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REDD Is The New Green For Ethical Investors
July 14, 2009Article by Ray Withers
REDD is the new green as eco-conscious investors look at ways to set off their carbon footprint. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is the United Nations led policy to cut carbon emissions by helping indigenous communities Introduce sustainable forestry management across the tropics.
Illegal hardwood logging means quick profits for the fellers – but inflicts long term damage to the carbon dioxide forest ‘sponge’ that soaks up the world’s greenhouse gasses. Now ethical investors can spend a relatively small investment of £10,000 – often less than a bank or building society is seeking for a cash deposit on a home – to buy 300 hardwood trees in to replant an Asian rainforest.
The investment also covers the costs of employing local villagers in countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia to cultivate and harvest the forests. Property Frontiers, an Oxford, England, based property investment consulting company, is offering this multicoloured green – or if you prefer, REDD, choice.
Their schemes allow a minimum £10,000 ‘seed capital’ that can grow with the trees in to about £250,000 over 15 years.These projections are based on a lumber price of £0.72 per board foot for the first thinning, increasing at an annual rate of 6% for the subsequent thinning and final harvest. The 5% profit share is retained as a harvest fee.
The timber company has allowed a generous 10% for harvest and processing costs, which covers the milling the trees. Everyone benefits from the investment – the investor from the return on capital and the workers and their families farming the forests who receive better pay that stimulates better living conditions than they would otherwise achieve. These investments also give UK taxpayers other benefits, like rollover relief on capital gains tax when disposing of the investment and SIPP tax breaks if the investment is managed within a pension scheme.