Chris Lang

Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein arrested for defamation in Panama. A backstory featuring Silva Tree, Sustainable Capital Group, Citadel/Highpoint Trustees, and Emerald Knight


On 15 November 2016, Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein was arrested when he arrived at Tocumen International Airport in Panama. Monte Friesner, a Canadian who lives in Panama, filed a complaint about what Ornstein had written on his website about Friesner’s business practices. In Panama, defamation is a criminal offence.

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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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Some questions for the IFC about its “Forest bonds”


On 1 November 2016, I wrote about the International Finance Corporation’s launch of a US$152 million bond. According to the IFC’s press release, the bond will “protect forests and deepen carbon-credit markets”. The reality is that the IFC is bailing out Wildlife Works’ Kasigau Corridor REDD project in Kenya, a project that had failed to raise enough money from sales of carbon credits. The carbon credits provide some green REDD froth on IFC’s business as usual.

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The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility “has not saved a single hectare of forest”

FCPFThe World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is supposed to help countries in the Global South reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It was launched at COP 13 in Bali in 2007. The Fund capital stands at US$850 million, of which US$1.12 billion is for the Readiness Fund, and US$750 million is for the Carbon Fund. But after nine years, the FCPF cannot point to a single country in which it has actually reduced deforestation.

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Thorn Medical withdraws from listing on London Stock Exchange


In January 2016, Thorn Medical, a healthcare company, announced that it was planning to list “within the next two months” on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of £350 million. In February 2016, Lord Beaverbrook joined Thorn Medical as Chairman. In October 2016, Thorn Medical wrote to its shareholders to tell them that the company had withdrawn from its listing on the London Stock Exchange, but that a related US company would list on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in January 2017.

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