Woori Bank signed a multilateral business agreement with the Cambodian Forestry Administration and the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCo) on January 16, 2024, to launch a forest carbon emissions reduction project in the Kingdom.
The project, which will run for 30 years, aims to promote REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and global ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) management.
The project will involve the conservation of a pristine forest area of some 30,213 hectares in the northern part of Cambodia along the Mekong River.
This area is home to around 220 wildlife species and is threatened by ecological destruction from activities such as deforestation and land clearing.
By preserving the forests, Woori Bank is aiming to create a harmonious ecosystem for both nature and people by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around 2.6 million tonnes (an average of some 88,000 tonnes annually) and improving the living standards of the rural mountain communities.
Woori Bank is the first Korean bank to implement the REDD+ project, which is a global initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by preventing forest conversion and degradation in developing countries, thereby preserving forests and promoting carbon accumulation.
Woori Bank plans to reinvest all the proceeds from the "carbon credit" sales issued during the project period into the project itself, to ensure sustainable preservation and management of the ecosystem and the forests.
"We are proud to be part of this project, which will be an exemplary case for preserving Cambodia's ancient forests and for fostering coexistence between the ecosystem and the local people.
"In the future, Woori Bank will continue to practise various global ESG management strategies such as lowering greenhouse gas emissions and preserving biodiversity," said Cho Byung-kyu, the President and CEO of the Seoul-based Woori Bank.