The "Who Will Own the Forest?" Summit conferences organized by the World Forestry Center since 2003, have brought together leaders in the forest investment community to discuss the broad implications of shifting forest ownership. The third in this series, held in 2006, was the best attended Summit to date, and attracted a capacity crowd of over 300 forestry executives, investors and landowners.
The stunning success of the timber investment phenomenon in the U.S. is now set to emerge on a more global scale, as land ownership, REITs and foreign investment reforms in emerging countries provide growing investment potential off shore. Geographic diversification, faster growing species, and cheaper timberland markets are driving investor interest in overseas timberlands. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “the money pouring into timber reflects a global hunt for higher returns as investment cash floods the world from many sources: pension funds, central banks, hedge funds, oil-rich nations and corporations.