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The development of a long term community project cannot ride roughshod over the local communities or the local environment without creating problems for the future. In fact, real estate development is critical for the environmental and social stability of the region.
Outside the major cities in the developing world unemployment is generally high and subsistence agriculture is the primary way of life. Subsistence agriculture exerts pressure on the environment, because, with limited funds for fertilizer and farming equipment, slash and burn agricultural methods are employed. The needs for protein and cash have a devastating impact.
In the Pacific Lowlands of Nicaragua, where the Gran Pacifica Project is located, fields are burned every dry season to clear them of weeds and brush. This also provides some ash as fertilizer. However, when the May rains come, there is nothing to stop the top layers of soil from washing into the rivers, and they run orange-red with the clay silt.
Deer, iguanas, rabbits and other wildlife are hunted to near extinction for the much needed protein they provide. Deforestation occurs as trees are cut for fuel and the small cash income they can provide when sold as lumber or charcoal.
Sustainable employment is the most important factor when it comes to reversing the environmental devastation associated with poverty and subsistence agriculture. By relieving the urgency of providing food the environment is spared some of the ravages associated with abject poverty.
Creating sustainable employment in a region to tackle poverty means that people do not need to scour nature to survive. This is green capitalism at its best.
We are developing Gran Pacifica with as little impact on the natural environment as possible. This takes an upfront commitment both to the long term of the community and to the environment.
Gran Pacifica has invested millions, burying storm drains under every street to collect and manage storm water. 40% of this water is directed to infiltration pits where it is absorbed into the earth. The remaining balance is sent to the golf course where it will be utilized for ponding and irrigation.
A full sewage system is in place to collect, pump and treat "black water," which upon treatment, will be used for golf course irrigation. These are two extremely significant mechanisms not commonly found in the region that we are using to protect the environment.
Additional measures including reforestation, both on and off the Gran Pacifica property, are underway. Several thousand trees have already been grown from seed and transplanted to replace the deforestation that occurred prior to our ownership of the property.
Gran Pacifica is making trees available and is providing labor to replant the river banks and public park spaces off property as a way to educate and simultaneously enhance the living space of our neighbors. This reconstruction of nature will enable local animals and plants to re-establish themselves in the area.
We envision wind power as a major source of renewable energy on property in the future and the next phases of development will require water retention and conservation measures on the part of home owners. Soft surfaces will be implemented when feasible to increase the absorbed portion of rainfall.
Gran Pacifica will implement the best green technologies to minimize our impact on the project site. By using a sustainable development model and smart technologies, Gran Pacifica and its neighbors can not only reduce our impact on the environment, we can dramatically improve the long term future of the region as well.
Mike, we just returned home late last night/early this morning and I must say it was the most uplifting visit to Nica in many years. I see more positive things happening and a brighter outlook from nearly everyone I encountered. The developments at GP appear to be quite positive and we continue to be encouraged. I know how hard you have worked and look forward to the day that you will see the personal satisfaction that you deserve. The school project was fun and fulfilling, thanks for the opportunity to participate.