A recent article by Angeli Mehta on the website Ethical Corporation reports on a “young company” called EcoPlanet Bamboo. Mehta writes that “EcoPlanet Bamboo is creating permanent jobs for communities.”
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.
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.
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.
Property Frontiers is an Oxford-based investment firm. According to the company’s website, Property Frontiers is “an investment company with a reputation for offering the best-performing international property and alternative investments to both first time and experienced investors”.
EcoPlanet Bamboo runs bamboo plantations in Nicaragua, South Africa and Ghana. A UK company called EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK) Ltd sold “bamboo bonds” with a promise of “a 500% return on investment over a 15 year period” on an investment of US$50,000. But in December 2015, EcoPlanet Bamboo wrote to bondholders to tell them that their investment was not doing particularly well.
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.
A 2012 brochure from a company called Ecobamboo Lot makes investing in bamboo look very promising: “A rare opportunity to purchase a Deeded Bamboo Lot in Central America.” The company promised a return of 26% a year: “Bamboo lot owners will receive harvest income starting at year four. The ROI is forecasted at 26% per annual year.” And Ecobamboo Lot plays the green card: “With its exceptional green credentials and high productivity, bamboo is set to become the sustainable timber source of the future.”