Sanabel International Holding, the first Islamic investment bank in Jordan, announced acquisition of 25 per cent of a high value forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is one of the largest privately held forests in the world.
Sanabel purchased 500,000 hectares, enhancing its strategic position to capitalize on the rapidly growing forest carbon trading market.
The company will develop forest carbon credit projects that will protect the role of forests in mitigating climate change.
According to Barclay’s Capital, carbon is expected to become the world’s biggest commodity market and could well become the biggest market ever. The global carbon market is forecast to grow to $1 trillion by 2013.
The Congolese forests are under threat from deforestation, with the UN estimating that 2/3 of the Congo River Basin forest will disappear by 2040.
In response to these accelerating threats, Al Sanabel is considering a number of Sharia' compliant forestry activities, ranging from carbon market afforestation/reforestation and avoided deforestation projects, along with sustainable agro-forestry projects, Al-Sanabel Chairman and CEO Khaldoun Malkawi said. These activities are entirely compatible with Islamic banking principles since they simultaneously help to fight climate change by protecting the biodiversity and carbon stocks, reduce poverty and promote corporate social responsibility.