Submitted by: EcoPlanet Bamboo Group
Posted: Jun 14, 2016 – 02:05 PM EST
CHICAGO, Jun. 14 /CSRwire/ - EcoPlanet Bamboo has signed a long-term lease, tripling the size of its Ghana forestry operations to 26,000 acres (10,500 hectares). This expanded area will enable the landscape scale restoration of a highly degraded ecosystem in a commercially viable manner. Remnant forest patches and native vegetation are conserved, and a full canopy cover established, securing critical ecosystem functions while also providing sufficient raw fiber to develop an integrated and sustainable bio-based economy.
“This expanded area allows EcoPlanet Bamboo to focus on Ghana as the site of our first closed loop, low footprint, bamboo based bio-refinery, while restoring an entire forest ecosystem” says CEO Troy Wiseman. “Once mature the integrated ecosystem will yield more than 700,000 tons of raw fiber a year, sufficient for the production of a tree free, deforestation free pulp, and securing more than 1,500 jobs in an area suffering from extreme rural poverty.”
This agreement, signed under a Public Private Partnership with the Government of Ghana, through the Ghana Forestry Commission (GFC) provides an example of how public and private sectors can come together to develop an initiative that can be commercially profitable for a wide range of stakeholders, while meeting country commitments to forest landscape restoration and stimulating local economies. Samuel Afari Dartey, CEO of the GFC says “we are thrilled to expand our partnership with EcoPlanet Bamboo. Over the past 18 months the company has proven its model to be a pragmatic operator while introducing new ideas and concepts to our country. The development of sustainable livelihoods in this region is a critical step to addressing deforestation and forest degradation. We look forward to decades of partnership with EcoPlanet Bamboo in the Ashanti Region, and hopefully beyond”.
EcoPlanet Bamboo’s operations work closely with local communities, with social impact focused on the creation of stable, attractive and long term jobs, providing families and communities the security and ability to invest in their own development. Nana Akuoko Sarpong, the Paramount Chief of the Agogo Traditional Area highlights that employment is the most critical need of his people “since EcoPlanet Bamboo entered the area we have already started to see the positive impact of the project on the surrounding villages. With further training and development I believe that the area will soon be developed into a flourishing bio-economy”.
EcoPlanet Bamboo owns and operates sustainably certified bamboo plantations in Nicaragua and South Africa, and has received international recognition for its triple bottom line model. The company is committed to a long-term presence in Ghana.
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