Investment supports carbon removal through native, biodiverse reforestation of the region.
NEW YORK | August 22, 2023 ― The Rockefeller Foundation announced today an investment of $5 million to “The Amazon Reforestation Fund,” a vehicle created by Mombak, a Brazilian startup which aims to generate high-quality carbon credits through reforestation of the Amazon. The investment is part of a $100 million financing to support the largest biodiverse reforestation effort for carbon removal in the region, enabling Mombak to remove carbon, improve soil quality, enhance biodiversity, and create sustainable economic alternatives for local communities.
“Nature-based solutions could help reduce one-third of the necessary global emissions by the end of the decade, but remain grossly underfunded, with an estimated $700 billion financing gap per year,” said Maria Kozloski, Senior Vice President of Innovative Finance at The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to help close this gap by investing in Mombak’s innovative model that seeks to remove carbon by reforesting the Amazon.”
The company’s first project in Northern Brazil will plant three million trees with more than 100 native species, including 200,000 seedlings of endangered species. Over one million trees will have been planted by next month, including endangered or vulnerable species such as Cedro Rosa (Cedrela fissilis), Castanheira (Bertholletia excelsa), Itauba (Mezilaurus itauba), Mogno (Swietenia macrophylla), and others. The first project has also had a positive impact on the region, creating over 50 formal jobs in the local municipality. It is expected that Mombak will kick-off multiple additional projects of this kind before the end of 2023.
Mombak’s business model is centered on the creation, verification, and sale of carbon removal credits. It does this by reforesting Brazilian pastureland using native and biodiverse tree species to rebuild the forests of the Amazon. The additional carbon abated from the atmosphere from these new forests produces high-quality carbon removal credits. The credits are then sold via both spot sales and long-term customer offtake agreements.
“The Rockefeller Foundation’s investment reinforces the integrity of our projects,” confirms Peter Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Mombak. “One of the biggest issues in our industry is trust. We are working to create the world’s highest-integrity carbon projects.”
Besides attracting strategic investors, Mombak has also partnered with leading NGOs. “We want to raise the bar in the industry, and we know that our investors and partners will help us in this process. Through an investor and customer-led product development initiative, we dedicated more than a year to meeting the most demanding specifications and requirements with respect to carbon removal, biodiversity, sustainable resource use, and interaction with local communities, among other impact indicators”, says Fernandez.
“We are excited to be supporting Mombak’s high-caliber team to fill a critical market gap for high-quality carbon credits,” said Thomas Belazis, Director of Innovative Finance at The Rockefeller Foundation and manager of the investment. “Together, alongside world-class investors, we are mobilizing capital into the Amazon to address one of the world’s most pressing climate challenges.”
The Rockefeller Foundation’s $5 million investment in Mombak alongside several blue chip investors represents the latest effort to strengthen the marketplace for carbon credits. From November 2022 to June 2023, The Rockefeller Foundation provided a grant to the Nature Conservancy to address the lack of investable nature-based solutions projects, and helped co-launch three innovative efforts: the Energy Transition Accelerator, the African Carbon Markets Initiative, and the Coal to Clean Credit Initiative.
Mombak was founded in 2021 by Peter Fernandez (former CEO of Brazil’s first unicorn, 99) and Gabriel Silva (former CFO of Brazil’s first “decacorn”, Nubank). They teamed up to leverage their tech backgrounds to solve one of humanity’s most important problems: climate change. Mombak is working to become the world’s largest carbon removal company, starting by reforesting the Amazon rainforest. Mombak has partnered with some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors to remove carbon from the atmosphere and mitigate climate change, reaching an initial dry powder in excess of $100 million, including coinvestment commitments. For more information, visit Mombak’s website or connect with Mombak via Linkedin.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
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