Fairventures Social Forestry, a developer of scalable agroforestry-based climate solutions, has won the Liveability Challenge 2022 (TLC) and secured S$ 1.15 million funding in total. TLC is the largest sustainability solutions challenge in Asia and sponsored by Temasek Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Temasek, the Singapore’s state-investment company.
Fairventures Social Forestry’s victory marks the first time in TLC’s history that a nature-based solution has won the grand prize of S$ 1 million, awarded by Temasek Foundation. Fairventures also secured additional prizes from participating funds, namely a S$ 100,000 investment from PlanetRise, an investor focused on climate protection projects, and a S$ 50,000 investment from Quest Ventures, a leading Asian venture capital firm. The company thus won three of the seven prizes on offer. “We are very excited to have won three of the awarded prizes, including the grand prize. A fantastic recognition of our business model and hard work over the years,” says Robert Bürmann, CEO of Fairventures Social Forestry GmbH. The German-Indonesian agroforestry and carbon expert faced competition from five other finalists offering nature-based solutions, decarbonisation, and agritechnology. Each finalist of the “grand finale” was selected out of more than 400 applications from over 60 countries.
“We are happy to support Fairventures’ system to conserve forests and restore degraded land with agroforestry plantations to provide a sustainable income to local farmers and returns for impact investors under a blended financing framework. The long-term partnership with local stakeholders will improve the livelihoods of local communities and create positive social and ecological impact. On the ground, this will translate to prevention of environmentally harmful activities, such as illegal logging or unsustainable land clearing practices,” said Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Head Programmes at Temasek Foundation, at the event.
“We really like the fact that there is a sustainable business model, not only in working with local communities but also in thinking about revenue sources, from crops, timber and carbon credits. The project demonstrated that it could deliver off-takers and revenue,” said Steve Melhuish, serial entrepreneur, CEO of Planet Rise, founding partner at Wavemaker Impact and one of the TLC judges, at the event.
The Stuttgart-based climate solutions expert intends to use the prize money to finance the important first project phase including legal structuring, setting up the necessary infrastructure on-site, and carrying out an initial test planting season. This is a critical next step in the further scaling of Fairventures Social Forestry’s business and its positive impact to sustainable manage 100,000 hectares of land in the coming 10 years.
“We would like to especially thank Temasek Foundation, Planet Rise and Quest Ventures for their strong support, Eco-Business for organizing the event and our employees for their focus and commitment, every day,” Robert Bürmann continues.