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Appropedia:Incubator/Ejido Verde

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Ejido Verde is a mass-reforestation project structured as a private-public-Native initiative, an innovative form of social enterprise and community forestry that will benefit the most marginalized rural families, sustainably alleviate poverty, and improve the environment—in addition to providing a key raw material for an established industry.


Ejido verde es una iniciativa de reforestación masiva que, desarrollado a través de nuestro modelo, crea fuentes sostenibles de trabajo para las comunidades más marginadas de México e impulsa una de las industrias más vulnerables del país, la resinera.

El proyecto está estructurado de tal manera que reúne al sector privado, al público y a distintas comunidades indígenas de México. Es un innovador modelo que combina emprendimiento social, la reforestación del medio ambiente y la integración y conservación del patrimonio nacional.

El propósito del proyecto es trabajar de manera conjunta con las comunidades locales para un mejor manejo de la tierra, impulsar la protección del medio ambiente e incentivar la economía local para que más familias obtengan una fuente de ingresos digna y sustentable para las futuras generaciones.


Background

Ejido Verde is building a new kind of regenerative forestry company, guided by principles of reciprocity, generosity, and innovation. They're growing millions of fast-planting trees, to create holistic community wealth and return on investment. They're inviting and exploring an array of partnerships that can propel regenerative principles in business while reinventing wealth and well-being among the rural and indigenous communities of Michoacán, Mexico.

There's also a heroic, inspiring origin story here in how Ejido Verde exists because women stood up to drug lords[1] [2]. In fact, in defending their forest from armed loggers, the villagers of Cheran, led by local women, also kicked out police and politicians at the same time.[3]

Definitions

Ejido: Communal land on the outskirts of a town, destined for common services, such as a cattle pasture.
System of distribution and possession of land institutionalized after the Mexican Revolution, granting land for use by a group of people.
Verde: Green.

Project goals

Ejido Verde's goals adhere to a triple bottom-line:

  • Viable ROI (return on investment) [ profit ]
  • Community wealth & well-being for marginalized rural and indigenous communities [ people ]
  • Carbon offsets to reverse global warming through tree planting [ planet ]

Current goals include:

  1. Raising day-labor wages up to five times the current rate
  2. Expanding land use by 2000 acres/year
  3. Increasing tree population, from 85 pines/ha (hectare) to 850


Design

Along with its triple-bottom-line approach, it is also dynamically blending partnership with multiple sectors:

  • nonprofit (mission)
  • government (mandate) and
  • commercial (margin)

(Having begun as a nonprofit, it's now made the transition to for-profit.)

Moreover, the project is a perfect model of regenerative design. As such, it can can not only scale up, but also be iterated elsewhere, with applications in diverse situations.


Funding

The economic value of non-wood, non-timber forest projects require a longer-than-average ROI (return on investment) time scale. This is only natural. It takes pine trees about 10 years to produce a viable amount of resin. Yet pine resin (aka "pitch") has a myriad of commercial uses [4], including:

  • medicine
  • food stabilizer
  • fragrances; incense
  • glue; adhesive
  • varnish

Major players in pine resin can raise necessary pesos for investment in maintaining the trees, but would want a high interest rate in exchange. Mexican and US pine-resin industry leaders have made anchor investments.

Wealth Creation

Since 2009, Ejido Verde has planted 4,000 acres, moving toward their goal of restoring 24,000 acres of degraded lands with native, resin-producing pine trees. This will:

  • generate $1B in wealth over the next 30 years (with 95% going to the community and 5% to repay loans)
  • propel 12,000 rural and indigenous families into the middle class
  • elevate the Mexican pine-resin industry, to lead in a global market as large as cacao.

With $11.4M committed toward their $35M capitalization goal, early revenue streams established, and future purchase contracts secured, they seek smart growth together with value-aligned partners.

Hurdles exist, but the bottom line here is clear. The project is profitable and scalable, needful and impactful, and needs committed investors [5] [6] interested in adjusting traditional views and expectations, and engaging in new ways of thinking about supply chain, distribution of equity, social justice, environmental healing and transformation, etc. [7]

Fortunately, the project is not theoretical research, but is, rather, already applying its concepts in action. Its viability is thus available for real-world assessment across various criteria and metrics — and contributes to a growing knowledge base for this vital, new way of putting capital to work.


Next Steps

Conclusions

References

  1. Ejido Verde exists because women in Cheran stood up to drug lords. Medium. August 5, 2017.
  2. Women Kicked Out Organized Crime in This Mexican Town: The people of Cherán haven't had a single slaying or serious crime in six years Bloomberg [photo essay], by Marie Monteleone & Eric Martin. August 11, 2017
  3. Cheran: The town that threw out police, politicians and gangsters by Linda Pressly, BBC News. October 13, 2016.
  4. Pine resin & its primary products from Pinus spp.] Gum Naval Stores: Turpentine & Rosin from Pine Resin. Non-Wood Forest Products 2. Rome: FAO, 1995
  5. One-Page Investor Introduction Ejido Verde
  6. Summary for family office investment Medium. Kevin Jones & Shaun Paul. Aug 22, 2017
  7. Ejido Verde: Protecting a Supply Chain While Empowering Indigenous Communities Sustainable Brands. by Nithin Coca. June 20, 2017.


External Links

Ejido Verde official website

Facebook page

Follow " @EjidoVerdemx " at Twitter