Investing in forestry has long been considered one of the most stable of all investments. Although of little interest to the short term investor, anyone considering a medium to long term investment would be foolish not to at least look at forestry. As well as being a sound environmental choice in these days of deforestation and climate change, forestry investment just makes good financial sense. Investing in forestry is an investment in a sector that enjoys constant demand and is minimally affected by the fluctuations of the world’s financial markets. Your physical assets (the trees) continue to gain value as time passes and offer the investor a flexible exit strategy. Forestry investments are commonly used as a hedge against more volatile markets and investing in forestry carries a whole raft of tax incentives as well as offering an entry to future carbon markets.

If you are thinking of investing in forestry then you have to think globally, although it is possible to invest at home in the UK. There are a number of UK based companies providing forestry funds for private investors, offering a range of sustainable forestry (and renewable energy) investments from around £25,000.

Global forestry investments

Looking further afield it is south Asia that is perhaps the most exciting area for forestry investment. The Indian timber market for example, like its population, is growing at an exponential rate. Where demand outstrips supply from accredited sources the gap is currently being filled by illegally sourced timber. This is a situation that is considered insupportable by most people and is an embarrassment to the Indian government. Having identified problems accessing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation scheme, India is on the brink of initiating its own forest stewardship programme, which will help raise forestry standards across the sub-continent.

China is experiencing a similar situation with demand looking to outstrip supply several times over. The only answer is to develop sustainable forestry programmes that can not only meet demand, but continue to meet demand for years to come.

South and Central America are also big players in the future of the global forestry industry. Brazil and Costa Rica in particular are home to myriad ethical forestry projects, aiming to meet world demand in a sustainable way, now and into the future. These projects all require inward investment. With international changes in the way we manage, use and perceive timber, the time has never been better to think about global forestry investments.

An alternative field to global forestry investment is green investments which include trading in emissions or carbon, solar and renewable energies.