MIGA Backs Sustainable Bamboo Plantation in Nicaragua
Project creates jobs, improves land, mitigates effects of climate change
View the press release in Spanish
Washington, January 29 , 2013—The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, today announced its support for an agribusiness project in Nicaragua. The project's impact on the local economy—including employment generation, land improvement, and workers' skills upgrading—is already evident.
MIGA's investment guarantees of $27 million support an equity investment in Nicaragua by U.S.-based EcoPlanet Bamboo Group (EPB) for a period of up to 15 years against the risks of expropriation and war and civil disturbance.
The project consists of the purchase and conversion of degraded land in the El Rama area into commercial bamboo plantations for the sale and export of sustainably grown and harvested bamboo fiber. EPB Group plans to establish a pre-processing facility for the production and sale of its Forest Stewardship Council-certified bamboo fiber to U.S. and multinational timber manufacturers.
Troy Wiseman, EPB Group Chief Executive Officer, said, "MIGA's backing gives us the ability and confidence to double our investment in Nicaragua. We are, of course, focused on ensuring our business remains profitable, but are equally dedicated to continuing to change lives by helping to eradicate poverty and mitigate global climate change."
EPB's initial investment into Nicaragua has generated over 500 jobs in a region with high unemployment and has restored 3,750 acres of degraded land into bamboo plantations, improving biodiversity and reducing pressure on surrounding forests. In addition, EPB has received validation under the verified Carbon Standard by the Rainforest Alliance for an initial reduction of 816,000 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxides and earned gold-level validation by the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance.
MIGA's Executive Vice President Izumi Kobayashi notes, "This project will help improve the overall sector productivity and promote the sustainable development of new export products. Through our guarantees we are helping a country in the Southern hemisphere struggling against poverty make progress toward ending it and increasing shared prosperity."
MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT GUARANTEE AGENCY
A Member of the World Bank Group
1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433
Mallory Saleson, MIGA
Tel: +1 202 473-0844
Rebecca Post, MIGA
Tel: +1 202-473-1964
Cara Santos Pianesi