Friday, March 13, 2009

Responsible Investing: Aspire Wealth, Preserve the Earth

There is unspoken law in the earth we live in. It is the law of the nature, which keeps our earth in balance. If this law is violated, either by ignorance or by intentional act, nature will slap us, the human occupants.

Remember the tragedy on December 26, 2004? The deadliest tsunami in the history hit south Asia, triggered by a massive earthquake of magnitude 9.0, the largest earthquake in 40 years. Hardest hit areas were Sumatra (more than 170,000 deaths), Sri Lanka (more than 31,000 deaths), Thailand, and India. Eyewitnesses reported even animal could sense the danger before it happened. Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground. Dogs refused to go outdoors. Flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas.

Long before the tsunami happened, most of the coral reefs surrounding Phuket Island were dying, as victims of greedy investors. Hundreds of beach-front resorts and foreign-owned dive shops have destroyed the coastal ecosystems. It was the greed to cash in more than 10 million per year of the tourism industry. According to Nipon Pongsuwan of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre, the primary factors responsible for the reef destruction were sewage from seaside resorts, sludge from never-ending coastal construction projects, overfishing and thousands scuba diving tourists.

While the existence of the reefs alone doesn’t prevent the earthquake and the tsunami, it will at least lessen the impact of the Mother Nature’s powerful forces. In Sri Lanka for example, the less altered and more vegetated areas of the seashore withstood the tsunami to a much greater extent than other areas with no vegetation. United Nations official reported that the damage from the Indian Ocean tsunami could have been reduced if more coastal areas had maintained their protective shields of mangrove swamps and coral reefs. Mangroves grow in thickets along tropical coastlines and their root systems help binding the shore together, naturally acting as a shock absorbent against destructive waves, and a buffer against erosion.

It is one of Wealth Aspiration, Inc’s values that when we invest, we must do responsible investing. In spite of our encouragement to investors to aspire wealth, we must not forget to preserve the earth. It is our responsibility to the nature and to our many generations to come.

Respect the nature and the nature will respect you.

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