November 2022 to June 2023, The Rockefeller Foundation extended a grant to the Nature Conservancy, aiming to tackle the dearth of viable nature-based projects. This effort led to the launch of three innovative initiatives: the Energy Transition Accelerator, the African Carbon Markets Initiative, and the Coal to Clean Credit Initiative.
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