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Forestry, which can be traced back to before the seventh century, is the practice of creating and managing forests. Forestry was born out of a need to increase the amount of wood available for human use, and provides sustainable resources that are beneficial to humans and the Earth’s ecosystems. Today, forestry is also considered a sound, ethical, ecological investment category. Investors interested in forestry investments buy tree plots instead of stocks or bonds. Two popular tree species for this type of investment are teak wood trees and eucalyptus trees.
Omari Bowers, who grew up in England, began his professional life pursuing a career in finance. While he was working at JP Morgan, however, he bought his first property, which he promptly renovated and then sold for a profit. He used that money to seed more real estate investments, and even made some similar investments for family and friends. He soon realized that he was happier and more successful in property management than in finance, and he branched out on his own. It was during this busy period that he met his now business partner Andrew Skeene, who had also established his own real estate investment company. The two shared the ability to recognize viable opportunities, and spent a few months researching global trends before they decided on forestry.
Global Forestry Investments is the result of Bowers and Skeene’s research. It is a company that facilitates forestry investments while at the same time aiding in reforesting the Brazilian rainforests and conducts philanthropic activities in surrounding communities. The founders, Omari Bowers and Andrew Skeene, who met several years ago when they were both enjoying considerable success investing in real estate, started the company in 2008 when they purchased a small teak wood plantation in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Prior to making this pilot investment, the two researched responsible, sustainable investments opportunities in agriculture, livestock and forestry around the globe. When they visited Brazil and saw firsthand, the devastating effects of deforestation on the Brazilian rain forests and the rampant poverty in surrounding communities, they felt that their involvement could make a difference.
His management activities range from hands on management of forestry engineers to hands on management of Brazilian investments and the company’s philanthropic activities, which include the construction of a school in an underdeveloped community in Brazil. He also reports directly to investors with updates on their timber portfolios. Investors who work with Global Forestry Investments can buy 100 or more trees through the company and in turn, the company manages all aspects of growth, maintenance and sale. Dividends are typically paid every three years or so when the trees are thinned. The investment comes to term after approximately twenty five years, at which time the trees come to full maturity and their wood can be sold to boat builders or furniture crafters.