Manulife and World Economic Forum seek ‘ecopreneurs’ for joint forestry challenges

Two sustainable forest challenges announced at Davos

Manulife and the World Economic Forum have partnered on two forestry initiatives, announced at Davos.

Through UpLink, the Forum’s open innovation platform, the pair have launched two challenges aimed at finding ‘ecopreneurs’ that can come up with innovative solutions to safeguard nature, climate, livelihoods and the wellbeing of people.

First, the Sustainable Forest Economy Challenge is looking for solutions across the value chain from the sustainable management of forests to the production and utilisation of wood. A climate-smart forest economy approach is critical to protect, maintain, manage, restore and regrow forests, the companies said. Applicants can apply for this up to 1 March.

Second, the Forests and Trees Improving Human Health and Wellbeing Challenge will aim to find innovations fostering improved interlinkages between planetary and human health. Details for this challenge will be made public later this year.

Roy Gori, president and CEO at Manulife, said: “We are very excited to launch this project with the World Economic Forum and UpLink and want to hear from passionate, big thinkers who can help us address and reverse nature loss.”   

“Our environment is key to human health and wellbeing, and as a global life insurer and asset manager, we see firsthand how damaged ecosystems put livelihoods and economies at risk. Given our position as one of the world’s largest sustainable timberland and farmland investment managers, we can support and scale innovative solutions, which are urgently needed in response to the rapid degradation of nature and biodiversity.”

Last year, Manulife announced a pledge to the World Economic Forum’s Trillion Trees initiative.