Building skills and improving lives: Socially responsible investment drives positive change in Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Ethical investments offer individuals the opportunity to place their money into projects that reflect their own personal ethics and morals. On this front, investors who have participated in EcoPlanet’s Bamboo plantations in Nicaragua will be pleased to know that the project is having an immensely positive impact on the local community.

Seeking to achieve sustainability by considering social, economic and environmental aspects, EcoPlanet Bamboo is committed to the development of a fully sustainable bamboo plantation. Now entering the second phase, the Rio Siquia bamboo plantation is flourishing, responding well to the use of organic fertilizers, using techniques such as vermiculture, the planting of nitrogen fixing plants and biogreen fertilizer. This has led to flourishing, healthy plants, nearing a year of age and without any detriment to the surrounding ecosystems or wildlife.

Of course, one of the biggest implications of the plantation is its positive effect on the local community. In addition to the 206 jobs that have been created, EcoPlanet Bamboo has begun offering training courses for their employees such as a 6 week bamboo workshop, where employees are trained in the art of bamboo construction, furniture and handicrafts. As well as this, reading and writing classes are also offered to all employees to help build skills and abilities among the local community.

Marcus Vassiliou Sales & Marketing Manager of EcoInvestments, the alternative investment company which sells investments in EcoPlanet Bamboo comments,

“Investing ethically can be extremely rewarding, both financially and for your conscience. It’s a great feeling to know that your money is being put to good use, improving lives in developing countries and having a beneficial impact on the environment. To push our social responsibility further, EcoPlanet Bamboo has been preparing the plantations for certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) where activities include: educating workers on their rights and environmental consciousness; marking the boundaries of conservation zones; using organic alternatives to control pests and fertilization and creating equal employment opportunities for local communities.

“EcoPlanet Bamboo is committed to building skills and improving lives. Not only have they helped 48 people become computer literate but they have increased the average annual wage of the community by 31%. Opportunity and equality is also important, that is why 31% of the plantation employees are female. The idea behind our training is that the learned skills are transferred from employees into the surrounding areas to create a thriving bamboo community through locally owned and run small businesses, which will fuel stagnant local economies.”

EcoPlanet Bamboo’s ethical policies, sustainable business practices and training programs mean they can offer socially responsible investment opportunities and by investing in green investments, such as the 8 year Bamboo Investment, investors help to drive positive social change while receiving an impressive financial return.

Offering annualised forecast returns of over 18%, socially conscious investors wanting to turn £11,042 into £27,053* uncapped as well as make a difference through the 8 year Bamboo Investment should contact EcoInvestments today on +44 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

5.8% growth in Nicaraguan economy drives confidence amongst investors

Nicaragua

According to the Central Bank of Nicaragua, the construction and mining industries are propelling economic growth in the Latin American nation this year with an average annual growth of 5.8% in the first quarter of 2012 as highlighted by the Monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE).

Marcus Vassiliou, Sales Manager of alternative investment company, EcoInvestments comments,

“Nicaragua’s economic growth remains solid with mining continuing to excel and construction booming with an estimated 600 projects running in 2012. Indeed, Nicaraguan officials have expressed a plan to build a $30 billion canal that will rival the famous Panama Canal in the next 10 years and this has generated a wave of interest in the Latin American nation from the likes of Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Brazilian investors. This project is expected to help drive the economy further and with projects such as this, Nicaragua will go from strength to strength.”

Earlier this year the Nicaraguan government revealed that Nicaragua received US$967.9 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011, a 91% increase over 2010, as well as a new record for the Latin American country steered primarily by the energy and telecommunications sectors.

Marcus Vassiliou explains,

“FDI is considered the new driving force of the Nicaraguan economy. If we look at the recently approved extension of the Rural Telecommunications Project by The World Bank Board of Directors we can see how this really makes a difference not just in improving foreign investor confidence but also developing new opportunities for rural dwellers. This project has already installed new broadband Internet access points in 101 towns and expanded mobile phone coverage in 37 rural communities.

For investors looking for untapped opportunities, the alternative investment sector is well worth considering. Bamboo investments for instance not only sit well within the Nicaraguan government’s plan to become a leader in sustainable development – protecting natural resources and improving the lives of citizens but also delivers impressive financial rewards for investors.

Marcus Vassiliou continues,

“For investors looking for an ethical investment, why not turn your attention to the world’s first 8 year bamboo package in Nicaragua. The great thing about an alternative investment like this is that the plantation which pays the returns on the 8 year investment has created hundreds of jobs in Nicaragua, offering many local people their first ever chance of paid employment while bamboo presents a sustainable source of ethically produced timber, reducing the pressure on unsustainable natural forests.”

Investors can turn £22,084 into £54,116* uncapped through the new 8 year bamboo package from EcoInvestments, offering annualised forecast returns of over 18%.

To find out how to profit from the timber of the 21st century in Central America’s leading economy please contact Eco Investments today on +44 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

Bamboo plantations – A building block for Nicaragua

Nicaragua

When you think of bamboo, you may think of ornate bamboo baskets, chopsticks or more daringly a labourer scaling the bamboo scaffolding surrounding a mega skyscraper under construction in Hong Kong. But aside from these familiar uses it seems that bamboo could be playing a vital role in helping to alleviate not just environmental degradation but the plight of poverty in developing countries such as Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere with 47% of the population living below the poverty line and earning less than $1 per day.  Shockingly, only 22% have sanitary equipment or access to clean water while houses in the country are very small and cramped with at least four people sharing a single room. Not surprisingly, as with many developing nations, Nicaragua has a housing deficit of around 500,000 homes and this issues needs to be addressed.

Over half of Nicaragua’s population, 65% to be exact, live in the rural countryside where homes are constructed from sun-dried clay bricks, corrugated iron, plastic or cardboard. Due to huge deforestation and government timber quotas, wood is very seldom used for home construction due to its costly nature meaning the majority of Nicaraguans live in inadequate accommodation.

It would seem therefore that there are many reasons alternative construction materials must be used not only to limit the devastating levels of deforestation that threatens the habitats of many species but to help in the production of renewable construction materials and improve the lives of poorer nations like Nicaragua.

Harvesting the fastest growing plant in the world, bamboo, is a labour intensive process and it therefore creates many jobs in areas where employment is scarce. The social and environmental benefits that can be brought by this resource are therefore dramatic.

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable source of timber that is more versatile than any other building material. It has twice the compression strength of concrete and a greater tensile strength than steel. Building with bamboo is an attractive wood substitute and is not only inexpensive but also has the added benefit of providing earthquake proof housing with many architects arguing that bamboo cultivation and construction is the answer to protecting the world’s poor in disaster prone areas.

Luckily, Nicaragua is home to Guadua bamboo  which was naturalised as far back as the 1930s and has become fully integrated into the tropical forests of the Atlantic Coast. Bamboo flowers only once in seventy or a hundred years and as chance would have it, it has recently flowered Nicaragua.

But it’s not only Nicaraguans that will benefit from bamboo farming. Matthew Kahn, a professor in the UCLA Institute of the Environment, Department of Economics and Department of Public Policy, has suggested that investors could also benefit from bamboo, getting ‘very rich’ from building bamboo housing developments and renting them out to day labourers.

Dr Montagnini from Yale University School of Forestry also suggests that bamboo is an attractive asset in which to invest, commenting,

“Bamboo plantation projects will be as profitable as those involving timber tree crops. In fact, there are clear indications that bamboo plantations can be more profitable”

Leaders in the alternative investment market, Property Frontiers believe that investing in bamboo makes perfect sense and will suit investors looking to have a positive social and environmental impact as well as enjoying a high return.  As the most exciting of any timber investment, Property Frontiers are offering a secure and rewarding bamboo investment in Rama, Nicaragua.

But how does it work? Well, investors have the opportunity to invest in a bond issued by EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK), part of the US based EcoPlanet Group. These 15 year bonds offer fixed returns which increase over the term as well as a return of the investor’s capital on redemption.  By way of example, the most expensive bond at $50,000 offers a total fixed return of 503%. All bonds are backed by assets as security which are held by UK based trustees.

It is predicted that the Bamboo market will be worth $20 billion by 2015. Consequently, this green investment in Nicaragua allows investors to build their ‘green’ credentials, make considerable returns from a lucrative and growing market whilst helping to lessen environmental impacts and improve social and economic wellbeing in Nicaragua, a country desperate for sustainable friendly investment.

For more information on this investment opportunity please contact Property Frontiers on +44 (0) 1865 202700 or visit www.propertyfrontiers.com.