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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Questions about ourpiece
    • Was ist ourpiece?

      ourpiece wurde 2012 als Tochter der Unternehmensberatung ba institute gegründet. Unser Ziel ist es, einzigartige Ökosysteme zu bewahren, bedrohte Tier- und Pflanzenarten zu schützen und den Lebensraum indigener Völker zu erhalten. In unserem ersten Projekt kaufen wir ausgewählte Regenwaldflächen und setzen dann auf die Unterstützung von Menschen, Firmen und Institutionen, denen der Schutz des Regenwalds ebenso am Herzen liegt wie uns. Wir teilen deshalb die durch ourpiece erworbenen Flächen in viele kleine virtuelle Pieces auf, die wir zum „Kauf“ anbieten.

      Jeder Unterstützer der ourpiece-Idee wählt selbst aus, welche Fläche er schützen möchte. Diese Fläche lässt sich ihm anhand ihrer Koordinaten genau zuordnen. Hierbei erwirbt der Käufer nur die virtuelle Fläche, kein Eigentum am Regenwald. 80% der Einnahmen werden von our piece für den Kauf neuer und den Schutz bereits erworbener Landflächen eingesetzt. Vor Ort kooperieren wir mit erfahrenen lokalen Partnern, die für den Schutz der Flächen zuständig sind.

    • What differentiates ourpiece from aid organizations?

      ourpiece is a for profit corporation. Unlike non-profit organizations, ourpiece projects are fully implemented before the sponsors get involved. Our market-oriented principles are meant to ensure the long-term success of the projects and keep overhead to a minimum.

    • Wo hat ourpiece seinen Sitz?

      Die ourpiece.com AG nutzt die Infrastruktur des ba institute (AG) in Küsnacht bei Zürich, Schweiz und hat dort ihren Firmensitz.

    • What kind of projects does ourpiece support?

      ourpiece supports projects aimed at implementing protection and reforesting efforts that can be fully and transparently presented on the internet. We work together with experts to carefully select patches of rainforest suitable for purchase and cooperate with experienced local partners on-site. In order to be sure that our purchases of land rest on a solid foundation, we have instituted legal checks every step of the way and make the purchase with the help of local lawyers in accordance with the relevant legal regulations.

    • How can I support ourpiece?

      We are grateful for any kind of support that will help protect the rainforest. This includes financial support of ourpiece as well as communication. If you want to support ourpiece, you can advertise for us on your website, tell others about us, or post information about your involvement in Facebook. We are also happy to receive suggestions for further projects.

    • Are merchandise articles available from ourpiece? ourpiece?

      Merchandise articles from ourpiece are currently in the planning phases. In addition to that, it will soon be possible to send pieces of rainforest in the form of greeting cards. A present that lasts longer than a gift basket.

    • Which organizations and partners does ourpiece collaborate with?

      ourpiece is always looking for new partners with interesting ideas and challenging projects. Currently ourpiece is collaborating with the following partners: South Pole Carbon
      Jardín Botánico del Pacífico
      Open Forests

  • Questions concerning the land and protection concept
    • How do you ensure that the patches of rainforest continue to be protected?

      We rely on cooperations with local organizations on-site in order to protect patches of rainforest. Our first patch of rainforest in Chocó in Colombia is under the protection of the employees of the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico. The owners and employees live and work on the premises. They share their knowledge with interested tourists and protect the reservation from intruders when necessary.

    • How long will the patches of rainforest be protected?

      ourpiece's goal is to protect the purchased land forever. This is the only way that its diverse animal and plant ecosystems can be protected in a sustainable manner. The capital structure, investment policy, and strong commitment of the founders of ourpiece contribute to the achievement of this goal.

    • How was the first patch of rainforest in Colombia chosen?

      ourpiece carefully selects the patches of rainforest it protects, drawing on the expertise of a variety of experts. For the selection of the first patch of rainforest in Chocó in Colombia, we were assisted by the ETH Zürich, one of the leading technical natural sciences universities in the world, and South Pole Carbon, a spin-off of the ETH Zürich with a considerable body of expertise in reforestation projects. South Pole Carbon made the critical suggestion to purchase the land in Chocó and contacted our local partners on-site, the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico.

    • Where exactly is the first patch of protected rainforest located?

      The first piece of land purchased by ourpiece is located in Colombia in the Chocó province, about 400 km northwest of Bogotá. This is one of the rainforest regions with the greatest biodiversity in the world. The grounds extend north of the city of Mútis, Bahia Solano, covering almost 40 hectares.

    • Why is it important to preserve the rainforest?

      When viewed in a global context, preservation of the rainforest is an important measure for managing global climate change. The rainforest removes the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus counteracting the effects of global warming. So the rainforest basically functions as an "air purifier".

      The first patch of land we purchased in the Chocó province of Colombia is one of the rainforest regions with the greatest biodiversity in the world and is home to a breathtaking array of animals and plants. 55,000 different plant species grow here, almost 1,900 bird species live here, and many different mammalian species such as jaguar, puma, or sloth find refuge here. Neighboring forest regions have already been deforested - which means it is even more important for us to obtain and protect the greatest swaths of land possible.

    • How large is the patch of rainforest protected by ourpiece?

      ourpiece has just started its work. Our first step was to buy a space of almost 40 hectares in the Chocó province of Colombia. We will use the revenue generated by the sale of pieces to buy more land. A neighboring piece of land of about 70 hectares has already been reserved and should complete the ecopark as soon as possible.

    • Is it possible to visit the protected land?

      Supporters are welcome to visit their piece of protected rainforest. Our local partner, the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico, operates with a sustainable tourism concept that provides visitors with an inside look at the unique ecosystem of the rainforest. This gives small groups of tourists the opportunity to get to know the beautiful nature and unique biodiversity of the forest with the help of an experienced guide. This offer is not included in investments in ourpiece, but can be taken advantage of on your own initiative and is available to everyone regardless of whether they invest or not.

    • Can I help decide what happens to the purchased land?

      Every supporter is invited to make suggestions for projects and protection efforts. ourpiece.com AG retains ownership of the land at all times and thus also holds the associated ownership rights.

    • Who can access the protected land?

      Our local partners protect the spaces from intruders. In Chocó in Colombia, this is taken care of by the employees of the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico. Tourists and ourpiece supporters can visit the protected land by taking advantage of the tourism offerings of the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico.

    • Are there plans to buy more patches of rainforest?

      It is the goal of ourpiece to buy many more patches of rainforest. The revenue generated by the sale of virtual pieces of land is used to purchase more land.

    • How much rainforest does ourpiece want to protect altogether?

      It is the goal of ourpiece to protect as many patches of rainforest as possible. After the successful implementation of the first project in Chocó, we expect to purchase more land.

    • Are reforestation projects also being run?

      ourpiece plans on buying intact patches of rainforest as well as cleared patches that will then be professionally reforested. The process of reforestation can be followed live with ourpiece.

    • Which animal and plant species are there in Chocó?

      Chocó is one of the rainforest regions with the greatest biodiversity in the world. In addition to the almost 1,900 different bird species, including toucans, parrots, cranes, and hummingbirds, there are also many mammals living in the region. This includes such animals as the jaguar, tiger, anteater, armadillo, and sloth. Numerous species of poison dart frog, the most poisonous frogs in the world, can only be found here. A variety of sea turtles use the remote beaches as a breeding place. Colombia is also the country with the greatest diversity of orchids and palm trees in the world. Of the up to 55,000 different plants, approximately 3,500 orchid species can be found there.

    • Who is responsible for the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico?

      The Jardín Botánico del Pacífico already belonged to the pioneers of ecotourism in Colombia. The Jardín is owned by a family that has already established a sustainable, self-supporting ecotourism industry on-site. Far from being a place for mass tourism, the "Bakurú Ecolodge" can accommodate up to 16 people and serves as a base for scientific expeditions, hikes, and boat tours.

    • How is the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico financed?

      The Jardín is financed through the revenue generated by sustainable tourism. Preservation of the rainforest's ecosystem and protection of the neighboring lands are of central importance for this. Both are made possible through the collaboration between ourpiece and the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico.

    • Which costs are incurred for the land each year?

      The yearly costs are kept as low as possible and fully covered by the company's reserve funds. There are of course no additional costs for piece owners. Part of ourpiece's business model is to invest only in projects that will incur follow-up costs that are low to non-existent and to work together with local partners on-site.

    • What is checked before the land is purchased?

      ourpiece chooses patches to protect very carefully and with the help of experts. In order to do this, we personally visit the land and measure the space with GPS receivers. When buying a piece of land, local lawyers are present to help ourpiece with the legal aspects. A law firm in Medellín assisted with the purchase of the first patch of rainforest in Chocó in Colombia. All legal steps for buying land were checked and executed in accordance with Colombian law.

    • How secure is the legal situation in Colombia when it comes to dispossession?

      Since the start of the 90s, Colombia has been pursuing an economic policy that focuses on market-oriented policies. The government is making efforts to attract foreign investors to the country and has seen its endeavors met with great success. In addition to that, Colombia has also pledged to participate in free global trade. All the same, it must be remembered that state decisions in part are still not sufficiently transparent. (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs)

  • Questions regarding ownership
    • What is the smallest unit that ourpiece offers for refinancing?

      You can do your part to protect the rainforest by refinancing a space of just 5m x 5m. The cost for this comes to CHF 25.

    • Who can protect a piece of land with ourpiece?

      Anyone wanting to protect the rainforest is welcome to support ourpiece and buy his or her own piece of protected land.

    • How much of my investment is used concretely for the project?

      The purchase of the initial patch of rainforest was prefinanced with the equity of ourpiece AG. ourpiece uses 80% of the revenue generated through the sale of pieces to purchase new patches of land and protect the land that has already been acquired. Thus, an investment in ourpiece represents not only an investment in a concrete project, but also automatically helps the next project get off the ground.

    • Does the land belong to me?

      When a piece of land is purchased through ourpiece, it is treated as a symbolic purchase of a virtual space. Therefore, as the buyer, you do not receive ownership and there will be no entry in the land register. This would not be practicable for the large number of pieces. Legally, the land belongs to ourpiece.com AG.

    • Will I receive a donation receipt?

      Buying a virtual space on the internet is not considered to be a donation. You are welcome to look at, visit, and get excited about the land protected through your purchase.

    • What happens to ourpiece's revenue?

      ourpiece reinvests 80% of the revenue generated through the sale of pieces into the purchase of new patches of land and the protection of the land that has already been acquired. 20% will go towards administration and the necessary infrastructure for operating the ourpiece portal.