Posted on January 15, 2021 | Updated at 10AM

FinDev Canada invests USD 12 million in Miro Forestry & Timber Products to expand commercial timber operations and climate change mitigation in West Africa

Montreal, January 15, 2021 - FinDev Canada announced a USD 12 million equity investment in Miro Forestry Developments Ltd., a West-African sustainable forestry and timber products business with plantations in Ghana and Sierra Leone. The financing will enable the firm to expand its forest plantations and industrial wood processing operations, which in turn will promote job creation and local community development.

Founded in 2011, Miro Forestry Developments is one of West Africa’s leading integrated forestry and timber enterprises. With plantations on c.32,000 hectares of land, it has seeded over 17 million trees. The company is focused on producing sawn timber, utility poles, plywood, and energy biomass from fast-growing, high-yield, FSC certified trees, for both local and international markets.

“Sustainable forestry balances economic growth and climate change mitigation, which are two of our core development impact goals. By supporting Miro Forestry, we want to contribute to the preservation of forests that will offer a livelihood for generations to come” said Paulo Martelli, Chief Investment Officer of FinDev Canada. “Our financing, alongside that of other investors, will contribute to more robust local economies, and significant improvements in reforestation and biodiversity restoration.”

Andrew Collins, Miro’s Chief Executive Officer commented:

“We are delighted to have FinDev Canada invest into the business. FinDev Canada are a strong partner and we look forward to further developing Miro with their support."

Whilst maintaining the quality of our plantations, we are now focused on rapidly developing our timber processing operations to develop into a vertically integrated, profitable, timber products company, with a major focus on plywood for the local, regional and export markets. This is a particularly important task as the overall success of Miro will be a bellweather to the sub-Saharan African sustainable forestry and timber products industry. This is an industry sector which requires greater investment into the successful operators producing certified timber products for sustainable economic return, industrial development and balance of trade in the region, which remains one of the most attractive globally.”

 

Adding substantially to climate change mitigation

This investment will allow for greater climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Miro Forestry has already planted more than 17 million trees on over 15,000 hectares of degraded land in Ghana and Sierra Leone, 30% of which are under active conservation management. These forests have cumulatively sequestered over 1.3 million tonnes of CO₂ to date. With expanded operations, the number of trees under cultivation will increase and the firm expects to sequester an additional five million tonnes of CO₂ by 2030. 

 

A stimulus for local market development and women’s economic empowerment

The company’s expansion will help maintain and create up to 5,000 skilled jobs in Ghana and Sierra Leone. Miro Forestry Developments estimates it contributes more than USD 5 million annually in salaries and the procurement of goods, services, and infrastructure to the communities around its plantations.

The company developed a gender action plan to improve the recruitment of women and retention in the workforce, reduce absenteeism, and boost productivity. They have recently signed a 2X Challenge commitment based on their target to increase the number of women in the workforce to 40% over the next two years (currently c.18%), which is an ambitious goal for a forestry company operating in remote areas of West Africa. The 2X Challenge, Financing for women, is an initiative launched by the G7 DFIs to mobilize capital for business initiatives that benefit women, that now counts 15 financial institutions as members and adopters.

 

Development Finance Institutions and COVID-19

FinDev Canada is committed to remaining open for business to serve target regions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Investment will help ensure that liquidity continues to reach developing markets, helping them to recover from the economic and social consequences of this crisis.

Find out more about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic here

 

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About FinDev Canada:

Development Finance Institute Canada Inc., operating under the FinDev Canada brand, is a Canadian institution dedicated to providing financial services to the private sector in developing countries with the aim of combating poverty through economic growth by focusing on three main themes: economic development through job creation, women’s economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation. The Development Finance Institute Canada Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC). Find out more about FinDev Canada here.

About Miro Forestry:

More information can be found at www.miroforestry.com