The construction group will collaborate with the NGO´s Fondo Michiruy project in Venezuela
Ferrovial and Fundación Codespa have reached an agreement to co-finance the “Fondo Michiruy” project to boost rural tourism in the Tropical Andes. The project covers 22 rural agricultural communities and two national parks, in five municipalities in the states of Mérida, Trujillo and Barinas (Venezuela).
Fondo Michiruy is a credit fund in which Codespa and the Fundación Programa Andes Tropicales (PAT) have been collaborating for ten years in Venezuela. Its objective is to create a tourism network in the area, providing farming communities with an alternative source of income, while protecting the Andean environment.
Ferrovial´s contribution to the Fondo Michiruy will provide financing to train the rural population, construct inns and other necessary infrastructure, boost conservationalist agriculture and produce craftwork and natural products. Around 1,000 people will benefit directly from these investments, and a further 1,200 indirectly.
According to Paloma Scharfhausen, head of Institutional Relations at Fundación Codespa, “this initiative seeks to provide an alternative form of social and economic development for the rural communities and, at the same time, generate a microeconomy which respects an invaluable ecological environment”.
The initiative will promote the development and conservation of the Tropical Andes using community-based rural tourism to generate rural employment, improve the living conditions of farming families and, at the same time, involve them in the effort to protect natural resources.
The people of the Venezuelan Andes are employed in agriculture and livestock raising and, as a result of their location, they have been exposed to economic and technological marginalization. Consequently, the harsh living conditions in the region have caused a massive exodus of the population and increased the likelihood that the farmers trying to live in the Andes might have to resort to war-related or illegal work.
Fundación Codespa is a not-for-profit entity with over 17 years´ experience in the field of international development aid. Its aim is to contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of the individuals and communities in the most needy countries, to help them become self-sufficient. Codespa works with public administrations, companies and individuals to provide the means to ensure sustainable development in the medium and long term. Its patron is HRH the Prince of Asturias. The foundation currently has 110 projects under way in 19 countries.
Ferrovial is Spain´s largest construction group and the second-largest in Europe, in terms of market capitalization, and has a 25,000-strong workforce and 50 years of experience. In addition to construction activities, Ferrovial is involved in infrastructure concessions, property development and services. Outside Spain, its has a stable presence in Europe, the Americas and Australia.
Ferrovial is Spain´s first construction group to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes the world´s main benchmark for companies committed to sustainability (in its economic, environmental and social dimensions).