More than USD 52 billion in finance was linked to the forest sector – split nearly evenly between direct and indirect biodiversity impact risks.

While this was less than other sectors, forests are the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet and represent a crucial point of intervention to address the global biodiversity crisis.

61% 39%
Total loans of all 50 banks:
USD 52 Billion
  • Top Ten Banks
  • Rest
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Ten banks with largest finance at risk in the Forestry Sector (2019, million USD)


American banks were amongst the top lenders in the forestry sector, however there was a much stronger representation of Asian banks in the top ten, with Japanese Mizhuo Financial Group and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Group (SMBC) included.

Indonesian Bank Mandiri, Brazilian Banco do Brazil, and Malaysian Malayan Banking are some of the largest investors compared to their total assets. This is consistent with the importance of these industries in these geographic regions.

Industry Scope

Wood valued at over USD 100 billion is removed from forests globally each year, mainly accounted for by industrial roundwood. Approximately 10 million people are employed in the forestry sector, with the livelihoods of many more dependent on forests.

The global forestry and logging products market alone reached a value of nearly USD 510 billion in 2019, while the paper and pulp market was valued at USD 519 billion.

Top exporters of forestry products (2018, million USD

Top importers of forestry products (2018, million USD)

Total trade value: 178,000

Biodiversity Impact

It is estimated that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses since 1990, equivalent to the size of the entire European Union.

While the amount of finance provided to this sector is comparatively small, the biodiversity impacts can be severe. Forests are home to most of Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity and provide habitat for 80 per cent of amphibian species, 75 per cent of bird species, and 68 per cent of mammal species.

Forests also provide ecosystem services that are essential for human wellbeing such as provision of water, mitigation of climate change, regulation of local and regional weather patterns, and habitats for many pollinators.

Many of the nearly 30,000 plant species identified for medicinal use are found in forest ecosystems.

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