Questions? Good!
We’ve got answers.


Can I buy forest hectares already?
We do not come to market like bitcoin or NFT's. We are a financial security, which means that we set up a transparent ownership and governance chain. We will go through two phases in bringing our offer to market. Phase I will allow us to sell to professional investors only. This is the phase we are currently in. In Phase II we should sell to the public via a stock exchange. Before entering phase II, we will request the regulator to verify the legitimacy of our set-up. The success of Phase I will have an impact on the timing of Phase II.
Do I really own a hectare?
You own a hectare of forest in the sense that you protect it while benefiting from its financial proceeds. From a legal point of view, you own it indirectly, since you own a share of a Swiss company (referred to as a 'Natural Infrastructure Company') that owns shares of a company that owns the land. And this share has a 1:1 relation with a hectare of forest (e.g. 10.000 shares in the Natural Infrastructure Company is represented by exactly 10.000 hectares of rainforest).
Why are you based in Switzerland?
Our mission is to build precedent cases that reach the global financial markets in the most efficient way possible. Only by reaching a certain level of liquidity, will we reach the most valid price point for forest hectares. To reach that mission, we need our financial product to be as compatible as possible with all financial infrastructure. We therefore want our product to be able to travel around the traditional financial markets (security), and potentially also the new digital financial markets (crypto, tokens). The only setup that allows for a tangible long-term existence of our forest hectares is an equity security token. Only Switzerland and Liechtenstein can currently offer us such a regulated legal framework that allows for global trading. Switzerland has the most robust combination of trust and legal innovation without being considered a tax haven.
Will Forestbase make profit?
We sure plan to. And we hope that by doing so we can inspire more entrepreneurs to step into the climate tech scene.
A more interesting question would be what we will do with those profits. First of all, our stakeholders get their fair share. The first ones in line are our local allies, followed by our investors who bought into the hectares, which includes ourselves. Our ambition is pretty simple. We want to buy more forests in different places. One, because it is crucial to diversify our portfolio and onboard other biodiversity. Two, because we’re in a hurry after all. It’s not enough to just succeed in our mission. Time also plays a role. Given the pace of deforestation, we must succeed as fast as possible.
Can professional investors buy into this?
Yes. We believe that nature itself is a powerful asset to hold. It is tangible, easy to report on and is the very source of much of the offset market products like carbon. Moreover, with shifting and unpredictable future regulations for asset managers, we believe nature itself is one of the safest assets to survive the regulatory updates that come our way.


What is a primary forest?
The main distinction between different types of forest is the type (or lack) of human activity. Primary forests have no visible signs of human activity, and the biodiversity is not visibly disturbed. ‘Intact’ forests are forests which also don't have detected human activity, but at a much larger geographical scale. It is an ‘unbroken’ large ecosystem which does not have any visible habitat fragmentation. It is the scope of Forestbase to invest in these precious biodiversity hotspots and create stability for their future.

When you have signs of human activity, you start having a damaged primary forest with secondary spots. These can be naturally regenerated parts but they can also be planted. When the replanted spots dominate most or all of the forest, we just speak of secondary forests. Some forests may look deceiving and are more farms than forests, growing trees for timber, so we call them timber forests. Lastly, there is the agroforests that are a hybrid setup in which agricultural land is dotted with shrubs and trees to keep a minimum level of biodiversity and against erosion.
Why do you not do start with European forests?
Even though our appreciation for all types of forest goes far, and even though all primary forests on this planet must be protected, we should always remain aware of the fact that global resources are limited and should hence be optimally used. From both a climate and nature perspective, the urgency and the real impact we can make today is bigger in the tropical belt, which we consider our first line of action. Both the level of carbon storage (tons/ha) and biodiversity (species/ha) is extensively higher in tropical forests than European forests. All rainforests combined contain around 50% of the Earth’s species and store 40% of terrestrial carbon (acc. The Dasgupta Review 2021). Brazil alone represents between 15-20% of the world’s biological diversity (acc. UNDP), the highest in the world. They also provide fresh water, host pollinators, manage nutrients, provide a solid genetic library for medicines, and so on. In addition, rainforests serve a much more vital role as a natural buffer to climate change.


How does your relationship with local communities work?
"Local communities'' is too generalized as a monolith, when they are in fact, a group of individuals. Sure, some of them love the forest and want to keep it pristine, while others might see it as land that could be used differently. We cannot and will not judge their individual ambitions, nor will we ever tell them what to do on their own land. We believe that we will only be successful when local people decide freely that our business case is the best one for the land at stake. We have set up our model in two steps.‍

The first step is working with people living on the land to actually get full rights to their respective parts. This is crucial. A lot of local communities either don't exist in the eyes of the law, or have limited rights because the land they live on is not registered as theirs. Their presence is uncertain in the rainforest, which makes them vulnerable to land grabbing, conflicts and violence.‍

The second step of our work with communities is clear communication. We realise that in the eyes of a lot of these communities, we could potentially fall in the long line of companies that promise them something, but fail to deliver or leave things behind worse than they were. So, building trust is our first goal and for that we strive for clear and honest communication. This ranges from how and if any individuals from the communities want to be involved in conservation with Forestbase, what their expectations are, and so on.‍

Getting to a truly sustainable economy will probably take at least 100-150 years. That means we do not plan for short lived conservation projects. We designed the Forestbase model to be intergenerational, and we cannot succeed without the trust and cooperation of the communities.

Like the rest of the world, complex social, political and cultural differences exist within and between the communities and other stakeholders that are involved in tropical forests. While we are not a neutral party (our conservation model will be our agenda) we do not manage, design or interfere in these interactions, unless having no other choice than being directly involved.‍

Our goal is to set up a revenue stream for locals through bringing ecosystem services to market and proving the business case for a standing forest. This should stabilise any ambitions towards land transformation. We only need to set up such a structure a few times in a certain country. Our mission is not to own all forests, but to increase their global price point. That makes us a precedent case builder and our methods will be transparent for any local community and government to set up a similar mechanism.
How does illegal logging work?
It starts with anticipation. A good conservation project starts with acknowledging, consulting and involving the local communities that live in and around a forest. The idea that you need to protect the good people against the bad people is a misconception. It’s not as much about punishing the bad guys as it is about understanding the socio-economic incentives on the ground and being able to set up different incentives.

Illegal logging does not start with a chainsaw. It starts with a need, then a plan, then preparation, then physical mobilization and then a chainsaw. When detected early enough in the process, illegal logging can be mitigated before any chainsaw reaches the forest. That is not easy, but it shows that being continuously involved with the human component in the wide region is key.

There are two practical realities to be taken into account on the ground. Physical equipment to log on a large scale and marking trees takes 3-10 days to set up. Loggers have adapted to surveillance systems. Logging under the canopy or during a cloudy week is hard to pick up. This means that satellite imagery only goes so far. Acoustic equipment on the ground is a valuable add-on. Some conservation projects even have motion detection systems surrounding the domain to catch the passage of groups of people and heavy equipment.

All of this would be incomplete without human monitoring on the ground, preferably by people with terrain awareness. These people need technical support for both their personal safety and to work effectively.

The last resort is physical intervention.

Illegal logging can happen locally for sustenance. In such a case proportionality has to be taken into account. A community that is contributing extensively to conservation and has a historical and sustainable relationship with a forest, can have methods to interact with their environment without harming it. Monitoring, transparency and negotiation is the key here, not uninformed judgment of a single action. Some communities in the Amazon are there for thousands of years and know much better than us how to interact with the environment.

Illegal logging can also happen on a large scale, typically financed by external entities. In such a case it is common that local people from the immediate or close range area are seduced or even coerced into illegal logging activities. After negotiating with people on the ground, we redirect our attention towards stopping the external driver. We will not behave as if we are a justice system. We comply with local and federal law of the specific country and will support the justice system at hand.

Aside of illegal logging, forests can face other threats like pollution from for example illegal gold mining. We inquire for companies that develop alternative materials for the toxic mercury that is used.