An update on EcoPlanet Bamboo, Eco Resources Fund, and Premier Group (Isle of Man) Ltd: “Substantial recovery of value from the plantations may be unlikely”

The Eco Resources Fund was launched in July 2012 in the Isle of Man. Via a special purpose vehicle called ERF Limited, the Fund invested in bamboo plantations in Nicaragua and South Africa. The bamboo plantations are run by EcoPlanet Bamboo.

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EcoPlanet Bamboo’s Eco Resources Fund PCC to go into liquidation

A company called EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK) Ltd launched a “bamboo bond” in 2011. Investors were encouraged to hand over their money, which would be used to establish bamboo plantation in Nicaragua.

Camille Rebelo, one of the co-founders of EcoPlanet Bamboo, claimed that an investment of US$50,000 would see a return of 500% over 15 years. “It’s a guaranteed return to the investor”, she said.

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The Brazzaville Declaration: Words not action on peatland protection in the Congo Basin. And the strange case of the Congo Basin Blue Fund and the Brazzaville Foundation

Last week, the third meeting of the Partners of the Global Peatlands Initiative took place in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo. After the meeting, the United Nations Environment Programme, one of the organisers and funder of the meeting, put out a press release announcing that a “historic agreement” had been signed “to protect the world’s largest tropical peatland”.

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Human rights and environmental organisations urge Finland to stop funding the Kenya Forest Service following human rights abuses of indigenous Sengwer people

Last week, the EU suspended funding to a conservation and climate project in Kenya. The suspension came after Kenya Forest Service guards shot and killed Robert Kirotich, an indigenous Sengwer man. Yesterday, human rights and environmental organisations wrote to the Finnish government calling for the suspension of Finland’s €9.5 million “Private Forestry and Forest Enterprise Support in Kenya project”.

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EU suspends funding to conservation and climate project in Kenya, one day after a Kenya Forest Service guard shot and killed an indigenous Sengwer man

The European Union has suspended funding to its Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Programme. The announcement came one day after the EU-funded Kenya Forest Service carried out a raid on the indigenous Sengwer’s land in the Embobut forest. During the raid, a Kenya Forest Service guard shot and killed Robert Kirotich, a 41-year-old indigenous Sengwer man. Another man was wounded.

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Indigenous peoples, REDD safeguards, and the green economy

The social impacts of REDD on indigenous peoples and local communities who are dependent on forests has been controversial since REDD was included in the Bali Road Map at COP 13 in 2007. But over the past ten years, debate over whether REDD projects are desirable has been, to some extent at least, marginalised by a focus on how to manage the risks of REDD, and how to promote benefits through REDD.

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Eco Planet Bamboo’s investors were “significantly let down”

EcoPlanet Bamboo is a US-based company that has established bamboo plantations in Nicaragua, South Africa and Ghana. Here’s how the company describes itself on its website:

EcoPlanet Bamboo is an innovative forestry company focused on integrated bamboo plantations and associated processing. We focus on the provision of a secure and certified source of fiber for timber manufacturing industries and markets globally. We currently operate in Central America, Southern and West Africa.

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Troy Wiseman of EcoPlanet Bamboo caught lying in late 2015: “We did an institutional debt deal with a Wall Street fund”

At the beginning of December 2015, Troy Wiseman was in Paris. The CEO and co-founder of EcoPlanet Bamboo was there as part of the Nicaraguan government delegation to COP 21, the UN climate change negotiations. Wiseman’s Paris trip came just a few days before Wiseman wrote to the people unfortunate enough to have invested in his company’s “Bamboo bonds” to let them know that their investment had gone pear-shaped.

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FAO definition must recognise that plantations are not forests!

In 2009, Nophea Sasaki and Francis Putz wrote a paper titled, “Critical need for new definitions of ‘forest’ and ‘forest degradation’ in global climate change agreements”. Their concern was that, under current definitions of forests, “great quantities of carbon and other environmental values will be lost when natural forests are severely degraded or replaced by plantations but technically remain ‘forests.’”

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