by David_Vincent in 

We did it
On 4th December 2015 we successfully raised £103,225 with 87 investors in 56 days

ArBolivia is a unique social enterprise improving livelihoods, reducing deforestation & combatting climate change in the Bolivian Amazon

by David_Vincent in

ArBolivia is a unique partnership between socially motivated investors and smallholder farmers in the Bolivian Amazon, which offers a long term, sustainable solution to deforestation in Bolivia.

It is a well established social enterprise that rewards not only the farmers but also investors in the society, through the sale of sustainably managed hardwood timber, with a return of up to 5% a year 

It is also a model for protecting rainforests that can be replicated throughout the tropics.

Watch the full 15 min documentary HERE


Since 2007 ArBolivia has invested over £5m in establishing a new partnership model of plantation forestry, in which timber profits are divided equally between investors and farmers. Farmers also receive small but regular payments for looking after the trees. These are vital for basic food security, and intercropping with a wide range of cash crops, including coffee, cacao, and citrus fruits, provides an additional short-term income for farmers. Instead of the typical “green deserts” of identikit non-indigenous trees normally planted in commercial forestry, ArBolivia is growing 12 different species of native hardwood trees. The 1400 hectares of plantation trees planted absorb high volumes of carbon dioxide and ArBolivia’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions has been certified by the Gold Standard Foundation and Plan Vivo.

In fact, Small World Consulting has confirmed that investing in ArBolivia is one of the most cost effective ways for individuals to tackle climate change.


 The Cochabamba Project

In the UK, investors can support ArBolivia through the Cochabamba Project Ltd., a not for profit society registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Since 2009 the society's 500 members have contributed around £4m to the development of ArBolivia. This has taken ArBolivia from a start up project to a proven social enterprise generating substantial timber revenues. We are making a profound impact by pioneering a new model of plantation forestry that places farmer welfare and biodiversity at its heart. We have come a long way but we need your help to complete what we’ve started and to prove our business model, so that it can be replicated elsewhere.  Specifically, we need around £1 million over the next few years. 

Farmer Story

Meet Elias, one our typical farmers, HERE

                                                                 Hardwood timber takes a long time to grow, so we need money to pay for the very substantial infrastructure including a staff of 40 technicians, forestry experts and support staff. Fortunately we don’t have to wait 25-35 years for all the trees to mature. We are already earning some revenues from the initial ‘thinnings’ – weaker trees that are removed to allow the best trees to reach their optimum value.   We are also developing other social enterprises that generate profit in the short term. Together, these should more than cover our costs in 4 -6 years time, but until then we need additional finance to pay farmers and keep ArBolivia running.

Our team of professional foresters, technicians and support staff implements a comprehensive, ongoing programme of capacity building, training and practical support for over 1,000 families. This helps them to improve soil fertility & biodiversity, manage the effects of climate change and develop supply chains for their produce.

Invest in ArBolivia

Contributions up to £250 will be treated as a donation but above that we are offering shares in the society, which means you have the opportunity to get your money back and to earn up to 5% a year on your investment (accrued and not guaranteed). For donations, we are offering a range of incentives related to the number of trees that will be maintained. For example, £25.00 will help a family maintain 10 trees over this period.

what investors think

What our investors say View film

ArBolivia currently costs around £500,000 a year and supports around 1,000 families so £500 will support an entire family for a whole year, £2,500 will support an entire family right through to "break even" and £25,000 will support a whole community (around 50 families) for a year.

This is an exciting and vital stage in ArBolivia's development. With your support, we have the opportunity to establish a proven template for international co-operative enterprise, the protection of our tropical forests and the sustainable development of its vulnerable communities. Why not join us?


About Us

David Vincent and John Fleetwood are both former financial advisers who have been pioneers in the field of socially responsible investment for many years. The two founded The Ethical Investment Association, the UK's only trade body for financial advisers specialising in SRI and have many years of experience in forestry investment and community shares. Daniel Brewer, founder of Resonance, one of the UKs foremost business advisers for social enterprise, acts as a non-executive director. The society also has a number of special advisers, including Mike Berners Lee (Small World Consulting), and two Bolivian nationals, Jorge Camacho (Bolivia's Fruit) and Eduardo Zaballos (Agricultural  Supply Chain Consultant)

The society also controls the project management company established in 2007 in Bolivia by Anko Stilma, a Dutch national and professional forester, with a  degree from Wageningen University (MD), Jorge Goitia (Head Forester,) Giovanna Verduguez (Finance Director) and Jose Bailly (Head of Communications). All four were previously part of an FAO funded pilot project headed by Anko from 2002- 07. There are 42 staff in total in Bolivia including 17 field professional field agents.

To discuss any matters in person call David Vincent on 07940 834 899


Member Trip Reunion with David Vincent (front, 2nd from left) and John Fleetwood (3rd from right)

ArBolivia team with Anko Stilma (back row 4th from left), Jorge Goitia (front 1st left) and Giovanna Verduguez (front 1st right)

Important Documents

More Photos:

Partners & Supporters:

Trees-for-All_logo_440logo-ForestFinanceprimaklimazero-mission-logo  climate-care logoebs logoGreen24_Logo_socialmediaeagle ski club logoEagle Ski Club HSF_up_Xyyyyyyyyyy_engl_out_4chivos logocordaid logoeoca-logo-mittig-16457netherlands enterprise agency logo

 Risk Warning Funding pitches through carries some risk. There is no guarantee for members making donations that any reward offered will be delivered. Equally, when members invest in community shares the capital they invest is at risk and they may not get back what they put in. Rewards based crowdfunding and the sale of community shares are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, nor covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Click here to read more about the risks.

Levels of Investment

£25 or more

£25 Investment

Unique "tree certificate", in a name of your choice (makes a perfect Christmas gift), showing the number, type and location of the trees you are helping our families to maintain over the next vital 4 - 6 years You will receive a username and password for the interactive map on our website to share details of your trees with friends You will also receive updates about the progress of the project.

£500 or more

£500 Investment

This is the amount needed to support 1 family for a whole year. You will receive shares equal to the value of your investment, with interest of up to 5% ( see prospectus) We also link you with a specific family. We will provide a personal login to view farmer/tree information on our website. You can show your name on our map as a family sponsor until 31/12/17

£2,500 or more

£2,500 Investment

You will receive shares equal to the value of your investment, with interest of up to 5% ( see prospectus) - a personal login to view farmer/tree information - your name displayed as a family sponsor on our interactive map for 5 years - a high quality canvas print from one of the images in our gallery

£25,000 or more

£25,000 Investment

You will receive shares equal to the value of your investment, with interest of up to 5% ( see prospectus) Plus: - a personal login to view community/farmer/tree information & - your name displayed as a community sponsor on our interactive map for a year - a once-in-a-lifetime trip for one person (excluding cost of flights) to visit the project and explore this fantastic country, thanks to our friends at High Lives Travel

£250 or more

20 of 20 claimed

£250 Investment

You will receive shares equal to the value of your investment, with interest of up to 5% ( see prospectus) PLUS - a copy of "How to be a Humankind Superhero" - a superb practical guide to heloing save the plant by long-standing member and campaigner, Harold Forbes.

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