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Forestry Finance

Forestry Finance

IORA specializes in supporting forest managers and owners access new and emerging sources of finance for conservation and sustainable management. Our environmental finance services include valuation of forest stock including timber assessment, development of  sustainable harvesting plans for timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs), development of  REDD+ and other Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) based financing plans. We develop  Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for accessing Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other environmental funds. Our asset management services include customized transaction advisory to ensure optimum value for carbon assets of our clients and partners


High Conservation Value Forests: An Instrument for Effective Forest Fiscal Federalism in India

The XIV Finance Commission of India commissioned this study to IORA Ecological Solutions and Indian Institute of Forest Management to improve upon the existing tax devolution formula to balance the distribution of the sharable central taxes among the states based on the quality of their forests. A new set of criteria was developed to identify High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) and allocations were recommended using a nationally appropriate HCVF index score to duly reflect multiple values of forests across states. Post the study, the XIV Finance Commission of India, for the first-time, incorporated forest cover into the main tax devolution formula, with a 7.5% weight, for the allocation of the sharable central taxes among the states. This created the world’s first ecological fiscal transfer based on forest cover, with sharable central taxes to the tune of ₹ 3.53 Lakh Crores being distributed to states based on their forest cover during the 5 years of the XIV Finance Commission period.

Duration Oct. 2013-Oct. 2014
Client Name Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, The Fourteenth Finance Commission of India, GoI
Business and Biodiversity: Estimations of Investment in India

IORA was engaged under the BIOFIN India programme to develop a baseline of biodiversity investments by 150 Indian private companies and identify potential partnership opportunities with Financial Institutions (FIs) to mobilize investments towards biodiversity in India. This initiative seeks to address the country’s biodiversity finance challenge by developing tools and methodological framework for measuring biodiversity expenditure. It was used to build a financial strategy for implementing India’s National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) and making progress towards achieving the National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs).

DurationDec. 2015-July 2016

Client Name UNDP India
Integrated Participation of Institutional Stakeholders for Upliftment of Rural Livelihood through Sustainable Harvesting and Market Linkages of NTFPs and Agri Products

The project integrated approaches for sustainable development and improvement of livelihood of forest-dependent communities. The objective was achieved through sustainable harvesting of commercially important NTFP species, development of market linkages, promotion of community fodder banks and rotational grazing through development of Community Interest Groups (CIG) in the selected landscape.  IORA carried out baseline activities i.e. ecological assessment and socio-economic survey to identify the important forest resources and their status in-situ. Participatory Tools like Four Cell Analysis was used for identifying the utilizable forest resources. Market linkage of NTFP and agro products was identified to increase local income. IORA assisted in formation of Community Interest Groups (CIG) and conducted trainings on sustainable harvesting, development of market linkages and capacity building.

Location Madhya Pradesh
Duration Jan. 2016-Dec. 2017
Client Name The International Partnership for Satoyama Initiative (IPSI), Ministry of Environment, Japan
Research Study on Green Accounting of Forest Resources, Framework for other Natural Resources, Index for Sustainable Environmental Performance for Uttarakhand State

IORA, in collaboration with IIFM has carried out a research study on ‘Green Accounting of Forest Resources and Sustainable Environmental Performance Index’ for Uttarakhand, India. This study includes the development of an accounting framework for natural resources and an index for measuring sustainable environmental performance of Uttarakhand. The study provides economic estimates for as many as 21 ecosystem services from forest area of Uttarakhand. It tracks relevant environmental indicators through Forest Resource Accounting (FRA) developed with reference to the United Nations’ SEEA (System of Integrated Environment and Economic Accounting) 2012 Central Framework. Analyses of a wide-range of indicators in a coherent framework provided deeper insights into the full range of goods and services supplied by the forests. The study pioneered the development of a “Sustainable Environment Performance Index” for the state of Uttarakhand. SEPI helps in assessing the overall environment performance and sustainability of the state. This index allows year-on-year comparative analysis of the environmental achievements, challenges and priorities of the state, including state’s progress on environment related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study also demonstrated the application of a widely used tool for mapping ecosystem services, Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST).

Location Uttarakhand
Duration Feb. 2016-March 2017
Client Name Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Government of Uttarakhand
Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India

IORA assisted the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) for financial evaluation of the ecosystem services in 6 tiger reserves across India. The project encompassed Corbett Tiger Reserve, Kanha Tiger Reserve, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and Sundarbans Tiger Reserve. Mapping of all ecosystem services, economic policies for sound management and support to ecosystem based adaptation towards climate change were some of the key outcomes of the study.
The complete report may be accessed here:

Duration Sep. 2013-Dec. 2014
Client Name Indian Institute of Forest Management, National Tiger Conservation Authority
Issuance and Commercialization of Carbon Credits

Laya has registered two Gold Standard (GS) standalone project in line with the National initiative of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India (GoI), which aims to primarily enhance the availability of clean and efficient energy. The projects use GS methodologies and UNFCCC CDM small-scale methodologies. IORA has been involved in preparing GS monitoring reports and credits transaction for these two projects.

About GS:
Established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs as a best practice standard to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) also delivered on the dual mandate to foster sustainable development, Gold Standard now has more than 80 NGO supporters and 1400+ projects in over 80 countries, creating billions of dollars of shared value from climate and development action worldwide.
See https://www.goldstandard.org/ for further details.

Duration Dec. 2016-Feb. 2017
Client Name LAYA Green Ventures Private Limited
IORA-Carbon Asset Management (IORA – CAM)

IORA supports Indian developers in obtaining optimum finance for their carbon offsets in the global markets. With a strong connection with both regulatory and voluntary buyers, IORA has helped transact over 4 million carbon offsets from India in the last 7 years. We help our clients structure and transact multi project portfolio transactions, access upfront financing against their carbon offset portfolio and retire offsets on their behalf.

Duration Nov. 2009-Contd.
Client Name Multiple Corporate Clients – Pioneer Genco; Satia Papers; DLF; Evo Earth; First Climate; WeAct;
Carbon Footprint; Numerco; SouthPole etc.