OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Developing a Blockchain to Power the first Ecosystem Services Market Place that Rewards Communities to Restore the Eastern Ghats in India.

Building bridges between community driven mountain ecosystem restoration using blockchain technology for sustainable development financing.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project idea is about addressing the challenges of total ecosystem collapse from serious land degradation that local indigenous communities living in Araku Valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, South India are facing. We want to help them by increasing their food security and building resilience from the impact of global climate change. The successful implementation of our mountain ecosystem restoration project requires financial incentives. To this end Route2’s role is the design, development and implementation of a new ecosystem service assessment and evaluation standard and tradeable token (i.e. Ecosystem Service Coin [ESC]), using blockchain distributed ledger technology. This standard will measure the annual economic value of ecosystem services delivered by the mountain ecosystem. The value of these services will be translated into digital currency for corporates, institutional investors and consumers to buy and sell. The former (corporates) can buy and hold these ESCs to offset the ecological damage of their economic activities (including greenhouse gas emissions). Through the effective and compensated land management of these ecosystems ESCs will appreciate in value. ESCs will offer competitive return on investment [ROI] and this ROI will provide the missing incentive that will enable the successful expansion of the outlined project. This idea is a collaboration between a management consulting firm Route2 in London with VCCSL an enviro-social enterprise in Kakinada that tackles the problem of environmental degradation and loss of livelihoods and with VIKASA an NGO in Visakhapatnam working in Araku Valley. Together we are addressing the big problem by restoring degraded mountain ecosystems rapidly on the large scale basis while working with local indigenous communities to rebuild peace, ensure mountain forests preservation and building a robust green economy. The project intersects the three topics of peace, prosperity and planet

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries of this project are the vulnerable indigenous communities living on the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh who have been suffering from the impact of climate change and conflicts over the years. To help prevent future disastrous ecological collapse, reverse the trend and provide significant economic benefits to mountain communities, our collective approach has synergetic benefits: 1. Provide better food security with restored and secured breeding habitat 2. Sequestrate CO2 from trees and reduce escalations of climate change 3. Create high value-added livelihood opportunities to disadvantaged indigenous communities by reducing poverty especially among women by raising orchids, collecting NTFPs and bee honey, and providing other new sources of revenue 4. Save lives and improve environmental health for thousands of people via adaptation to climate change 5. Contribute to social and economic development of a peace building process in conflict zones of the Easter Ghats

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The objective of this collaboration, is design and development of a business model to enhance the rate, scale and economic viability of ecosystem restoration in affected areas along the Eastern Ghats in India, thereby improving and protecting the Natural, Human and Social Capital value of the target mountain ecosystem. It is acknowledged that successful ecosystem restoration requires: Improved rate and efficiency of mapping, planting and monitoring using appropriate technology on the ground land management, administration, education, community engagement and monitoring by local partners; and the development of an ecosystem service assessment and evaluation standard which supports an ecosystem service market place that incentivizes long term economic viability. The project will be measuring the economic benefit of the ecosystem services generated by ecosystems in the target community. The mountain protection services provided by a mountain ecosystem would be quantified and valued.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Route2 is a management consulting firm based in London that is working in partnership with Veda Climate Change Solutions Ltd. (VCCSL) an enviro-social enterprise, knowledge processing organisation based in Kakinada that links people at grassroots with international organisations through UNFCCC global mechanisms and with VIKASA an NGO based in Visakhapatnam working with 3000 farming families in Araku Valley Route2 http://route2.com/ VCCSL http://vccslindia.org/ VIKASA http://vikasaindia.in/

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The inspiration on developing this project came when the Route2 team met with the VCCSL team in London and decided to collaborate in tackling the problem of environmental degradation, loss of livelihoods and conflict resolution. This strategic partnership will address the big problem by restoring degraded mountain ecosystems rapidly on the large scale basis while working with local indigenous communities to rebuild peace, ensure mountain forests preservation and building a robust green economy.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The idea is about Improving Rural Livelihoods (IRL) by restoring fragile mountain ecosystems in 25 villages the Araku Valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India and adopting environment friendly technology based agroforestry practices. The main threats facing the northern Eastern Ghats include deforestation, hydropower projects, bauxite mining and road widening. The massive impoundments that dams and their reservoirs have formed between the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha borders have submerged thousands of hectares of forests. Mitigation of forest encroachments, restricting road traffic particularly during the nights on the roads traversing the Eastern Ghats and the Andhra-Odisha borders, and capacity building of local stakeholders will contribute to conservation of the northern Eastern Ghats region. The IRL project implemented by our partner VCCSL benefits more than 1500 small and marginal farmers in the six backward districts addressing about 1600 hectares of degraded land.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The Route2 team will work alongside the VCCSL and the VIKASA team that has experience of working with the corporate sector to mobilize collaborative partnership development for our communities. The proposed activity in the Araku Valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh involves building on the success of one of the very few A/R CDM projects through scaling up and replication of activities that have been successful in delivering additional revenue to the participating indigenous communities from the sale of carbon credits generated from the ecosystem restoration on degraded mountains in partnership with the private industry. The proposed project would move beyond the carbon sequestration and value the total ecosystems. This offers a paradigm shift in addressing conservation activities. The present conservation efforts work in silos either for biodiversity, reforestation, social carbon. Our project undertakes a holistic approach to address issues at larger landscape level.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Our target communities have a surplus of indigenous people ready to work with us in implementing our project. The project will be implemented inline with achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, in addition to effective mitigation of CO2 contributing to the 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Agreement as well as providing valuable ecosystem services by enhancing biodiversity over the life of the project. VIKASA is working with 20,000 rural families in the Eastern Ghats.

Geographic Focus

We will be implementing our project in Araku Valley on the Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh South India

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

We will need 36 months to implement our proposed project that would be measuring the economic benefit of the ecosystem services [ES] generated by ecosystems in our target community in the Eastern Ghats. The mountain protection services provided by a mountain ecosystem would be quantified and valued. Clearly these benefits are ‘external benefits’ and therefore the landowners receive no financial compensation and therefore no incentive to maintain the integrity and functioning off the ecosystem.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
View more

Attachments (9)

Porposed Project zones.pdf

Proposed Project zone on the Eastern Ghats of Southern India.

Route2 Value2Society Framework.pdf

Route2 Value2Society (V2S) Framework used for measuring impact across 6 capital stocks.

Route2 SGS Corporate Sustainability Report.pdf

Route2 SGS Corporate Sustainability Report measuring impact on UN SDGs using Value 2 Society (V2S) Framework.

Route2 Crown Estate Total Contribution Report.pdf

Route2 Crown Estate Total Contribution Report (TCR) measuring Natural Capital using Ecosystem Services Standard.

Route2 Ecosystem Services Market Place Proposal.pdf

Route2 Ecosystem Services Market Place (ESMP) Proposal

VCCSL Implementation Status & Results Report.pdf

Implementation Status & Results Report for Improving Rural Livelihoods (IRL) Project

VCCSL Monitoring Report.pdf

Monitoring Report for Improving Rural Livelihoods (IRL) Project

VCCSL Validation Report.pdf

Validation Report for Improving Rural Livelihoods (IRL) Project

VCCSL Project Design Document.pdf

Project Design Document for Improving Rural Livelihoods (IRL) Project

191 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Dinero Manero
Team

Yes, the blockchain can help solve many problems, only many use it as a scam technology, which showed people the flip side of this technology ... Although in recent years they have begun to create more promising projects. For example, the same telegram created its own good blockchain with great prospects. Personally, even I bought their cryptocurrency and now I am waiting for their growth. By the way, if it is interesting to purchase their crypt, then you can do it on this site https://ton-telegram.com/ buy gram. I think many will be interested!

Photo of John Yongo
Team

Uchenna, it is really a high time to move into standard dimension of economic growth but a lot of measurable inputs can take the whole active economists highway whereat results will determine the future of your idea, I like your idea I hope to take part in the process. I also advise you to join Rotary International https://my.rotary.org/en in your city, visit any club.

Photo of Uchenna Okafor
Team

Indeed, economic and profit drive of most multinational and local companies are ravaging this planet and endangering human existence. if quick proactive steps are not taken, an bequeathing unwholesome earth to posterity may become inevitable. So, designing for a sustainable future by preventing land degradation and environmental pollution is a step in the right direction.

Photo of Uchenna Okafor
Team

I indeed admire your three-way goal of sustaining the wholesomeness of the earth, safe and healthy environment for humans, and improving the economic welfare of local dwellers in India. Big ups to you. Meanwhile, looking forward to more collaboration with you. thanks a million

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Dear Bremly,

Thanks for sharing this great idea .
Sincerely You are doing a great work with your strategic plans for ensure mountain forests preservation and building a robust green economy. at India which is recognized as a key parameters to achieve food security, maintaining peace and security and promoting biodiversity among others .

I will like to know how you are able to secure funds for your project.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you Mojisola this is an old idea from BBC 2018 and we have developed it further now working with our colleagues from https://goodbanc.io/ and https://liquidtoken.net/ so we are raising funds from development banks and impact investors!

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Many Thank for your reply.
I will get in touch with those links

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Many Thank for your reply.
I will get in touch with those links

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Great ,
Link to your web?

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

www.worldviewimpact.org and www.ecofriend.world

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of Mojisola Adewumi
Team

Got it.
You are amazing

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Hi Bremley,

Thanks for your good response yesterday.

How do we get someone who pollutes to buy the coins, what is their incentive?

Could we work on two other strands;

1. Making the polluters stop polluting?
2. Create a self sustainable tree planting?

I am asking because of the issue with 3 or n- partite deals which more often than not ends up with corruption when one of the partites choose to Partite themselves from the other parties, and run away with the money without delivering.

I am aware of that blockchain is intended as the vehicle to ensure the anti corruption part, however, we already have more than 100 international caees of various sizes, running in various countries, based on all sorts of issues with blockchain backed crypto currencies, so could we maybe put our heads together, maybe on Skype or during the Caux in July, to see what we can do, without too new technology?

A 3rd party international bank could simply act as a trustee bank holding the funds in trust, then you do your expertise in tree planting, surveillance is done via global forest watch, which is for free, and funds are released???

The holder could be a trust fund, such that there are maybe 2 or 3 fund releasing entities. It is unlikely that such a construct would fail. If we pay the farmers via mobile pay, there would be audit trail all the way through.

Beware, even if we follow your model where polluters pay for eco coins, someone has to hold the money in trust. This must therefore be solved no matter how you do it, and therefore, the blockchain ledger is kind of loosing its value, while your entire project here, has enormous value???

Can you follow me?

Sincerely
David Svarrer

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear David, thank you for your thought inducing response.

The response to your first question, how do we get someone to buy coins?. In case of India, there are two relevant provisions firstly, the Government of India has a CSR policy that can be reviewed at the following link (http://finance.bih.nic.in/documents/csr-policy.pdf), it mandates that the company has to spend 2% of its profits for CSR initiatives. In addition, as part INDCs of India (http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/India%20First/INDIA%20INDC%20TO%20UNFCCC.pdf) there is a commitment to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level and to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. For achieving these targets the companies have to contribute and hence there is an incentive for the companies to source emission reduction or ecosystem restoration coins to meet their obligations both under CSR and climate change related obligations.

The question on making the polluters stop polluting?, I don't know how it can be done, as it would be beyond our scope and reach of how we can achieve the same. Maybe, you can share some thoughts and come up with an innovative idea to address the same in the near future, which might be acceptable to the polluters to take it up. As Bremley has explained in the previous comments, the idea is to make tree planting sustainable and more over create sustainable livelihoods.

I don't know which kind of agreement would allow someone to run away with money without delivering. If you do not create necessary fiduciary controls, and deal with individuals or entities with questionable credibility at times this things might happen. However, it needs to be remembered that more number of people and organisations have their credibility on the line and would not engage in this activities.

The ideas that you explained are of interest with regards to mobile pay, we may discuss the same during the Caux dialogue face to face to explore options for taking those processes into prospective projects.

We have been working in this region and have partnered with BioCarbon Fund of the World Bank and have released the carbon revenue to the farmers, and we have experience of delivering the money to the participating communities through established banking systems in India. So, there are systems that are in place for ensuring that the payments are processed to the communities as per the rules of the land. As explained multiple times we are using blockchain as it offers transparency and is the current technology that offers a different value proposition. We are not tied to blockchain as explained earlier, it's a tool that is being used and the tools might change based on technological developments.

Best regards,
Sai

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Sai Nellore - I think it is key that we all - not only your project - but all projects - are looking keenly and carefully into the reality on the ground - and even though it is tough, we shall not let ourselves succumb to passivity or resignation.

When you therefore write "I don't know which kind of agreement would allow someone to run away with money without delivering. " - then you indeed have a point.

The problem is, that we both know that BOTH in India, in Africa, in China, in Brazil, and lots and lots of the countries around equator - and let me not spare my own country - DENMARK (I will comment at the bottom on that one) - or GERMANY (VolksWagen, Siemens, Bosch, to mention a few) - in all of these (and many more) countries - agreements are put in place, they are even published, and they look good, but even the content, the signatories, the expected outcome, is part of a very well schemed fraud.

Therefore when you write "which kind of agreement" - then the agreement is not the problem, but the deal behind, the possibility of enforcement of failures, the preconditions which preselects less than a handful of prospect bidders - the requirements for the systems which are so inflated and complex compared to the real necessity which is often easy, simple, doable in only months, and - something one of the thousands of small or mid-range software houses can do - if they were not pre-excluded from bidding.

Therefore, my good Sai, and my good Bremley - when I write what I do to you, it is with encouragement in terms of the good that you do, with encouragement to do WHAT you intend to do. With our full support from our little humble Nexus 7 team. And with worries, that even though you appear very experienced - you may have very clean hearts, and maybe you have not experienced some of this worlds hard realities.

I would hate to see your extremely good, commendable, extraordinary initiative die or be trapped in the corruption which we have experienced in this sector. My personal experience is that people are willing to sign on anything and everything, siphon money out with the risk of jail terms (because in many countries - including many African countries and including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka - they can simply pay police, judges, and even juries, bribe them - and then go undercover, or move to other countries if the heist is sufficiently huge). The reason why they move to other countries is, that the ones they bribe then continue to "haunt them". Often these scenarios even end up with murders and such unnecessaries...

My point is indeed not to discuss these sorrow projects, and I propose that we follow your proposal and start discussing how we can overcome these corrupt practices.

One of them is this thing that people sign any agreement necessary to score millions into their pockets, and then run away without any trace. And the good cause, the good cause, the good childrens home, are the victims as they are being blamed for not having their financial controls in order - while in fact the problem happen due to that suppliers, 3rd parties, staff, meticulously plan and execute 5th column activities.

MY personal experience in handling such issues in general - from 20 years in Kenya - is to remove the centralized handling of any money. Establish systems which has no central money except when computer-controlled and under both a bank's lock and key, rembourse-like terms and conditions, a funding board to approve, with rotational membership, with members elected via random+votes.

Let me give you an example:

NSSF is a national pension fund accused of massive fraud. Instead of hoarding money up in a huge money tank, solely controlled by a board, who's corrupt behaviours are congruent with the balance in the tank, pension could be handled by a software which distributes all contributions to the pension-takers, creates a public overview, and thereby there will be no huge money tank to loot. Let the board be elected by all the pension-contributors too.

================
ON my comment in regards to the corrupt DENMARK : Denmark, who for which reason I cannot seem to understand, appears on top of the Transparency International's list of "clean" countries as number 1, 2 or 3, year after year.

Denmark remains there, despite that we have almost annually very murky, almost impenetrably dark cases. Most recently is 2017, where an equivalent of USD 3.5 billion (not million - billion) - disappeared down a "Software drain" - where the agreements between our tax authorities and the vendor indeed have been in place. The agreements follow public (but corrupt) tender-processes, with tender, bidding, selection and approvals - and the "winners" won - preselected as they were - they started, delayed, and delivered a mastodont on clay-feet which could neither go forth nor back - and had to be flushed down the drain.

Photo of Ira Fedorenko
Team

This is a great idea! We are trying to integrate Blockchain solution to a myanmar project we are already running with Bremley, and I think it has a lot of potential!

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Irina, thank you for your feedback, it would be an excellent opportunity to connect Myanmar Mangroves restoration project with this mountain ecosystem restoration project in India using blockchain technology. I would be collating the field level data as part of the process and will present the same at Caux dialogue (https://www.caux.ch/Caux-Dialogue-on-Land-and-Security-CDLS) in addition to the existing CDM project experience. Thanking you for your support

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thanks for your valuable inputs Irina which we really appreciate. Since last year we have been working with Sai to put together a GCF Private Sector Facility concept note building an alliance of 3 partners from India, Bangladesh and Myanmar working in partnership with Route2 in London. The GCF has informed us that the project proposal submitted by our partner VCCSL has great potential and requested us to identify an AE to develop it further through their regular project window.

Further, the GCF project submitted by our partner VCCSL, in addition to replication and scaling-up of the IRL project, also proposes to facilitate provision and valuation of multiple ecosystem services through piloting an Ecosystem Services Assessment & Evaluation Standard to be developed by Route2 that can be replicated across diverse ecosystems for trading of Ecosystem Service Coins (ESCoins) using Blockchain technology. It has been proposed to ground-up design the first ever Ecosystem Service Assessment and Evaluation Standard (ESAES) including the associated economic valuation models capable of operation / application across different types of ecosystems (specifically, tropical inland ecosystem, coastal mangrove ecosystem and mountainous ecosystems) and differing socio- economic conditions for all 3 target countries of India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

So we hope to start with the mountainous ecosystems in India first if we win the Bridgebuilder Challenge 2018, and then replicated our model to restore mangrove ecosystems in Myanmar and tropical inland ecosystems in Bangladesh.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Having read the other land restoration projects on the OpenIDEO platform I think the project leaders like Chang Lee from World Relief, Elisa from UN Women, @Hadi Shamieh from Permanent Abundance, Chandra from Sekar Kawung, catherine from Better Lives Initiatives, Rtn.Dr.Ramkumar T.S from Centre for Rural Reconstruction, Linnet Akol from Krystal Ice Limited, Dr. Sukumar Kar from Global Environment Research Foundation, Kumar from Khetee, Marcelo Albagli from the Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development, Batte Charles from Tree Capital, Kevin Kung from Takachar, Dusti Becker from Life Net Nature, Ruth from the Azuero Earth Project, Mostafijur Rahman from Oxfam, Ellen Davis from Plant with Purpose, Beto Bina from Farfarm, Russell Davis from the ABEVILA-H2CI Consortium, Birdpreneur Marketplace Company can also contribute at the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security in Switzerland from 17 to 21 July 2018. https://www.caux.ch/Caux-Dialogue-on-Land-and-Security-CDLS

Photo of Russell Davis
Team

Hi Bremley, thank you for providing the link to this event. It certainly has applicability for our programmes and there is lots we can share. I will take action to arrange our participation. We should have a converation about your project and perhaps consider aligning it under our program. Please send me your WhatsApp number or Skype ID and suggest a day and time for us to talk. https://h2cb2b.wixsite.com/ruralchallenges Russ

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thanks Russell and I am glad you will consider participating in the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in Switzerland that has been going on for the past 5 years now chaired by the IUCN and the UNCCD. My skype ID is bremley and I look forward to connecting and seeing you there in Caux with Ira Fedorenko and Sai Nellore next month.

I also think there are other project leaders supporting smallhold farmers and regeneration of land through agriculture on this OpenIDEO platform that can benefit from the CDLS like Tumwebaze Khamutima from Roots Coffee Connect, Lee-Anne Archibald from Canada, Macklean Women Farmers Association of Uganda, Limbe from Dudu Huts, dibyaborah . from ARHI, Daniel Ojulu from DSM Holdings, Joseph Mulabbi from KoFarmer App, Joseph Mulabbi from Uganda, Chris from Farmshine, Willoughby Eunice from Nigera, Richard Seshie frok Kesho, Namrataa Singh from Trust In, Felicia from Peas and Prospearity, Young Farmers Champions Network from Uganda, THEODORE M'BRA from GRACE AGRICOLE COTE D'IVOIRE, Alice Quagliato from Oxfam, Vasan from Tree Trust, Macheru Karuku from SeaNet, Gaurav from CASA.

So I hope some of these project leaders make it to the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (July 17-21, 2018) at Caux, Switzerland, which is organised by Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace, in collaboration with UNCCD and IUCN.

It is increasingly recognised that the health of the world’s soils is central to global efforts to overcome a wide range of pressing issues, from hunger to insecurity to poverty to climate change. We know that restoring degraded land has great potential to increase food production, increase incomes, sequester carbon and lessen conflict - four fifths of which now take place in the world’s drylands.

While there are many important and successful grass-roots restoration initiatives, time is running out to scale these up and to ensure that farmers receive a fair share of the benefits generated downstream by their restoration efforts. We must also urgently find a way to apply the scientific consensus as it stands today into global policy and large scale investment.

I think the CDLS will provide a unique opportunity for over 100 of the world’s leading thinkers and representatives on this issue to gather together informally and exchange on ways we can together accelerate global action on soil conservation and restoration. The programme of the Dialogue will include opportunities for interaction with policy-makers, young social entrepreneurs, investors to which you are also most welcome to attend. Stay update for registration to present your projects on https://www.caux.ch/Caux-Dialogue-on-Land-and-Security-CDLS

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Hi Brem, Thank you for writing. Yes I do agree with you. We have been relying too much on fossil fuels and hence leads to deforestation and it is rapidly reducing with the creation of economic crisis all over the world. At the same time problems of pollution and global warming are becoming acute. The entire world have been spending almost unimaginable colossal amount of money on research and development on different issues and their problems. If we could focus on restoration of tree including conventional & non conventional energy sources, the situation would have been quite different today. We are very thankful to you for the Caux Dialogue. Hope to see the different personalities face to face on the said platform.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Hi Sukumar Kar great to hear from you, and having read your project idea on "Green Economy" is very interesting. In fact, National Green Highways Mission (http://nationalgreenhighway.org/) is focussed on the National Highways and your project is into urban areas plantation. There can be synergies that you might be interested to explore. Would look forward to interact with you and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Russel, Its a great initiative that you are proposing in terms of building resilience through a human centred approach. The Rural renaissance project would empower communities through capacity development initiatives for a holistic development, the project with its innovative approaches can be deployed or incorporated into the other projects that are working in rural areas. It would be nice if we discuss the same over Skype my ID is: nellore_sai_kishore Look forward to explore opportunities for collaboration in addressing the two critical challenges of our times namely climate change and poverty alleviation.

Photo of David Ezra Jay
Team

Hi Sai,
Exactly what data are you collecting and how are you collecting it?

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Hi Ezra, we were collecting the data from sample plots that were laid out as per the CDM methodologies for quantifying the emission reductions from our project. Data pertains to GPS coordinates of the sample plots, DBH, Height of trees, number of trees within the defined sample plot, etc., The monitoring reports and data parameters that were monitored can be accessed from this location (https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/TUEV-SUED1298895593.56/view).

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Ezra for asking the most important question. Data is King and for this new project we will be building our own robust real time data from the field in order to support the development and deployment of our Ecosystem Service Assessment and Evaluation Standard (ESAES) including the associated economic valuation models capable of operation / application across different types of ecosystems (specifically mountainous ecosystems) and differing socio-economic conditions for all target communities. To answer your question on data collection and to add on what Sai has been doing for the last 10 years on the ground, I would like to share our new data collection strategy below.

1. We will create a GIS database to ensure robust storage and management of the data.
2. All our datasets will be stored in open source formats.
3. All our datasets will include relevant metadata to ISO:19115 standard to ensure they are used correctly.
4. Points 2 and 3 above mean that, where license conditions permit, the GIS data can also be made available for free through common data portals such as https://data.gov.in/ (if allowed) or the Indian Geo-Platform of ISRO http://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in/map/bhuvan/bhuvan2d.php (again if allowed).
5. This means that the input data collated by the project will benefit other research initiatives in the same region.

Once we have collected our data Route2 will perform a baseline Ecosystem Service Assessment & Evaluation (ESAE) of the designated mountain ecosystem in the Eastern Ghats. This baseline ESAE will provide a spatially explicit understanding of ecosystem condition and the annual economic benefit of the ecosystem specific identified ecosystem services.

The annual flow of economic benefits will be converted into a stock / asset value equal to the net present value of the future benefit flow over (50) years, under a sustainable land management strategy. This process of translating annual flows into a stock value follows guidelines available via the Natural Capital Protocol Producing this baseline and value is the aforementioned standard.

The most crucial stage for us is the identification of right kinds of land parcels by VCCSL in collaboration with the local NGOs like VIKASA and government authorities for grounding the project as a pilot initiative. As the project aims at restoration and rejuvenation it is necessary that the identified project lands are not diverted for any other purposes during the project term. Necessary agreements would be entered into with the stakeholders to protect the lands.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Dear Sukumar I agree with you 100% and all players including most notably, the EU understand the critical need to stop desertification is by creating livelihood at the local level. The World Bank predicts that 60 million Africans could mass migrate to Europe if sustainable livelihoods are not created locally so, since 2007 The “Great Green Wall” has been plotting along with not much traction. If nothing is done, imminent peril can be expected. That is why we are in the business of large scale ecosystem restoration to prevent mass migration of climate refugees from total ecosystem collapse.

It would be great if your can present at the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (July 17-21, 2018) at Caux, Switzerland, which is organised by Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace, in collaboration with UNCCD and IUCN.

It is increasingly recognised that the health of the world’s soils is central to global efforts to overcome a wide range of pressing issues, from hunger to insecurity to poverty to climate change. We know that restoring degraded land has great potential to increase food production, increase incomes, sequester carbon and lessen conflict - four fifths of which now take place in the world’s drylands.

While there are many important and successful grass-roots restoration initiatives, time is running out to scale these up and to ensure that farmers receive a fair share of the benefits generated downstream by their restoration efforts. We must also urgently find a way to apply the scientific consensus as it stands today into global policy and large scale investment.

This Dialogue will provide a unique opportunity for over 100 of the world’s leading thinkers and representatives on this issue to gather together informally and exchange on ways we can together accelerate global action on soil conservation and restoration. The programme of the Dialogue will include opportunities for interaction with policy-makers, young social entrepreneurs, investors to which you are also most welcome to attend. You can see the work of the Initiatives of Change in India on https://in.iofc.org/

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

The CAUX Forum is very expensive to participate in... We would likely be facing some USD 2,000 as total cost for all the days, all inclusive - and we cannot spare this amount.

It appears to me that the program is great, but the venue is very very expensive. We would be able to setup our first prototype in Denmark for a 125 sq.m. house for the cost of 2 of us joining Caux at USD 4,000. So with deep respect for the good purpose of the CAUX forum, we would have to decline your nice invitation.

Is there some kind of bulletin or update or report from the forum, which can maybe be bought at a much more easy rate ? ?

So with deep thanks for your considering of us, we cannot make it.

Sincerely
David Svarrer / Thomas Høyer

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

That is why we are just going for 19 to 21 July for the Round Table for Policy Makers and it is 50 CHF for registration fee and 165 CHF per night for stay and 3 meals per head. But for people coming for just a day trip, it seems no registration is needed and they just pay 55 CHF for meals and conference see https://www.caux.ch/forum-fees

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

Hmmm. Worth a thought. We are likely heading from Copenhagen to Nairobi, so we would maybe be able to do a 1 or 2 day stop-over in Swiss, and join in.

Now, we would also be passing by to meet with your team. What are the possibilities for that?

SIncerely
David Svarrer / Thomas Høyer

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Indeed both Sai and myself will be there with our partners from other countries in Africa and Asia but we will leave on 21st July so let us know if you guys are coming up to Caux and it would be great to meet face to face offline and build real partnerships with small hold farmer groups up there in the Alps.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

I will discuss this with the team, and remit to you as soon as we have agreed what we can do. We agree on our side that it would be SO great to meet!!!

Sincerely
David Svarrer

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

Please elaborate on how blockchain does this`??

kindly ...

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear David, thank you for the question. The blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT), as in the case of CDM projects the UNFCCC maintains the registry services, similarly in the case of Voluntary Markets there are registries like American Carbon Registry, APX environmental registries, etc., These registries are centralised and maintain the project emission reductions of various projects. These registries are centralised and in the case of blockchain it would be decentralised and would overcome this centralisation of the registry services. It would be transparent as all the emission reductions that are generated from the project would be maintained under DLT and in public domain. This would also enable us to overcome the transaction costs that are involved in registering the projects under these registries. So in our project, we would maintain the ecosystem standard coins that are generated from the project using the blockchain technology that can interact with the corporate to offer open and transparent transactions of the ecosystem coins.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Sai Nellore,

You need to get a bit more back to Adam and Eve. I have worked as engineer in financial solutions, in technical areas, and as an innovator I am used to get involved in very technical creations. As you can imagine, creating an astronomical way of controlling our Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator, this literally involves rocket-science (astronomical calculations) - so I am very used to technical things.

However. I did not get a thing of what you wrote above, yet I have read it many times.
Please if you can, I request from you that you describe step by step, how blockchains are working in your context to make this work.

I hope that you are aware that the very same blockchain is made in a way where maybe 99% or even more of the human race, have NO understanding, what so ever, of how it works, and therefore there is free play for all sorts of "Block chain scams", where unscrupulous people creates "blockchains" - and lures money from people via the "Cryptocurrencies".

Now, when you therefore want to claim that blockchains shall be protecting a functionality you are implementing, you need to explain in simple terms, understandable by normal human beings, how it works, and how blockchain works in this context, and how it is possible for a normal human being, WITHOUT having to have "Trust" in a 3rd party institution, to distinguish a fake from a genuine blockchain entry.

If you are not able to do this, in the context in which you intend to use blockchain, then you will also not be able to maintain any kind of ledger of any kind, as fraudsters will enter into YOUR area of use, too, and dilute the value of your "security" to oblivion.

I write this to you as having 35+ years in industrial, financial, managerial, technological crunch fields of almost any sorts.

Please feel welcome to prove me wrong, but, keep in mind that you cannot "technologize" yourself out of this. Blockchain is - technologically - working, and working perfectly, technology wise. But I have in these most recent years where blockchain has tried to take off, not seen even one solution to the conundrum of problems marring the blockchain - namely that the normal mortal human beings cannot distinguish fake from true, rendering the solution useless.

Just the same which happened to the PPK solutions (sorry: Private Public Key). THESE systems are ALSO depending on a 3rd party - ie. VeriSign - in the same way as the Blockchain depends on a host of servers working together building these interlocked ZIPPER-like ledgers, one statement on top of the next.

The PPK-systems NEVER really took off. Even systems such as "DocuSign" and their similars, are only miniscule shadows of what they could have been, provided that the vast majority of the public, including managers, advocates (!), accountants (!) as the most important users, would be able to again distinguish with 100% certainty (not 99.99%) if a signature is genuine and done by the one purporting to be the signatory.

So, please if you can, spend some considerable time, explaining in normal human terminology - but without simplifying it out of correctness - how blockchains works in YOUR constellation, and how the normal human being can distinguish the fake from the genuine.

Sincerely
David / Thomas
Rational Intuitive IVS
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator 

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear David, thank you for the insightful information and knowledge sharing, as someone who has excellent knowledge on technological innovations, financial solutions you are better placed in terms of understanding the blockchain technology. With regards to deployment of blockchain in our project, as I have explained earlier, the project would put the ecosystem standard coins under blockchain, it would enable avoidance of double counting and transparent monitoring as to when and where the ecosystem standard coins originated from and for which time period.

I thank you for raising the concern with regards to blockchain scams, in our project we are not working on developing cryptocurrencies, but we are putting the ecosystem service standard coins that are generated from the project onto the blockchain for transparent and efficient monitoring purposes. In any system there are always some bad apples that creep in, and we still await a system that can overcome them, till that time we work with the existing systems that are available, and the pursuit to achieve perfection is a never ending exercise and all of us are working towards the same.

With regards to explaining the blockchain, we have already explained what we intend to do in our project and how it works. The existing Designated Operational Entities validate and verify projects and submit their reports to either CDM or VCS for registering the projects. The 3rd party institutions would exist in this case also and they are the ones who are going to verify and validate our project and deliver the ecosystem standard coins and this would be put under blockchain for ease of transactions and transparency which were hitherto being under the control of registry systems.

With the kind of knowledge and experience that you posses we would look forward to seek your expert advice as we progress in implementing the project. Once again, I thank you for your valuable feedback and look forward to your continued guidance and support in implementing our project.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Sai,

I appreciate your good response, however, I am still missing the link between blockchain and how you want to achieve your goals.

It is my general take, that everybody reads a little bit about blockchain, and then they make it the new God, without laying the bricks or slabs or tarmac'ing the road between "Blockchain" and their project. This is not a new phenomenon. We see it everywhere - when we give a child a hammer, everything become nails.

I am saying this to you on a very kind and humbly requesting note, because, I cannot see the practical part of it. The implementation. How it is going to become actioned.

Blockchain has a so called immutable ledger. The ledger is copied world wide in tens hundreds or thousands of copies, and due to a mechanism, which must be tailored to fit the purpose (this is the first explanation I am missing from you), this immutable ledger will now serve the purpose.

I am missing from you that you explain - as requested - from Adam and Eve - how you will practically, hands on, use the blockchain technology in the way you are talking about, such that people can understand it.

As you recall, the ballpen was adopted by the world, long time after John Sawyer (was it him?) invented it - only because of that a marketer got this brilliant idea to state (which was a fact...) that the pen can write under water. Today, in 2018, it may be one of the most wide spread tools for handwriting - yet, I cannot say with accuracy, but I guess that less than 0.001% (and I don't think it is exaggerated), EVER use it for writing under water.

And who knows - due to the implementation of washable ink in those pens - maybe they cannot even write under water, anymore :-) ...

My point is still the same with the two examples on each side - the one, that people tend to glorify new inventions without really getting down to actioning how it shall be implemented - Crypto-currency and Blockchain has become the new black - mostly (unfortunately) due to the almost fraudulent abuse of peoples trust to make them "invest" in - and for the majority part (to a calculus integration of the area under the exchange rate of Bitcoin) - lose more than half of their "investments", and the other - that Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain may indeed be the new black - but we are all of us missing someone who can exactly explain how it writes under water.

Therefore, in order to avoid mixing in your good project with the fallacies of crypto-currencies and blockchain, I would like you to explain in elaborate terms how your system benefits from Blockchain in such a way, so that it is an enabler, and such that we can all of us understand it.

I appreciate, very much indeed, your big trust in me - but I must say that my biggest force is to understand things from an action perspective, from hands on - from the "What it really is" point of view. So I am neither a Guru or a Wizard or even anything like it, on Blockchain.

Little do I know, though - and that is that the entire world embraced one of the earlier creations (which is a building block of blockchain) - namely the Public Private Key encryption system - and it went world wide as the thing which could now sign documents, contracts, remotely. It was the lock-and-key for guaranteeing transactions. The Blockchain was - with another name - already then being presented as "ZIpper-algorithms" - namely self-locking ledgers, where you could not modify the history, while you could alter the history by creating later ledger-entries reversing the previous entries.

ALL THIS EXISTED even before Y2K. But implementation failed, not due to lack of technology, but due to that we want to see the person we deal with. Shake his or her hand, have dinner together, socialize, get to know one another - and neither PPK nor Blockchains will take care of this.

I also have a strong fear, which is solidly anchored in that I happen to have worked as a cryptographer for some decade or so, having the Shinpi algorithm and other proprietary algorithms behind me.

The PPK system based on primes was categorized as an NP-complete problem to crunch. Until NSA suddenly towards the end of 1999 published AES, DES-3 and loads of other algorithms, and without explanation, the keylength exploded from 128 bits (which was considered long) up to 1024 and even 2048 bits of length.

Shortly after, my good friend Manindra Agrawal and two of his students, in IIT (India) published a 12 page proof of an algorithm which by help of numerical methods cracked primes in polynomial time. The error was that prime-cracking was part of some non-completed axiomatic assumptions within mathematics.

Right now, one of the "strongest" PPK encryption algorithms is based on elliptic curves. Blockchain is based on PPK, and I fear - with reason - the day when the millions of CPU-hours needed to crack the blockchain is replaced by a new Manindra's algorithm crushing it in 2.7 seconds.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear David, we thank you for your continued support and guidance for the work that proposed. With regards to implementation and linking of blockchain technology, we will collaborate with the existing work that is being initiated as part of this collaboration (https://inc42.com/buzz/andhra-pradesh-govt-mou-consensys-blockchain/) we will add our standard on that platform once we have done our ground ecosystem assessment that will take 36 months as we have to work with different communities and quantify the baseline data of the project landscapes. Our system is a closed loop system targeting companies within the state in a radius of 500 kms from the project area, so we are not linked to external systems outside AP. For the technical integration and putting the standard coins on the blockchain we would work with blockchain experts, you may contribute or follow the implementation as and when we progress to that phase of the project implementation.

You seem to have vast knowledge on different technologies like blockchain, and as I have requested earlier also we would seek your collaboration as and when we move ahead to the practical implementation of the blockchain platform in the project. The key thrust area in our project is restoration of the ecosystems and blockchain is the supporting technology that is used to put the same ecosystem coins onto a ledger that can be referred to publicly as indicated by you.

As my colleague and I have explained earlier in the comments section I would recommend you to read up on the same as the project linkage with blockchain is explained in detail.

I once again thank you for sharing knowledge using different analogies, I wish you all the best with your solar concentrator project, as I find it very interesting when you link it to Artificial intelligence, I look forward to follow your project and see its implementation to benefit the communities and address climate change.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Sai Nellore,

Thanks for the link, I will go into it and understand how you intend to do it with this Blockchain system. It sounds to me, as if you can avoid the COIN part of it, and that you can use the Blockchain system in its sole proprietary form that is without the anonymize part. This can save you hundreds of thousands of USD (or more!) as generating these so highly praised (and so deviously abused) Cryptocurrencies is a very suspicious technology, while Blockchain used in the proprietary scheme, where you actually KNOW who is issuing what and KNOW who is using what, and where it is public and not anonymous - that is - as I have understood it - inexpensive, and transparent.

One of the strong vulnerabilities of the blockchain system, though, is the heavy dependency of highly sophisticated computing and the strong and unfortunately absolutely necessary network connectivity to many ledgers, to ensure the "unbreakable" part of your system.

As I understand that you are primarily working on restoration of ecosystems, which I find is a highly important task, could you maybe elaborate a bit more in depth about why you find that Blockchain is kind of a must for your implementation?

Maybe you could explain a bit why it is you see the blockchain system as an enabler? I would not mind getting in to a dialogue with you and your team on this, and maybe see if anything else could work just as well, or even better in terms of solving the problem which you see Blockchain and "standard coins" solving.

My big reservations are mostly due to the impossible, currently in separating the "Good" from the Bad and Ugly within the cryptocurrencies. There are, as we have this dialogue more than 10 known Ponzi-scheme-look-alikes based on Blockchain, which is no wonder, because they can hide behind the technology becuase nobody have so far been able to explain to normal laymen, how to distinguish between the good and the bad.

It is just like the Public Private Key systems implemented when asymmetric encryption came out - the world realized, that they unfortunately - and contrary to the similar promises which were made with Blockchain - needed a vetting third party, now opening up for questionnable conglomerate solutions such as Verisign, Docusign and similar.

Fact is, that PPK contained all what is necessary for the process to work - and SO DOES BLOCKCHAIN - but nobody without a high degree masters or even PhD in advanced mathematics with specializing in encryption, can understand it and distinguish which one is genuine and which one is not.

Therefore, as it was with PPK (and still is with PPK...) it is going the same direction with Blockchain - we are right now seeing several schemes within the Blockchain trying to take the world market - Bitcoin just being one of them - and it is done the same way as we have seen it done with any other BRAND: Marketing, marketing, marketing. Use of the 4P's, 8P's ridiculing others, etc. etc. - and little this now helps - because this is hollowing out the original argument for blockchain - and for PPK - that it is a technically self-contained system. This is true - but - people cannot find out.

Therefore, Nellore, I am worried when people at this stage want to create otherwise very well working and good hearted solutions within any sector, and then linking it with these extreme technologies which in one end is next to Gods Kingdom to come, and in the other end is linked to Russian Mafia, Bulgarian Casinos, and Icelandic coin miners who spend so much energy (electricity on computer power), so that they are a burden to their countries energy-ecosystems. All of it in greedy pursuit of cryptocurrencies.

I hope you understand that I have a pretty neutral standpoint - which simply is, that I would like to know how the good ecosystem building is depending on Blockchain Standard Coins as the holy grail securing the ecosystem being successful on the business side, in ways which cannot be achieved by other, well working, well tested means.

It has been said by many, that Blockchain systems removes the need for trust due to the immutable nature of the plethora of massively distributed ledgers. Well - technically that is 100% true - but fact is, that we already as we have this dialogue have numerous court cases with fraud committed by Blockchain/Cryptocurrency - and until it has become clear that Blockchain is indeed standing on its own, and represents a value of stable currency, then I hope you will allow me to compare it with the otherwise similarly well working PPK systems - which also were praised as self-contained - and proven to be strongly - if not unbreakably - linked to a 3rd party verification.

IF BLOCKCHAIN cannot be detached from a 3rd party verification, then it is no better than the 20+ year old Zipper algorithm which was based on PPK, 3rd party verification, and in effect did the same as Blockchain - just without the Bruhaha :-)

/David Svarrer

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for all your amazing feedback David which we really appreciate. From you valuable inputs and detail questions we understand the depth of your knowledge and experience in using appropriate low cost technologies that benefit the common man.

We will incorporate your technical inputs as we process in this Bridgebuilder Challenge but we would be delighted if you can come over to India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and work with us supporting our small hold farmers by integrating you own technologies into our small scale ecosystem restoration projects that we have been working on for the last 20 years.

As far as this project idea is concerned the Ecosystem Service Market Place and Ecosystem Service Coin (Eco Coin) are designed for a single objective - to incentivise the restoration and conservation of the earth’s fragile ecosystems. There has been increasing scientific effort supporting the notion that ecosystems generate far more services of economic benefit than simply the derivative goods and services traded in markets. For example the coastal protection services of mangrove ecosystems and the water supply and purification services of upland forest ecosystems. However because of the excludability and rivalry characteristics of these wider, less familiar & less tangible, ecosystem services, assigning property rights has, thus far, been problematic.

The Ecosystem Service Market Place and Ecosystem Service Coin ("Eco-Coin") tackles this issue, head on, by entering into (for example) a 50 year ecosystem service lease with the landowners who control the provision of all ecosystem services. With the lease in place and the ecosystem services assessed and evaluated the following is achieved:

(1) The land now has an ancillary economic value based on the current state of ecosystem services and their likely provision over the next 50 years;

(2) A land management plan to augment the provision of ecosystem services has been devised;

(3) Spatially explicit ecosystem service coins (denoting the discounted value of one hectare over 50 years) has been minted (based on current state of the land).

Therefore the land owner has leased the services to the ESMP and the ESMP has subsequently assetized these services as Eco Coins. Current supply is determined and fixed. Total supply is also fixed given land constraints. The demand side of the proposed market stems from firms wishing to offset the natural capital damages of their past operations (in similar fashion to the voluntary carbon markets).

To offset, the firm approaches the ESMP to assess and evaluate the damages resulting from annual operations (behind carbon). With damage quantified in economic cost terms the firm purchases the equivalent value in ES Coins from ESMP. The received funds (in LCU) by ESMP are then distributed to the landowner and to resources necessary for implementation of the land management plan.

However this offset purchase equates to the discounted value of the services over the next 50 years, rather than ‘evaporating’ at the end of the accounting year, as is the case in the carbon offset market. With the voluntary carbon market there’s little value beyond the marketing of neutrality. Therefore these eco-coins can now be seen as assets.

Our understanding of the global economy in tandem with population dynamics suggests the value of the eco-coins will appreciate in value. It is this appreciation in value that offers the incentive to restore and conserve fragile ecosystems. Blockchain technology (for all the well documented benefits) appears to suit this ESMP concept and the minting of an Eco-Coin.

But the technology is simply a tool and not the end point. Appreciating the secondary role of technology in this proposal is essential to the validity of the proposal. To manage possible speculation, again a number of mechanisms are available. Our focus is currently on instruments such as a Tobin Tax https://www.ft.com/content/039d3ef8-c67b-11df-8a9f-00144feab49a.

However again, this is just one example. Were are mindful of the vagaries of technologies and securitisation, but we believe financial incentives are necessary to redirect the global economy onto a more benign growth trajectory. ESMP and Eco-Coin, implemented by the right team and right partners, has potential to introduce this incentive.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley Lyngdoh,

Wow, I am touched ... (David writing this time)... Thanks for your elaboration on the Blockchain usage. I understand your intended use, and as said it appears as if you can avoid the anonymous version of the Cryptocurrency - this would mean, that you cannot trade the currency freely. Have I understood this correctly? Because if you can, then I think you could have a strong case on the use of the Cryptocurrency (the closed circuit one). If you close this circuit, you would ALSO benefit from that you would not have these speculations on the currency.

Then you wrote:
"but we would be delighted if you can come over to India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and work with us supporting our small hold farmers by integrating you own technologies into our small scale ecosystem restoration projects that we have been working on for the last 20 years."

I would like to give you another offer, which is both a challenge to ourselves and to you: As you may have read - we intend to give away the production for free. This is indeed not a joke. Depending on the development of the necessary instruments to ensure that the quality is maintained impeccable (this is not rocket science - it solely and only has to do with the discipline of instilling the necessary integrity in the production processes such that the consumers receive the state-of-the-art quality available - from the local production whom we give the product drawings to.

So. I would like that we try out our "give it away" philosophy and if you are willing to do so with us, then we can work on that you find local production in the mentioned countries, we do what ever we can to establish successful production - with you having the local contact.

If we start travelling around the world with this, we would have to establish a sizeable organisation, we would have to seek lots of visas, and within one year we would only be able to visit maybe 40 or 50 countries (as the remaining time would be spent locally in each country).

So, our litmus test would be if we can establish a totally online concept, where we provide all knowledge online - from 3D drawings, to prototypes sent via normal mail (or DHL) for samples - to speed up the ease of setting up production - to CNC milling programs for milling moulds for plastic injection moulding.

We know that you are very busy too - as we all are - so we also know this would be a lot to ask for. However - if our solar concentrator is of use for you - or some of the concepts - indeed we would be delighted and honoured to work with your organisation as one of the first ones outside of EU and Africa.

The end-user - that is - the consumer - will be paying a one-time setup-fee and a non-mandatory annual fee of USD 5 for subscribing to software updates for the solar concentrator.

Beware too, that we are working together with quite some partners within other areas, such as water, power, electricity, sterilization, plastic recycling - and we are in conversations with them, to do 3 things:

1) We create integration interfaces such that making these working together is like components / plug-n-play
2) We work together to co-market / co-sell / co-deliver / co-maintain in order for all of us to get faster to the goal.
3) We do this in a non-exclusive manner. No exclusivity - so anyone of us can join others too, use the co-created interfaces to interface with parties outside - not to compete, but to enable diversity and development.

We are solely working with other industries who are positive towards getting Earth restored to a pre-industrial level in terms of environment / climate change / pollution, while, naturally, we want good and positive, life-supporting development to continue... (We are not going back to stone-age, ha ha ha)...

If you feel that this is also within your scope, then we welcome getting into further dialogue with the firm aim of seeing how we can bring solar power via you to Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka - and other places you propose.

What are your thoughts?

Greetings from Thomas, he is busy in Denmark and only joining in on the side line today.

Pls. give me some time to go through the link in regards to the blockchain. I will do my very best to understand your concept and give you my best...

"Nice Nite"

Sincerely
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator
Rational Intuitive IVS (Denmark, Kenya)
David Svarrer (CC: Thomas)

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Nellore,

A link available on the page you provided a link to, which could maybe be useful for people reading about your project is the following:
https://inc42.com/buzz/fintech-valley-vizag-blockchain/

This just for information :-)

I have read the page you provided and the above link too, and - it does not say much about how the Fintech Valley Vizag will overcome these initial and seriously damaging hurdles for blockchain technologies (being the fraud prevention, (hereunder impersonation etc.)), so my cautiousness remains :-)...

I thank Bremley for a much more elaborate explanation of the linkage of the coins to acreage, which is an interesting approach. I will read this part again to understand it well, and also to try to understand where it is, the blockchain in your project has this particular, crucial, enabling property.

Thanks a lot, and looking forward to hearing from you about our response to your invitation to come to India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka etc.

Sincerely
David Svarrer (cc: Thomas Høyer)
Rational Intuitive IVS (Denmark / Kenya)
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator 

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hi David, Bremley,
We, team-members of Open Project Teams LLP, are from architecture, technology (non-Fintech) & operations backgrounds - naive on blockchain technology. In our idea & prototype development, we are incorporating necessary user-interactions to split conventional large B2B construction contracts into alternative B2C & P2P construction trade-wise micro-contracts.

There's lot of feedback 'encouraging' us to record the interactions and agreements therein within distributed ledger systems and present it as blockchain powered contracts. We're not sure whether it'll help & what do we do. Does it make reasonable sense to do it or is it a case of, as David puts it, the hammer in child's hand and we will end up as nails on this route? If it's the former scenario, how will it help the goal and can you please enlighten what steps are applicable to execute?

Our idea is here Open Project Teams - Breaking oligopolies, growing formal employment & avoiding middlemen in Construction sector for planet and prosperity! for your reference. Will really really appreciate your expert inputs.

All the very best to Nexus 7, Route2, VCCSL & VIKASA teams
Thanks
Saahil
@DeletedUser 

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Saahil for sharing your project idea with us and for raising some very important questions which we really appreciate. I really like your mission to uplift the migrant labor and local workshops in different India cities that showcase different & innovative products to meet architects & interior designers project needs. It would be great if you can cut out the middleman and directly mobilize architects, interior designers & clients to post construction projects on your platform. I hope that through our app these workers get to showcase their skill, experience, project history & testimonials to appeal to Project Managers making project team selections. This can change the construction industry in India for good.

Since you are talking about smart contracts you should take a look at what Volkswagen is doing to develops products based on IOTA and Ethereum Smart Contracts that are used by the German car maker as an example. More on https://medium.com/@VidrihMarko/cebit-volkswagen-develops-products-based-on-iota-and-ethereum-technology-14b6a0cc0c06

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hi Bremley
Thanks firstly for your kind appreciation of our work. Suggestions & critical feedback from any related experience in the industry are most welcome.

Thanks also for your prompt inputs, will explore in depth and see if it addresses the questions we have here.

Cheers,
Saahil

Photo of Willoughby Eunice
Team

Thanks for the link share.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Saahil, a innovative project that addresses a critical gap in the infrastructure sector. The idea of engaging directly with the migrant labour would offer a win-win situation for the sector. With regards to integration of smart contracts, it would be of interest if you can explore this option as it would bring in transparency into your operations, you may undertake a pilot operation of DLT, based on the feedback and operational issues that are observed the same may be scaled up into other areas depending upon issues of integration onto your existing platform. Would look forward to your project being developed and implemented to benefit the different stakeholders. Best regards, Sai

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hi Sai
Thanks firstly for your kind appreciation of our work. Critical feedback, suggestions & connections from related experience in the industry are most welcome.

Also appreciate the valuable advice. We will include these suggested steps in our evolution. We are looking for expert third-party to design & execute the pilot project with our in-house team to build long term internal capability on smart contracts.

Thanks
Saahil

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

You are most welcome Willoughby Eunice and I also like the link that Gayanjith Premalal had shared about the innovative tree planting platform used in Sri Lanka http://thuru.lk a beautiful country where we have been working since 1998. I would also add that both Sai Nellore and myself believe that Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) to farmers for long maintenance is vital for the success of the project to make sure that all the tree species planted to restore a damaged ecosystem have a high survival rate level to restore the balance on the land following the Natural Capital Protocol for a period of 50 years.

In our project in Myanmar we are using drones to map and plant trees but also for post planting monitoring and evaluation. Each seed pod fired from the tree planting drone every second has a GPS tracking system so we can monitor the growth of the seedling over time on our high resolution 3 D digital maps. These 3D maps are also vita for the small hold farmers to make their own forestry management plans where they can see their plots of land with real time data.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

Deep research over 20 years have demonstrated that if you pay someone for doing something, then they stop doing it if the payment stops.

How do you see a possibility of making the communities / land owners do the treeplanting without a payment?

I have seen other good projects like yours, where they describe it such that an environment offender can buy quotas via blockchain systems, and thereby compensate.

We know, though, that this does not solve the problems with the environment, neither does the CO2 quotas work to reduce CO2 emissions. The ongoing serious corruption with those methods and systems, are not solved via the said blockchain systems, because the blockchain ledgers only record what humans or systems put into it. So, if corrupt data are fed into the blockchain, corrupt data are also stored there.

We are concerned with implementation of 3-partite systems, where one party receives payment from another party, to serve a 3rd party's interest. Corruption thrives immensely in 3-partite systems.

The world has, internationally, good experience with 2-partite systems, where a party directly receives rewards from someone gaining from what the party produces.

Your project in Myanmar, is most commendable. Does it successfully implement blockchain systems to make it work, or how do you manage the planting?

On the GPS tracking of the seedlings - how do you harvest the data? We are planning in our Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator to monitor more than 20 million solar concentrators being setup over the next 2 years - where parts of this is GPS coordinates. Now, we need quite some power to power up the GPS. So, we would be interested in talking with your project about how we could use your GPS technology for each seedling, and compare it with how we do it.

(We do our monitoring, now, by use of an Arduino UNO R3, and a GPS sensor connected to it via the I2C bus - it is indeed nothing advanced - but it works. This construction need a 3400 mAh battery at 3.3 Volt, plus a 16 x 8 centimeter solar panel, and then a SIM-card / GSM phone module - we guess that your seedling planting system is utilizing another method?)

Sincerely
Rational Intuitive IVS
David Svarrer / Thomas Høyer

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Dear David,

From my own humble field based experience and deep learning which I gained from working with small hold organic framers in many countries for the last 30 years, I have found out that they are smarter and have deep indigenous knowledge in the way they farm and maintain their lands for generations. However, they have been ripped off by big western agri businesses and large scale commercial farms that promote chemicals and pesticides to poison their lands and make billion of dollars in return. Sadly these small hold farmers cannot compete with the big agri boys and have become marginalized farmers living on survival mode from hand to mouth. So how can people living thousands of miles away in the western countries in their comfort zones tell these poor farmers to work for free and plant trees for free and I feel it is not fair. These western companies who have destroyed these farmer's old way of life and simple living must pay them for compensation and for damage done on their farmlands and ecosystems so the get back on track and escape the vicious poverty trap. Too many so called aid based developed projects have failed for the last 50 years and nobody cares to sit down and listen to the real needs and challenges of these small hold farmer that we support in many countries. You cannot throw them the fish from the west and leave them high and dry once the project ends. We however, teach them how to fish while living with them and working with them in the field to really win their trust and support for a lifetime.

With regards to Myanmar our technology works in two phases. First we use fixed wing mapping drones that we fly 100m above the ground and take highly detailed images of the land (3-5cm resolution). This image data is then crunched using machine learning algorithms, and creates a planting pattern to pinpoint the best places to plant and the best species to plant in each location. In phase two, the mapping information is uploaded into a multirotor planting drone, that flies at 2m above the ground, and plants its seedpods at the locations specified by the map. This approach greatly improves survival rates, while designing multiple mangrove species planting patterns to protect and expand biodiversity while rebuilding ecosystems. It is crucial to speed up the mangroves restoration project as it is such a slow and human intensive process implementing the project in the remote areas of Myanmar. The technology allows our local teams to plant forests 10 times faster and at least 50% cheaper, so they can save time and resources and focus on community building and forest stewardship.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

(This is David Svarrer - Thomas is on late duty tonight, but we largely share views!)

I am more and more impressed with your project(s). I appreciate your invitation of us to visit you sometime in September 2018. What would be the financial implication of this, on our side and on your side?

We would love to go and visit your locations and would love to be taken on a tour too.

I like what you write on your work with small organic farmers. I know too much about the problems faced by the smallhold farmers and the big "Agribusinesses". It is my general take that money or hunger for money has replace decency, integrity and ethics. The outcome is terrible, and I would not shy away to come with a qualified guess that it could be likely that a larger part of the cancer diseases which pops up in these years, could have - just could - have a root in the pollution of the farms, environments with pesticides and artificial fertilizers. One of the projects here on the current OpenIDEO round deals exactly with a natural way of producing fertilizer, over some 18 days - it is an Indian technology - let me find the link...: This is the one: http://billionsinchange.in/en/solutions/agriculture/ - I got the link from another participant. They are doing something they call: Shivansh Fertilizer - all shown on this link here above. On the internet these days there are many stories and not even nearly 50% are true stories. So we need to be careful. But this Shivansh Fertilizer appeared genuine and we are going to try it in Denmark and Kenya, because - well - we are in Solar Energy - but the basic cause of all of our actions are pretty simple: We want to do everything we simply can do get Earth back on tracks again. We have the impression of your project that you are heading in the same direction. You are writing something which I would propose that you give up: "These western companies who have destroyed these farmer's old way of life and simple living must pay them for compensation and for damage done on their farmlands and ecosystems so the get back on track and escape the vicious poverty trap"
I propose that project wise, business wise, and in any way: Give up that part. I propose that the focus shall be, solely and only - to help the farmers to gain their fields back and working, and that they are getting help to farm much better and in ways which will follow the Shivansh principle - or anything similar or better :-)...I have a personal experience in life, which I have followed with increasing success over more than 20 years: If someone shows up not having integrity, doing bad things to other life forms, showing dishonesty, disrespect, lack of ethics - (the list can be boringly continued) - then I simply tell these good people that the collaboration has stopped here and then - and I then forget about them. It has made me have more and more beautiful collaborations - better and better business, and indeed more time and energy to concentrate on what is important. Well, I share your emotions in regards to the extortion which is taking place via established systems, of the poor. We have had plenty of corporates (Monsanto is one, Cheminova another and it continues), who have abused the publicly vetted trust in them, and in return have produced nothing more than harmful / toxic chemicals and distributed them in the name of "fertilizers" or "pesticides" or "herbicides" etc. - And it is my honest, plain take, that lots of the problems on Earth are due to this problem. IN Denmark, where I originate from, 20 years ago, we have now, in 2018, so many boreholes for water which are contaminated with pesticides originating since 1960's, so that it is becoming a serious issue for the ability to source clean water for the taps.Now, how will you make these perpetrators pay a single coin to anyone? Some may be coerced, others are corruptibly connected and untouchable. It is our take in Rational Intuitive, that we cannot win the fight against corruptible organisations by fighting them. We would be fighting THEIR fight, an we would likely lose. We have taken the perspective that we will not fight, at all. We will spread our wings in collaboration with people such that you and your great team, the guys who make the Instapower, the guys who make the Majik Water, and so on. We will - together - create solutions which cannot be stopped. Due to the networked way we do this, we are way below any radar. These good huge corporates would not even know who we are. ONE of the KEY points in our production being totally distributed, globally, with no link to us, is that as we are solely and only producing something of net value to the people here on Earth, and since we are not in any way a single organisation - we cannot be stopped. It means that whether we exist or not, Solar Energy will now spread, for the good of all sorts of use. I hope it makes sense, while it profit-wise appears as madness :-).. We would all win ! / David

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

We have read through all your documentation in your blockchain technology. I raised a question in how you on a hands on note will engage normal human beings in this.

We have not seen a response to this. You good guys have really, made an effort, but despite that we understand blockchain technology, understand cryptocurrency, we have not seen your explanation of, how a normal Mr. NIELSEN or Mrs. GUPTA or mr. SAHANI would be engaging with your otherwise very well described ecosystem via blockchain?

The thing we do not understand is how the ecosystem gains in ways not workable in any of the normal, already existing, easy to understand, online payment systems, from the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

If you pay carefully attention to what is happening, major players in the market and entire countries, are retracting from cryptocurrencies, due to the many unresolved problems with it.

So, we would like you to explain, but in easy practical, hands on, low technology terms, how your system works, such that I would be able to involve others, and such that I can see how it would scale,

We are ready to jump right on your bandwagon, when we can understand it.

Maybe give a normal, day to day example of how one trades, what exchange hands kn the process?

Or give an example of a full account of a full transaction, with all the entries in the blockchain ledger.

Another of the projects for instance had their green cryptocurrency gain speculative value as they allocated resources as the collateral behind their cryptocurrency.

We are very eager to hear from you..

Warm regards
David / Thomas
Rational Intuitive IVS
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Dear David we really appreciate the time you have taken to read through all the documents that our teams have loaded on this OpenIDEO platform but there is more going on in the field right now so I think you should come see our work in the field with you own eyes and use you bare hands and plant some trees with our farmers to really feel the energy bottom up.

I will now answer your question in very simple layman's language for the benefit of everyone else on this platform are more focused of action on the ground rather than complex tech talk.

So as far as simplified transaction goes:

(1): An Indian company operating in Andhra Pradesh within a 500 miles radius from our projects sites desires to offset its natural capital damage (e.g. the water, air, soil pollution resulting from its annual operations). In the same way the voluntary carbon market works today;

(2): The polluting company enters the ecosystem service market place and buys a token equal to the value of its total annual natural damages from a seller;

(3): The seller uses the received funds to restore the originating ecosystem - i.e. the ecosystem from which the token was originated;

(4): As the source ecosystem’s restoration plan is implemented, the quantity and quality of services derived increases and therefore the value of these ecosystem services and the associated token appreciate in value;

(5) The appreciation in value is further bolstered by increasing demands on a fixed supply as the market place gains traction;

(6) Therefore the polluting company now has an asset appreciating in value;

(7) The landowner is now realising value by conserving the land and sustaining local livelihoods.

These are the key steps and the once established the market place will function in a similar manner to all marketplaces. We feel blockchain and the associated issue of a cryptocurrency is a useful tool to underpin such a market place. But let me be clear again that the technology is just a tool. We are not wedded to specific tools, just the right set of tools to achieve our desired goals. We can adapt and change the tools we use to match and address the ground realities and conditions of every village and ecosystem that we work with.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley Lyngdoh 

Thanks for the invitation, and as I contribute to tree planting with our solar concentrator, we would be ready to meet with you in the field when we have the first production up and running, and thereby have ensured that we can interface with our partners identified so far.You wrote to us on another note a few days ago, and we are still chewing on your response, as it appeared to us that there would be some kind of speculation in our blockchain supported coin. What would happen, if the blockchain supported crypto currency which you are putting in as a guarantee for the entire exchange etc., suddenly reduces its value to 1/3 or less, as we have seen with so so many crypto currencies? Will it then not be the poor who are suffering? We are still to understand your good response, and we hope to be able to respond in the course of today, as the review phase closes today.In regards to visiting your project, we have no doubt about your great results. We are solely and only concerned with the crypto currency thing, as large numbers of less advantageous people have lost their life savings on BitCoin, and I find it bordering crime to abuse less educated people's small, hard earned savings to feed technocrats already well filled pockets.

So the reason I am so keen to understand your system is the simple one that EITHER it is indeed genious with the use of Cryptocurrency, due to that you establish a surety behind it which is as solid as a bond used to be - or - it would be necessary to have your project continue without this cryptocurrency option due to the still unclear circumstances under which cryptocurrencies are working.

Sincerely
David Svarrer

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Hi David:

Can you come visit us at our project this in last week of September 2018 after the monsoon season is over? That way we can give you a grand tour of all our project sites and you can also see the potential of deploying your solar concentrator technology in the remote villages that we are working in.

Now to answer you question again. The initial recipients of the coin are the polluting companies based in Andhra Pradesh.

These polluting companies will receive these coins in exchange for their payment of ecosystem services to offset their total natural capital damages.

These polluting companies pay the owner of these ecosystem services with fiat money (e.g. INR). Therefore the land owner and those “less advantageous, less educated” folks receive fiat money (e.g. INR)

Our initiative will financially reward those "less advantageous, less educated” for their provision of ecosystem services that provide a public good.

We are doing something that will put money in the pockets of the "less advantageous, less educated”.

Of course when the market is fully established in 5 to 10 years time then anyone can buy or sell these coins but not in the initial states when we are testing in a close loop system.

Photo of Willoughby Eunice
Team

Hi. Read an input from the Green Stand team and they also are tackling pollution using a different ideology and there could be a connection regarding blockchains and cryptocurrencies with yours. Ezra Jay is a part of the team.

I have commented on their project too mentioning Bremley Lyngdoh and Sai Nellore.

Eco-coin....very interesting.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Willoughby, thanks for the info, we have already reached out to Ezra and his work is very interesting, as discussed in the earlier comments below. We as individual project developers are working on different methodologies and approaches to solve a similar problem that is witnessed across various geographies. As Bremley has highlighted, we can explore opportunities where we can share our concepts and take the best practices that have worked or can work into our projects. With this approach we can address the challenges of individual projects and deliver the desired outcomes for each of the projects that we are working on. It would be great if we can meet up during the Caux dialogue where we can exchange views and explore options for collaboration.

Photo of Willoughby Eunice
Team

Thanks for the invite to Caux 2018. Going through the idea got me amazed. This can be of great benefit to environmental sustainability as it creates a means of value exchange. I will like to know if means for a clean up for created waste has been put in place and what other control measures.
Secondly, from business perspective,how do you intend to monitor influx of investors and put a standard on the accumulation of blockchains because there may be artificial scarcity that will be created thus giving rise to Dons and Barons which the end users will be cut off.
Another issue I will like to contribute to is in terms of land restoration through organic mountain ridging and farming as you have made mention that the topography is high(putting into consideration hydrology pattern and soil type). A study is ongoing here on planting of a type of tree resistant to chemicals emitted from a close by tobacco factory.This can also be of good support in your project as elements and chemicals emitted from mines are mostly similar to that of tobacco factory.This on going project will be concluded in months time.
I am advocate of recycling processes and this project of your organization will be of benefit not only to environmentalists but to farmers, business analysts, agriculturists and to the layman as the money system is gradually being shifted from paper to cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Willoughby Eunice thank you for your feedback, the project works on closed loop system where we will add our ecosystem standard coins onto an existing platform that is working on putting the land records under blockchain in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Our project would take 36 months for baseline assessment and development of the ecosystem assessment tool as we have to work with different communities and quantify the baseline data of the project landscapes. Our system would focus on companies within the state in a radius of 500 kms from the project area, so we are not linked to external systems outside AP. Would be of interest to hear from you on the developments with regards to your study on different species that can be planted based on the soil and other geographical conditions. Would be of interest to explore opportunities for collaboration during Caux dialogue.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thanks a lot Willoughby Eunice for your valuable inputs which we really appreciate. I hope you can also contribute to the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security. Now to add on to what my colleague Sai Nellore  has mentioned on the aspect of corporate engagement, I want to bring to your kind attention that companies making more the $10 million a year have to spend 2% of profits in their communities as mandated under CSR Law for Companies Act 2013 in India. However, at this point of time the corporate are not deriving much value except of course goodwill or branding in terms of supporting social responsibility initiatives. In this context, supporting projects like this would offer them the dual benefit of getting the recognition of engaging in social responsibility activities, in addition to offsetting their emissions. It's a business case for them to engage in projects of this nature, the Government of India as part of its INDC has committed to reduce its energy intensity between 33-35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels; and to create additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. To achieve this targets, the private sector has to step in and take measures within their business processes. Hence, engaging in this type of projects would be a necessary activity for the businesses that are operating in India.

Corporate are interested to support projects that are restoring ecosystems, the critical issue being the achievement of the desired benefits from the investments made by the corporate in this sector. Most of the projects till now are focussed on plantation activities alone with the focus being on number of trees planted or the area of plantation that has been achieved. This approach is based on quantity rather than on the quality of restoration activities. In this project, our focus is on quality as the benefits are derived only when quality is delivered as the project focusses on ecosystem restoration that can be achieved only through continuous engagement.

Photo of Willoughby Eunice
Team

Thank you for the explanation. It's good knowing that work is being carried out to balance economy and environment.
A definite feedback will be shared regarding the tree project but will unavoidably be absent at Caux 2018 as planner is fully booked. Hopefully attend the next. Do keep in touch.

Photo of Willoughby Eunice
Team

Well,I guess this will be a win-win for everyone. From your explanation, I believe corporates will be very much involved because time is of great value and not all will be willing to wait for trees to grow and they make profits but creating another means of financial opportunities in which ROI can be high and fast,working capital continuously available will definitely get them collaborating.
I feel this should serve as an alternative means of combating pollution,global warming and climate change.

Photo of Rebecca
Team

In Looking at Strategy and Tactics to be utilized, We believe that filming the Initiative will provide a globally marketable package for educating others and sharing the Lessons learned and Methods for consideration in deploying such a Concept elsewhere. Also, We were curious as to the continuing education component to be incorporated into the Program as well as considering employing technologies that would help real-time interaction outside of the location for support and assistance. As well some of the technologies could help produce assets that could be used to create products and services that could establish commerce in the global marketplace but premised on sustainability and ecological sound protocols. Materials indigenous being leveraged into such activities.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Rebecca, thank you for your feedback and wishing you a happy environment day. We do document the project activities as you can refer to our earlier project video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRmkphCOfjw) this video has been developed post implementation of the project. A similar activity would be undertaken however as part of this project we would undertake continuous documentation of the various activities as recommended, this would be beneficial for replication in other ecosystems. We would incorporate the latest technologies, as you might be aware in Myanmar, Bremley has deployed drones for mangrove restoration activities (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBDreQtM7Ts), a similar approach would be undertaken to incorporate the latest technologies that can enable us to collate and document the learnings while implementing this project. The real-time interaction would need technological support, we will explore the opportunities to incorporate the same in the project. The indigenous knowledge and materials would be documented, and we would seek support from experts in the field to deploy the same in the global marketplace for adoption in different ecosystems.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Happy World Environment Day 2018 and thank you so much for your valuable inputs Rebecca. Both Sai and our whole team really appreciate you taking time to contribute to our project idea. I totally agree with you that filming our project from the very start will provide a globally marketable package for educating others especially young people so we would be able to share the Lessons learned and Methods for consideration in deploying our Concept elsewhere in the world.

As you know from bulky computers to swish iPads, from clunky projectors to intuitive SMART boards, technology has always gone hand in hand with education. Now, without a shadow of a doubt, 360° video and virtual reality are starting to take the technological reins in the education sector and we will be part of this technological revolution and bring our project to the world using VR. This is not only down to 360° video and VR becoming increasingly accessible, but also due to the huge number of benefits they have for teaching and learning.

There is increasing number of creators that are producing educational content, for example, check out this educational 360˚ video on the Kumbh Mela Pilgrimage in India, by Elysian Studios. These 360° videos can easily be interacted with on computers or even in affordable Google Cardboard headsets in the classroom.

Source: https://blend.media/blog/benefits-of-360-videos-virtual-reality-in-education

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Nellore,

SInce the initial video mentioned above towards Rebecca, have you stopped trying to do CO2 credits? I guess you know that CO2 credits have been widely used both in developing countries and developed countries as a welcomed way to wash some money.

I have first hand insight in how some have sold carbon credits from a 100 ha farm to several countries, thereby corrupting the system.

Furthermore, it is being discussed on serious notes (and not yet clarified if it is so..), that it is the cooling effect of the trees which is being killed when we slaughter the trees - so it is not so much the CO2 in the atmosphere, but the simple, plain, mechanical evaporation which causes balancing of the temperature here on Earth.

The discussion is supported by that the major part of the energy spectrum is being absorbed not so much by CO2, but by H2O, in an enormous equilibrium centered/balanced around the kiloJoules bound in evaporation and released in condensation.

This is naturally a discussion outside of this forum, but a very important thing to address and to experiment with, to gain empirical data.

As an example, I would like to mention another particular example, where a lady I know here in Kenya, and her husband, planted 2.5 square kilometer of land in semi-arid area, with trees. They grew them up, and this little forest has CHANGED the environment in the entire region, thereby you see this area as a green oasis ranging much further out than the 2.5 square kilometers in the middle of otherwise semi arid / semi arable land.

This is no proof - and I believe in proving before anything else. But it could be an indicator of what we shall work with and how we shall test what is going on, against the various contemporary theories.

If this is true, then CO2 is indeed still an important factor - not as green house gas - but as an "indicator gas". CO2's greenhouse effect is not in question here - it is in existence, but, one could ask how come the enormous volume of H2O - which is an even larger greenhouse gas (I am not joking here...) - and which occurs in even much larger quantities in the atmosphere - why does the H2O not compensate for the microscopic deviations in the CO2? H2O in the atmosphere changes phases within the temperature spectre within which all life on Earth exists - and during these phase-shifts, enormous amounts of energy is being exchanged for each gram of H2O.

If we discuss how trees interacts with the same water, and you discuss the effect in terms of evaporation, solidification of the H2O generated by the 3 trillion trees - this by far outperforms the extremely small increase in absorption of energy by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

This still does not mean that the discussion is over - but it means that we are not completely sure about the CO2 - whether it is an indicator, a sole component (with Methane), or a combination hereof (and in which case - in which ratio).

One thing which we CAN conclude, though, is, that the slaughtering of 3 trillion trees, indeed has an impact on the temperature balance of Earth.

We are ALSO sure about, that if we reverse the net onslaught of trees from the currently estimatedly 29.9 billion trees per year(the net figure), and provide means and incentives and supportive technologies to reverse the slaughtering to become a net growth - THAT will, no matter if the CO2 theory is true or the evaporation theory is true - cause a contribution to the balancing of the temperatures on Earth.

This fact - is the very cause behind what we do in Nexus 7, and this is why we are also very keen on supporting initiatives like yours and many of the other great products and innovations within OpenIDEO and other initiatives.

What is your take on this?

Sincerely
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator
Rational Intuitive IVS
David / Thomas

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear David, as you rightly point out these discussions are more broader in nature and it would not be relevant to discuss them on this forum. As I stated earlier, we would seek your support as and when we require the same.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Dear David and Sai since we are talking about actually CO2 sequestration and zooming down from space to the tree level, I would like to bring in Ezra Jay to our conversation who is developing GreenStand as a global platform for employment and empowerment for smallholder tree planters. Thanks for connecting us Ashley Tillman we really appreciate it.

I think GreenStand is a very interesting project and we can use this platform for our smallhold farmers in Asia once we know how data is monitored through the app. As Sai had mentioned we have a similar project in India where we have been working with the local communities and quantifying the carbon sequestration in the trees that are planted so it would be of interest for us to follow the GreenStand project in its implementation.

We are also implementing another project in Myanmar and we have planted 5 million mangrove trees since we started in 2012 at our project site in the Delta Region where Cyclone Nargis killed 150,000 people back in 2008 when it struck the area. So our target is to plant 1 billion trees in an area of 350,000 ha of degraded lands along the coastline of Myanmar and growing our green shield back to protect million of lives from the impact of climate change both storm and flood defense. It cost us $1 per tree right now but we are deploying drones map the land and plant 100,000 trees per day at $0.20 per tree and 100 times faster than humans so we can race against time to restore the forest of the tide. See https://www.mekongeye.com/2018/02/17/myanmar-experiments-with-drones-to-replant-dwindling-mangroves/

Our partners helped us to build this http://www.tree-volution.com/ platform and we thankful that we have been able to plant 1.5 million trees with at Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park using this platform. Now our target is to develop and use our own blockchain to power the first Ecosystem Services Market Place that Rewards Communities to Restore the Eastern Ghats in India before we scale up our ground operations in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Lastly I since we are all working to help smallhold farmers around the world restore their fragile ecosystems and reward them for their hard work, I would like to invited you gentlemen to the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security from 17 to 21 July 2018 so that we can meet face to face and develop strategic partnerships in Switzerland. Please see the programme on https://www.caux.ch/Caux-Dialogue-on-Land-and-Security-CDLS and let me know if you would like to lead a workshop and present your projects to the policy makers from around the world including leaders from Sub Saharan Africa.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Dear Bremley,

We were aware of the great ahievements of the Myanmar project. It is very important work you do there, and it is 100% in line with what we intend to do, just with the difference that we in Nexus 7 are bent on ensuring that we can produce energy for the needs which currently makes them cut down trees, for the poorest in a culturally fitting way, such that we thereby stop the onslaught.

We will be very proud to work with your project too, and we would be very open to listening to you in regards to if our approach fits with the East Asian cultural ways of heating for shower and heating for cooking, such that we for sure can do our part of creating a workable, practically implementable barrier against unnecessary tree cutting.

I am today meeting up with the CEO of the Majik Water project in Nairobi, Ms. Kioko, a project which we see as a very interesting opportunity, not only for human water, but as a prospect project to be explored for planting trees via drip watering. This could, if all parameters are right, be a stepstone for reversing even semi arid and arid areas to arable, forestable land.

Thank you for your invitation to Caux Dialogue, which we very much appreciate. I am flying to Denmark in a weeks time, where we will meet in our Danish team and we will discuss this kind gesture of yours and remit back to you.

I must admit that your project is admirable, and I am looking forward to getting an understanding of how blockchain can work with your noble cause, given the constraints we know on security and peoples ability to distinguish your very noble cause from fraudsters who inevitably will try to impersonate your good identity.

Fraudsters are systematically pushing within the noble causes, and I would hate to hear about such interception.

Thanks for being in existence, its heart warming to be with your and other good causes in this OpenIDEO ..

Sincerely,
David / Thomas
Rational Intuitive

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Hi Bremley and David, Nice to see the communication exchanges on this platform. Brem, I have checked the Caux Dialogue details and it would be a great place to meet face to face and to explore collaborative partnerships whereby we can unite our power and global reach. Also the fact that UNCCD is participating in the dialogue where we can explore options for seeking funding under their Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) (https://www.unccd.int/actions/impact-investment-fund-land-degradation-neutrality). I was exploring projects that are working on similar line as ours, I was searching for projects that we can work with and came across the project being conceptualised by Ana Luisa Ahern , this project has a lot of synergies with the one Bremley has undertaken in Myanmar. Considering our project on developing ecosystem service standard development and its deployment across multiple ecosystems, it would be a good opportunity, if we can invite other interested project developers to collaborate in person at Caux.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much David and Thomas for your kinds works of wisdom and inspiration. All I can say is that in the same spirit as we are regrowing the green mangrove shield to protect the most vulnerable coastal communities in the high climate risk nations on earth by building natural storm and flood defences for them, we will also make sure to build strong digital defences from fraudsters and sharks that could trigger future cyber attacks on your blockchain platform. We would love to work with you on the first line of building our digital defences. We still have a mountain load of work to do.

Photo of David / Thomas Svarrer / Høyer
Team

Hi Bremley & Co.,
Wow. It is maybe too high a level to call our little contribution "wisdom". Thanks for the confidence. We are in our Nexus 7 team very much hands on, just as it appears that your team is, and a handful of other teams we are in talks with, are.
We may have too little capacity to be taking charge of your digital defences. But we may be able to assist you and guide you, such that your professionals within ICT can confidently take charge.
Ours would generally be building bridges between different areas adjacent to ours. Thereby we are currently building bridges to any natural adjacent area to our solar concentrator.
Today we had a very dynamic meeting with Beth Koigi from Majik Water here in Nairobi, where we agreed to take the next step in a collaboration where we would from Nexus 7 be providing solar energy to their water extraction from the air. They have an outstanding technology to attract water from the air, and we would be able to assist them from outside, in their internal process of extracting the water again into liquid drinkable water.
Similarly we are in talks with corporates and organisations where we will assist them with the energy to make power (Instapower) and cooling.
We will, together with these groups, work together to create plug-and-play interfaces such that the Majik Water can use our or other heat sources, Instapower can use our or other heat sources, and so on.
Thereby we will all of us be free to do what we are good at in each our teams, and we can link up with each other within the OpenIDEO, or we can link with anyone outside.
We are also working out how we can provide a largely conceptual solution for establishing massive scalability for our new partners in ways which will reduce the TTM for them like we did for Nexus 7 to maybe 18 to 36 months for going global, instead of only reaching a handful of markets in the same period of time - while maintaining such a control so that the project can ensure the maximum quality control and thereby also ensure that crucial principles such as for instance Cradle 2 Cradle, environmental safety etc. will be enforced even though the production become 100% outsourced.

So, Bremley - ours is to be there for everybody in the best way we can, doing the best we can to empower anyone and everyone on our way with our little contributions.

You shall be welcome at all times, and to the extent we are able to, we will be both happy and honoured contributing.

In terms of the digital defences, we will do some work on our side getting to understand the blockchain and its benefits in your context, as we are not convinced that this technology is sufficiently secured to provide the benefits you intend to achieve.

You have also still not mentioned what it is, this blockchain is doing. There is indeed a gap between what you say that you want to intend and your explanation of how blockchain would be doing this, simply explained hands on.

Maybe it would help everybody (including us), if you would be able to provide just 1 example of end-to-end how blockchain comes into the picture as the enabler of your business.

Or, if you could describe in business plan form, what it is, this blockchain does for your project - or is expected to do for your project.

We will see if we can make it to the conference in Swiss. Likely I could stop over for a full business day on my way, and if that fits, we could meet near the airport for instance in Lausanne, where I prefer staying when in Swiss. As you probably already know, the trains in Swiss works like their clockworks.

We completely concur with your view as in maintaining the right spirit. The results your team has achieved already are amazing, admirable and your efforts are impressive.

Let us get hands on with this, and see what we can do. First thing is for us to understand what it is, you expect to achieve via Blockchain technology, and then the hands on - hopefully simple - walk through of a customer journey, product journey, service provision journey involving the Blockchain with a simple explanation of what the blockchain provides of service which is so key.

When I know that, I may be able to provide you with some real expertise recommendation of either how you can protect your blockchain implementation, or how you may be able to do the same, without blockchain (or both, such that I provide your team with some options as I see them from outside).

We hope that this can provide value for your team?

Sincerely
Rational Intuitive IVS
Thomas & David
Nexus 7 Solar Concentrator

Photo of David Ezra Jay
Team

Some excellent ideas here and we certainly need to collaborate.
GreenStand brings a critical connection to this idea. Our tree image-based platform essentailly established "ownership" of the reforestation work and offers financial incentives directly to the responsible entity.

GreenStand is working on answering the initial question of mapping who planted what where and how long it is surviving.

Who - (the individual, organization, community)
What - (number/species)
Where - precise pinpoint

Our efforts have been focused on valuing the individual tree from the day it has been planted and supporting the smallholder planter.

Our goal is to lay a solid back-end system.. AI/Machine learning etc.. We are currently creating and adding value to these types of tokens.. http://www.treetracker.org/?token=Gayanjith_Premalal Although we have yet to implement a transparent process for this.

From a tech standpoint.. we are a growing team of volunteers building it as open source - code can be found at https://github.com/Greenstand and we welcome new contributions.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Ezra, great to hear from you and the interest to explore collaboration as together we can achieve more than what we can do individually. So exchange of best practices and integration of new developments like AI/Machine learning would enable us to implement the projects in a transparent and efficient manner. Look forward to take this dialogue further as we move along in the project implementation phase.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thanks a lot Ezra Jay  for sharing more about your project which is really great and we look forward to learning more as you progress with your team. To add on what our partner in India Sai Nellore is doing we are also developing a zoom in technology for our project in Myanmar with RainTrust using NASA low orbiting satellites together with low fly drones to locate every tree planted and monitor their growth in real time while tracking the GPS coordinates of the tree with 5 cm resolution so that we can see the leaves and identify the species of tree on the ground that has being planted by our smallhold farmers. More on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xPsvbOMhJs&t=9s

Photo of Robinder Khurana
Team

Hi Sai,

First of all, I would like to commend you and Bremley on the work you are doing. I am curious as to how the degraded ecosystem you are planning to restore, would benefit from Agri-Eco-Tourism once developed. I am the owner of Impact Journeys www.impactjourneys.co.uk , a travel company based around supporting NGO developed projects. The economic development would I imagine, make the Eastern Ghats more attractive in terms of tourism. In turn, an increase in tourism could potentially generate more positive valuations for the ESC’s?
Looking forward to your reply.

Kind Regards

Robinder Khurana

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Robinder, thank you for your feedback. Eco-tourism is one of the ecosystem services that we will measure from our standards, this would be one of the important livelihood generation activities of the whole project, we would be able to do the same once the functionality of the degraded ecosystems is restored. As you might be aware that Araku region in Andhra Pradesh (http://www.arakuvalleytourism.in/kambalakonda-ecotourism-park.html) is one of the prime tourist attractions in the state located in Eastern Ghats. This project would further strengthen the eco-tourism prospects in the region and thereby create sustainable employment opportunities to the communities in the project area.

Photo of Lorena Evangelista
Team

Hi,
The project seems very interesting, congratulations for the idea. I have a doubt about the ES Market. Do you think there could be any risk of speculative trading that could create an interest in reducing the value of the coin, rather than increasing it, just to have a mere financial benefit from the reduced price of the coin?
Thank you,
Lorena

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Lorena, thank you for your feedback. The purpose of a market based system is to discover the price that the market is willing to pay for a particular service. I agree that there might be speculation in the short term, however, in the marketplace the prices even out in the long run. The project being implemented for 50 years, the impact of the short term speculation on prices would have minimal impact on the project benefits.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Dear Lorena we are grateful for your valuable inputs and I just want to add on to what my colleague Sai has mentioned below. Technology is a just a tool and currently blockchain offers a number of benefits that suit the ESMP.

Regarding speculation there are loads of tools such as the Tobin Tax, which essentially taxes every trade. Imagine that! More money back to landowners who actually maintain the integrity of these fragile ecosystems that will over time regenerate to their full functionality.

Photo of Mahesh S
Team

Dear Brem and Sai Kishore, Happy World Environment Day and congratulations to you and your team on conceiving this exciting project!

The emerging blockchain technology needs to be tapped to solve environmental as well as economic challenges. Your project is a great example of how it can be applied. One question I had was regarding the value of the ES coins. Since each coin is specific to a hectare, would the value of the coin purchased by corporates over time be averaged out depending on the performance of all hectare units? This is because there may be differences that emerge over time with some hectares generating greater value than others. Also the coin will enable corporates to contribute towards their CSR obligations.In that regard would you approach companies far away from the Eastern Ghats region ( such as in Mumbai or Delhi) or only those nearby initially?

Secondly, many companies in India often respond only to incentives or regulatory coercion by the government to clean up their damage. Even when strong environmental regulations are in place enforcement is often lacking. Do you see this project as potentially triggering a widespread change in corporate attitudes towards restoring ecosystems and environmental quality in India and contributing to social good? Bremley also rightly mentioned the huge value of blockchain for storing land and other records. In that context please also check-out the Zebi project that is trying to do this working with state governments including in Andhra. https://www.zebi.io/ They also launched their own coin called Zebi as well. Are you thinking of any particular name for your coin?

Best wishes for the project again and I hope to see you both in Geneva when you arrive for the Caux meeting. regards, Mahesh Sugathan

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Mahesh, thank you for your excellent feedback, I agree that the overall restoration would be different for each hectare based on multiple conditions. However, when the quantification of the ecosystem benefits is achieved, its at a project level. Hence, the overall benefits would be averaged against the total project area. We had a similar experience with our earlier Improving Rural Livelihoods project where the carbon credits generated by the project were quantified at project level. However, due to rotation of the plantation activities, there had been difference within the project as some farmlands were having limited carbon sequestration as against some other areas where the plantations were standing at the time of verification. It has to be noted that the verification process would be a snapshot of the project at a particular time, the overall project would deliver the benefits over a period of time. Hence, in our IRL project we have averaged the benefits and have passed the benefits to all participants based on their landholding.

On a similar note, we would pass the benefits to all participating communities in this project, as the verification and quantification of benefits is undertaken at a particular time, the differences would even out or get averaged over the project lifetime. Hence, it would be prudent to average the benefits and pass it onto the communities.

On the aspect of corporate engagement, you might be aware of 2% spend is mandated under CSR for corporate in India. However, at this point of time the corporate are not deriving much value except of course goodwill or branding in terms of supporting social responsibility initiatives. In this context, supporting projects like this would offer them the dual benefit of getting the recognition of engaging in social responsibility activities, in addition to offsetting their emissions. It's a business case for them to engage in projects of this nature, the Government of India as part of its INDC has committed to reduce its energy intensity between 33-35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels; and to create additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. To achieve this targets, the private sector has to step in and take measures within their business processes. Hence, engaging in this type of projects would be a necessary activity for the businesses that are operating in India.

Corporate are interested to support projects that are restoring ecosystems, the critical issue being the achievement of the desired benefits from the investments made by the corporate in this sector. Most of the projects till now are focussed on plantation activities alone with the focus being on number of trees planted or the area of plantation that has been achieved. This approach is based on quantity rather than on the quality of restoration activities. In this project, our focus is on quality as the benefits are derived only when quality is delivered as the project focusses on ecosystem restoration that can be achieved only through continuous engagement.

I look forward to meet up with you during the Caux Dialogue, would request you to visit the Caux forum where we would be presenting our earlier project and also this project.

Photo of Leela Raina
Team

interesting! have been contemplating how could blockchain be used towards a payment for ecosystem services. I have a couple of questions - how will you use a standard value for ecosystem services and which data base will you link to? Isn't this a precondition for blockchain? - also how do you benefit share between communities - as in who gets paid? is that dependent on some sort of geospatial code linked to extent accounts of the ecosystem services. I would be keen to stay in touch and help :)

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Leela for taking time to read our project idea and asking some very important questions. We have loaded a few supporting documents with the technical details about our project on the attachment section of this platform which you can review https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/345a6d5c-e64f-48f4-a7fd-0bd528f6724e.pdf

Please refer to our Ecosystem Service Market Place presentation where you will see the ES Coin Representative ‘Base Value’ by Ecosystem Type and in this project site we are restoring tropical forest in the Eastern Ghats of South India. You will get a deeper understanding on how we intend to use blockchain in our project and the relationship between the ES Coins and the ROI.

Our target local communities living in 25 villages in Aruka Valley who maintain the integrity and functionality of the ecosystem services over time will be the ones benefiting from the ROI as the value of their ES coin appreciates. So calculating the opportunity cost and its relationship to the economic value of provisioning services and overall ES Coin market value is critical. The sum of the opportunity costs plus the value of provisioning services forms the basis of payment to these land owners for the lease of ecosystem services. The lease payment covers the duration of the lease (of [50] years) following the Natural Capital Protocol.

Once bought (via the Ecosystem Service Market Place platform) by corporations to offset the natural capital damage resulting from their annual operations the proceeds are re-distributed annually to the land owner (for the lease) and to land manager(s) (from local community) for the management and monitoring of the ecosystem for the next [50] years. A proportion is also retained by Route2 and VCCSL to pay for ecosystem insurance and other operational costs.

It is important that we Identify the proposed land parcels in collaboration with the local government for grounding the project as a pilot initiative. As the project aims at restoration and rejuvenation it is necessary that the identified project lands are not diverted for any other purposes during the project term. Necessary agreements would be entered into with the stakeholders to protect the lands.

Our local partners will secure leases on the ecosystem services title from the landowners in the Araku Valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh in South India in return for financial payment.

Another important step is the securitisation of these leased ecosystem service benefits. Using Blockchain technology, the ecosystem as a hectare of land is considered as a tradable (digital) asset (such as an ES Coin) that can appreciate or depreciate in value according to land management and market dynamics. Only one ES Coin will be minted per hectare of land restored and the value of this ES Coin will go up and down depending on how well the landowner maintain its integrity and functionality over a period on 50 years.

A business model surplus will be distributed to land managers (for land management) as
communities directly dependent on the ecosystem to be the designated land managers.
The distributed surplus could be paid in local currency or the digitised asset (i.e. ES Coin)
through a blockchain wallet to the locals and all the members of the community who are working to protect the restored ecosystems for generations to come.

It may please be noted that these steps are subject to change. Investment would be used to
develop and concretise the model structure. These steps do not include other necessary business activities such as seed funds, insurance, etc.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Leela, thank you for your comments and bringing up the important question about PES, with regards to benefit sharing the communities would be passed on the benefits as explained by bremley. If you can refer to our earlier CDM A/R project wherein we have distributed the carbon benefits to participating farmers individually (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/Carbon-credits-yield-AP-ryots-a-fortune/articleshow/17776877.cms). Would solicit your support as we progress ahead in the project implementation.

Photo of Annie
Team

Hi Bremley, Sai and Sriharsha!

First thing's first- I really like the sound of your project! It's nice to see an application for blockchain technology that actually seeks to help people in a meaningful way.

I have a couple queries however.

1) I suppose the aim of the project is to establish sustainable development practices. This in mind, I am curious to know more about how your framework to increase agricultural output can be sustainable for local communities while being attractive to investors. I'm curious how the balance can be struck between sustainability and equity for producers and profit for investors without marring the progress of the communities (or even trapping them in a certain cycle) receiving investment in the first place.

2) I'd like to know more about the token you are proposing. Where would it be possible to exchange? More than this, I'm curious about the project's scalability (given it covers just one area with presumably non-exploitative intentions) and how this would impact the token's value increasing and thus the incentive to invest in it.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Annie, thank you for your amazing feedback, in the current scenario the ecosystem services offered by natural forests in the region are not valued. The local communities are dependent on NTFPs and subsistence agriculture to meet their sustenance needs. By developing a new revenue stream in the form of payment for ecosystem services (PES), the local communities would benefit through restoration activities. The restoration activities would in due course rejuvenate the natural ecosystems and increase the livelihood opportunities for the communities. As the natural ecosystems are restored, the degraded land parcels in the region would benefit from the same and support the farmers to derive increased agricultural output. The increase in revenues need not necessarily hamper the ecosystem, as the communities engage in natural rejuvenation the revenue increase would be met from PES through the proposed coins.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your excellent question Annie which we really appreciate. I can see that Sai has already answered your first question and now I will answer your second question in more detail. In order to achieve the main aim of the project we have identified the following primary objectives listed below.

Mitigation:
• The project would aim at rejuvenating and restoring the natural mountainous ecosystems by targeted interventions especially in degraded forest lands / forest fringe lands.
• Enhance the carbon sequestration potential in degraded / fallow lands through innovative interventions in current land management practices.
• Mobilise indigenous communities to undertake tree growing activities in degraded / fallow lands.

Adaptation:
• Restore mountain ecosystems while addressing food security and livelihoods of highland communities through building climate resilience in the Aruka valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, South India.

Cross cutting issues:
• Ground Up design of the first ever Ecosystem Service Assessment and Evaluation Standard (ESAES) including the associated economic valuation models capable of operation / application across different types of ecosystems (specifically mountainous ecosystems) and differing socio-economic conditions for all target communities.

• Subsequently, develop an Ecosystem Service Market Place (ESMP) that offers corporates the opportunity to offset more than just carbon emissions through purchase of Ecosystem Service Coins (ESCoins) (digital assets), where 1 ES Coin represents the economic value of ecosystem service benefits delivered by 1 hectare. The exchange will happen between corporates and communities who own the land. The value of each ES Coin will appreciate over time with the increased functionally of each ha of restored ecosystems.

• Underpin the ESMP and mint the ES Coins using Blockchain technology from the successful establishment of the ESMP.

Route2 will develop the ESAES that will measure and monitor the Total Economic Value (TEV) and the benefits that the restored mountain ecosystems will provide annually to the communities living around the Araku valley along the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.

Photo of Kiran S
Team

Dear Bremley & Sai Kishore,
It is indeed a good choice of the location, for the eastern ghats are not getting the required protection and I appreciate your initiative. Eastern ghats also host a range of species as explained in the string of discussions in this group.
While this is a good initiative, I have few points to make-
1. The two years time frame is too short for the regeneration of the degraded areas
2, Core tribal areas like Araku Valley are getting good support from the local governance called ITDA (Integrated Tribal Development Agency) while the fringe areas and sub tribal areas are negelected both by the ITDA and other district administration, thus making them at dual disadvantageous. So more and urgent work has to be initiated in the fringe areas (between tribal and non tribal areas in the district).
3. I suggest a planned intervention in the form of planting of diverse local species of plants helps in quick regeneration. The selection of the species is also done in such a way that the fruits be either nutritious or economically remunerative. Then only we can make the local people also to involve more actively in the quick regeneration of the degraded areas.
4. While the ESMP etc are globally traded and valued, livelihoods can be improved and sustained through participatory planning with the local communities.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Kiran for your excellent feedback. I am so grateful to you for taking time to read our project idea and meeting with Sai face to face to discuss the needs of the communities that you are working with in the Easters Ghats.

The 4 points you have mentioned in your response will be incorporated into our next round when we are able to refine our project idea with ground up beneficiaries' feedback. On that note please send Sai and his local team all the updated information that he can used to make our project idea much more realistic and powerful.

With regards to this Bridgebuilder Challenge, the maximum time that we can can extent our project if successful, is for 36 months. But I am confident that we can make the Ecosystem Services market place work using blockchain technology after 3 years to then pay for the long term restoration and conservation activities in our proposed project area for the next 50 years following the Natural Capital Protocol.

If we are successful we will be working in partnership with your team of local experts to plant diverse local species of plants for quick regeneration while creating sustainable livelihoods through participatory planning with the local communities living in the Eastern Ghats.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Kiran, thank you for your feedback and our focus is on Eastern Ghats as the number of projects that have been initiated specific to Eastern Ghats are minimal. The regeneration is not restricted to two years its a continuous activity where the funds would flow beyond the project timeframe from the sale of ecosystem coins. We would incorporate the observations that you made in the above comments. As we discussed during our meeting last week, the focus is to work as a bridge to bring globally traded ecosystem services to benefit the local communities. Let's move ahead and create that bridge to link local communities to international ecosystem marketplaces thereby creating sustainable livelihoods both locally and globally. Thanking you and look forward to work with you in showcasing this project for the benefit of the communities.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much Kiran for getting back to Sai with data and pictures from the 25 target villages listed below that you are working with right now in the Eastern Ghats.

1. B Gonduguda
2. Badimela
3. Bheemuduvalasa
4. Boddaput
5. Bodlamamidi
6. Bonduguda
7. Sirlamamidivalasa
8. Chompi
9. Danirangani
10. Beejumaravalasa
11. Billaput
12. Siragam
13. Korrai
14. Gaibanda
15. Ganjaivalasa
16. Logili
17. Dibbavalasa
18. Guntagannela
19. Hattaguda
20. Isukagaruvu
21. Jakaraguda
22. Kindumguda
23. Lantamputtu
24. Kappalagondi
25. Manjaguda

As we progress in this Bridgebuilder Challenge, Sai will travel to all the target villages and meet the community leaders with you as part of our Beneficiary Feedback process that will start in 17 days from now.

I understand that the core of activities of VIKASA revolve around the Natural Resources Management with a special focus to Agriculture and Horticulture. As majority of rural folk depend on agriculture, I am glad that you are promoting the Natural resources Management based livelihoods, promoting organic agriculture to handover a healthy and sustainable future to the coming generations, women empowerment through financial inclusion by setting up of Mutually Aided Cooperative Thrift Societies (MACTS) etc.

I am very happy to see that VIKASA is actively involved in Holistic development of the rural areas Education and awareness programmes Health and Sanitation Development of Fisher folk Creating Market linkages Strengthening Livestock sector, which is backbone of the farming community and Working with Adolescents in sensitizing them for their healthy future and overall safety of the society.

Finally I am very impressed that VIKASA is now directly working with 3000 farming families in Araku and Dumbriguda Mandals of Visakhapatnam, 20,000 rural families through three MACTS located in Chodavaram, Bheemunipatnam and Araku Valley.

Keep up this inspirational work that you are doing on the ground with our target communities and welcome on board our team. I look forward to building a solid working relationship with you and Sai in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Photo of Kiran S
Team

Dear Bremley,
Indeed a good opportunity to connect with you and Sai. Welcome Sai to our project location and also thanks for your first impressions on our work.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Kiran, thank you for your support, would visit the proposed project area and collect the beneficiary feedback for implementing the project. Look forward to your support

Photo of Prabha Karan
Team

Hi Sai & Bremley Lyngdoh,
First, hearty congratulations to both of you.
The idea about Improving Rural Livelihoods (IRL) by restoring fragile mountain ecosystems in the Araku valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh is a good initiative.
It’s not out of place to mention that the combined working experience of Route2 and VEDA Climate Change Solutions towards addressing climate change and sustainable development has started gaining visibility and momentum in the social media.
The plan to move beyond carbon sequestration and undertake Natural Capital Accounting using the Natural Capital Protocol is a wonderful thought process.
Meanwhile, I am interested to know how the plan of integrating your ongoing projects with blockchain technology to maintain registry services for the emission reductions and functional ecosystem services that are generated from different projects around the world will yield the desired outcome.
I am also really interested to know how we can extend the reach of this initiative to a wider audience and how can one contribute to this as an individual or as a Corporate? It will be great if you can articulate that as well.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

I am grateful for your value inputs to our proposed project Prabha and I appreciate your kinds words of support and inspiration. We are using blockchain as it is a transparent and relatively simple technical solution to a complex problem of how to create sustained investment for projects that restore ecosystems anywhere in the world.

The method of creating sustained investment is to mint digital coins from each hectare of
ecosystem that is undergoing a project. These coins will be the store of value and medium of
exchange that fuels the Ecosystem Service Market. Since there are a finite number of hectares there will be a finite number of coins. The value of the coin reflects the calculated economic value that the restoration of the ecosystem provides to the local and global communities.

The prevailing data storage technology that has transformed digital currencies and facilitated the rise in Bitcoin and others is Blockchain. Without this technology, one needs to rely on
centralized, traditional and expensive methods of data storage. Blockchain technology has further advantages that extend beyond its function as a data storage mechanism. Three examples are given below:

1. Immutability: As the Blockchain uses a distributed ledger, it is nearly impossible to change.
This has a key advantage in adding extra challenges for landowners i.e. foreign governments to remove the rights of the land manager to restore the ecosystem. This also aids re-insurers in their confidence and capacity.

2. Transparency and Ease of Auditing: Due to the ledger being distributed and public, the transfer of ‘coins’ and the assigned hectare is open for all to view and any to audit.

3. Very little overhead related to transaction processing: This means that the costs are reduced as the maintenance of the system is partly decentralized.

Customers, i.e. the demand side of the market will be initially driven by corporates who want to offset the damages they do to society. This notion is well evidenced by the existence of both the carbon voluntary market and the carbon compliance market, where corporates will invest in CO2 positive enterprises to offset their own emissions. Ecosystem market gives corporates an opportunity to offset more than just carbon emissions as there are a whole range of ecosystem services valued in the minting of the digital coins.

Digital coins facilities both fungibility and liquidity, and open the possibility of extra-demand.
These customers can be anyone, someone who wants to ‘own’ a hectare of ecosystem services for non-financial reasons. But, the real prospect and measure of true market is the customer who buys a coin and because they perceive it to appreciate in value due to the management of the land. If the people on the ground, i.e. local partners in Araku valley help in appreciation of the ecosystem services through restoration, the value of the coin increases which means that the buyer can turn a profit which encourages other buyers to participate.

The first coins to be issued will be related to this projects in Araku valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, South India. If successful, it is intended to expand this to all ecosystem restoration projects in India and around the world that meet the standards of the ecosystem evaluation and assessment side of the project.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Prabha, thank you for your support and feedback. Adding onto the information provided by Bremley, with regards to collaborating with the corporate and individuals, we will work with the industries that exist in the nearby region. This would be of dual benefit to the company as it can showcase that they are supporting the nearby communities and addressing the local issues where they are operating and at the same time present the activities as part of their sustainability reporting practices. Corporate Social Responsibility activities undertaken by the industry has limited returns on investment as its more of a charity. However, if any corporate supports this kind of projects, they can not only been seen to support the local communities, in addition meet their sustainability goals through ownership of ES coins.

Photo of Sam
Team

Fantastic idea! All the best with the implementation!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much Sam for your support and I am glad you like our idea. We look forward to scale up our project along the 1750 km range of the Eastern Ghats that goes across 5 Indian states once we have tested our platform in Andhra Pradesh.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Sam, thank you for your support and wishes. As Bremley said, we wish to move ahead with this model and cover the whole of Eastern Ghats under this project.

Photo of Ben Corrigan
Team

HI Bremley, this project looks very interesting. Particularly because it values the total ecosystem by taking a holistic, rather than a siloed approach, to conservation efforts. Keep up the good work!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much Ben for your valuable feedback and indeed we have to address the global problem of land degradation using a holistic approach. As a matter of fact there is a link/correlation between restoration and peace; though evidence from the field shows that land degradation exacerbates completion (thus conflicts) to access land and water in affected areas and that restoration could contribute to mitigation of vulnerable people.

But interactions among land degradation, poverty, climate change, and the risk of conflict and of involuntary migration is among the areas of knowledge gap and identified as opportunities for further research by the IPBES https://www.ipbes.net/ in its recently released report Land Degradation and Restoration.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Ben, thank you for your feedback, as you say, we have different standards that study the various ecosystem values in silos, partly because of issues related to measurement and quantification. However, with the total ecosystem valuation that has been developed by Route2 we can now undertake a holistic approach to measure the impacts and thereby quantify the same. This enables us to address the conservation efforts. Thank you for your support.

Photo of Callum
Team

I think for me the involvement of the indigenous communities in the projects development and the potentially revolutionary usage of blockchain makes for a very interesting project. Many of my questions I notice have already been covered in the below comments however one that still springs to mind even though it is somewhat forward planning.. Blockchain is an emerging technology which you plan to use for this project however due to the time scales involved and the rate of technological progress there will likely be a rapid change and development in global technologies that can be harnessed for this type of initiative. Therefore I wonder do you have any plans for incorporating other developing technologies in this project? Or is there long term planning with this consideration in mind?

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Callum for taking time to read our project idea and sharing your feedback with us. Indeed there will be rapid changes in the development in global technologies and we a strategy to incorporate other new forms of developing technologies as we scale up our project to cover many different types of ecosystems.

For example using biomimicry as a design methodology within the context of urban infrastructure planning and design. We know that experts have presented biomimicry as an ontology of the city that fosters innovative and collaborative urban infrastructure design and management, supplements dominant future city paradigms like the ‘smart’ city with the Government of Andhra Pradesh is well positioned to adopt and implement to set an example to the whole of India.

But with regards to our project we are focused on first restoring the full functionality of degraded mountain landscapes using assisted regeneration approaches and creating sustainable livelihoods for the local indigenous communities that live in the Eastern Ghats. Once our first operation is completed we will then consider using biomimicry and blending sustainable infrastructure into the restored landscapes.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Callum, thank you for your feedback. Blockchain as you rightly point out is an emerging technology, we are interested in deploying emerging technologies as and when they are available for adoption at scale. As the project is aimed at benefitting the communities through transfer of revenues generated from sale of ES coins, we would explore new developments in FinTech to deliver the revenues to the participating communities. Emerging technology like blockchain and FinTech are tools that we use to deliver the benefits to the communities, based on parameters like transparency, security and scalability we will adopt them for benefitting the local communities.

Photo of Endre Hunnyadi
Team

Brilliant idea! Do you think this strategy can be implemented in developing East European countries?

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thanks for your question Endre and indeed we can develop and deploy our Ecosystem Services Market Place model to benefit communities living in Eastern European countries. As a matter of fact the Special Feature on “Ecosystem Management in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe” documents and evaluates the impacts of political, institutional, and socioeconomic changes in the region on the local biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Moreover, this Special Feature aims to assess risks and opportunities to achieve biodiversity conservation and sustainable ecosystem services in the region with consideration of global change and socio-ecological transformation. Therefore, the perspective of socio-ecological system dynamics and ecosystem services under the changing environment is presented in the collection of papers.
Source: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ehs2.1231

Photo of Endre Hunnyadi
Team

Did not expect such a complex answer. It did indeed answered my question. Thank you.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

You are most welcome Endre and perhaps you can develop your own project in Romania that contributes to promoting the EU’s biodiversity or uses a nature-based solution to adapt to climate change and you get financing from the European Investment Bank. Halting the loss of biodiversity and adapting to climate change requires increasing investment in natural capital. To do so, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission have partnered to create the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), a financial instrument that supports projects delivering on biodiversity and climate adaptation through tailored loans and investments, backed by an EU guarantee.
Source: http://www.eib.org/products/blending/ncff/index.htm

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Endre, thank you for your feedback. The project being implemented is a pilot activity, and the template developed would be deployed in different ecosystems across multiple regions focussed on land restoration and avoided degradation. Once we establish the project in this region, we would be interested to partner with multiple agencies to take it forward.

Photo of Jamie Moore
Team

Hi Bremley & team,

this sounds like an amazing project! You will need robust data to support the ecosystem assessment. I was curious about what data will be sourced, from where, and how will it be managed?

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Jamie for asking the most important question about building our own robust real time data from the field in order to support the development and deployment of our Ecosystem Service Assessment and Evaluation Standard (ESAES) including the associated economic valuation models capable of operation / application across different types of ecosystems (specifically mountainous ecosystems) and differing socio-economic conditions for all target communities. To answer your question on data sourcing and management, I would like to share our data collection strategy below.

1. We will create a GIS database to ensure robust storage and management of the data.
2. All our datasets will be stored in open source formats.
3. All our datasets will include relevant metadata to ISO:19115 standard to ensure they are used correctly.
4. Points 2 and 3 above mean that, where license conditions permit, the GIS data can also be made available for free through common data portals such as https://data.gov.in/ (if allowed) or the Indian Geo-Platform of ISRO http://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in/map/bhuvan/bhuvan2d.php (again if allowed).
5. This means that the input data collated by the project will benefit other research initiatives in the same region.

Once we have collected our data Route2 will perform a baseline Ecosystem Service Assessment & Evaluation (ESAE) of the designated mountain ecosystem in the Eastern Ghats. This baseline ESAE will provide a spatially explicit understanding of ecosystem condition and the annual economic benefit of the ecosystem specific identified ecosystem services.

The annual flow of economic benefits will be converted into a stock / asset value equal to the net present value of the future benefit flow over (50) years, under a sustainable land management strategy. This process of translating annual flows into a stock value follows guidelines available via the Natural Capital Protocol Producing this baseline and value is the aforementioned standard.

The most crucial stage for us is the identification of right kinds of land parcels by VCCSL in collaboration with the local NGOs and government authorities for grounding the project as a pilot initiative. As the project aims at restoration and rejuvenation it is necessary that the identified project lands are not diverted for any other purposes during the project term. Necessary agreements would be entered into with the stakeholders to protect the lands.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Jamie, thank you for the excellent question and to Bremley for providing a comprehensive answer on land identification and management. We have the experience of implementing a CDM A/R project where we have worked with over 1590 farmers spread across six districts in two states of India. The project parcels are discrete private farmer owned lands spread over 1000 kms. All these land parcels are mapped using GIS software and appropriate shape files using GIS software are mapped and maintained. A similar activity would be undertaken for this project based on identification of project beneficiaries and their community lands would be identified using GPS.

Photo of Paolo Spagnoli
Team

I found this project extremely interesting and very innovative. Can you please explain about land rights and how the project will pay the communities for restoring the damaged ecosystem?
Many thanks.
Paolo

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Paolo for your support and for taking time to read our project idea. Now to answer your question the project is proposed to be implemented on lands that are owned by either small farmers or on community lands for whom the usufructs rights have been passed onto the communities under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. The land parcels that are degraded would be identified and restoration activities would be implemented under the project. The local communities who are the guardians of the land that they live on will be rewarded annually from the sales of their ES Coins once they are minted to reflect the value of the total ecosystem services that each hectare of their land produces each year.

At the same time we are aware that conflict over control, management and decision making over resources is the primary consequence of the increasing changes in politico economic trends and policies. These conflict situations, having led to an alarming degradation of natural resources has given rise to new thoughts on the need to take people into confidence and involve them in the process of development. One such effort made by the government is the Joint Forest Management programme (JFM) initiated by the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.

Introduced in the year 1993 as part of the Andhra Pradesh Forestry Project and aided by the World Bank, JFM is the first programme of its nature in the state, to attempt at a recreation of a balance in the grossly degraded forests in Andhra Pradesh and has brought in a new form of forestry wherein people play a major role in afforestation and forest protection. Such a catalystic programme which has far reaching implications for development has to be understood in the changes it envisages to bring to people and the nature of changes that actually take place.

Our plan of action is to work with these existing institutional arrangements and take the best out of them while making sure that our ground intervention uses a people centered model of engagement where our target beneficiaries have a major decision making role in the whole process.

Photo of Paolo Spagnoli
Team

Many thanks for your detailed reply

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Paolo, thank you for your feedback. The project is being implemented in the araku region that is predominantly populated by tribal population. The Forest Rights Act, 2006 has enabled the transfer of rights to the forest dependent communities. Under this act, forest lands are allocated to both individuals (Individual Forest Rights) and Community Forest Rights. Further information pertaining to the same can be accessed at (http://fra.org.in/). We would work with the community forest lands that have been allocated to the communities to implement the project.

In our earlier project (Improving Rural Livelihoods) we have implemented it on privately owned lands of the farmers, we have entered into a tripartite agreement with the farmers and the environmental benefits in the form of carbon credits were then sold to the BioCarbon Fund of the World Bank. The revenues so received from the same were distributed to the participating farmers (http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6178). We have been working in this region and on similar projects where VCCSL works as the bridge between the international carbon markets and local communities to derive the benefits from carbon finance.

Photo of Sokha Hin
Team

Hi Brem, it is not clear to me how you use blockchain and the whole pipeline.
I think I understand the broad idea but I think it is worth clarifying the relationship between the coins and the ROI that you describe.
It is also not clear to me who benefits financially from the ROI (the corporates of course) but more precisely how you manage to get incentives. I understand that the overall logic is quite similar to carbon offsetting philosophy. But here, you tokenize your work as a service assessment company right ? Is this correct ?

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Sokha for taking time to read our project idea and giving some important feedback. Since we did not have much space to explain all the technical details on the project page, we have loaded a few supporting documents on the attachment section of this platform which you can review https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/345a6d5c-e64f-48f4-a7fd-0bd528f6724e.pdf

If you look at the Ecosystem Service Market Place presentation you will see the ES Coin Representative ‘Base Value’ by Ecosystem Type and in this project site we are restoring tropical forest. You will get a deeper understanding on how we intend to use blockchain in our project and the relationship between the ES Coins and the ROI.

Our target local communities who maintain the integrity and functionality of the ecosystem services over time will be the ones benefiting from the ROI as the value of their ES coin appreciates. So calculating the opportunity cost and its relationship to the economic value of provisioning services and overall ES Coin market value is critical. The sum of the opportunity costs plus the value of provisioning services forms the basis of payment to the land owner for the lease of ecosystem services. The lease payment covers the duration of the lease (of [50] years) following the Natural Capital Protocol.

Once bought (via the Ecosystem Service Market Place platform) by corporations to offset the natural capital damage resulting from their annual operations the proceeds are re-distributed annually to the land owner (for the lease) and to land manager(s) (from local community) for the management and monitoring of the ecosystem for the next [50] years. A proportion is also retained by Route2 and VCCSL to pay for ecosystem insurance and other operational costs.

It is important that we Identify the proposed land parcels in collaboration with the local government for grounding the project as a pilot initiative. As the project aims at restoration and rejuvenation it is necessary that the identified project lands are not diverted for any other purposes during the project term. Necessary agreements would be entered into with the stakeholders to protect the lands.

Our local partners will secure leases on the ecosystem services title from the landowners in the Araku valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh in South India in return for financial payment.

Another important step is the securitisation of these leased ecosystem service benefits. Using Blockchain technology, the ecosystem as a hectare of land is considered as a tradable (digital) asset (such as an ES Coin) that can appreciate or depreciate in value according to land management and market dynamics. Only one ES Coin will be minted per hectare of land restored and the value of this ES Coin will go up and down depending on how well the landowner maintain its integrity and functionality over a period on 50 years.

A business model surplus will be distributed to land managers (for land management) as
communities directly dependent on the ecosystem to be the designated land managers.
The distributed surplus could be paid in local currency or the digitised asset (i.e. ES Coin)
through a blockchain wallet to the locals and all the members of the community who are working to protect the restored ecosystems for generations to come.

It may please be noted that these steps are subject to change. Investment would be used to
develop and concretise the model structure. These steps do not include other necessary business activities such as seed funds, insurance, etc.

Photo of Bénédicte LEGER
Team

Dear Bremley and Sai,

Thank you for proposing this project - an innovative way of using blockchain and address many development issues at once!

As I was reading through the project description a few questions came to mind.

Firstly, I am not sure I fully understand how the ecosystem restoration will concretely be achieved through the use of blockchain. Is it as simple as minting the Ecosystem Service Coins, finding investors who will buy ecosystem services, selling them and using the proceeds to restore the ecosystem?

Secondly, how will this project lead to increased food security? Is that specifically due to the restoration of land which will provide additional agricultural production and crops, or are there other channels (e.g. cash transfers, loans) through which you will be providing more food to the indigenous communities?

Thirdly, how do you think your project will affect women’s empowerment in the region? Will you seek to address gender inequality specifically?

I am looking forward to seeing the evolution of the project and to hear back from you!

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Benedicte, thank you for your feedback. Firstly the blockchain technology would be used for registering the Ecosystem service coins. These coins would be offered to the corporate to meet their social responsibility obligations. The proceeds of the same would be passed onto the participating communities to create additional revenue streams for enhancing their livelihoods. Secondly, food security is addressed through the restoration of the degraded lands and bringing those degraded forest lands into appropriate land use through restoration activities. Thirdly, the project is being implemented in tribal areas and when the project is being implemented measures would be incorporated to address social and gender issues.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much Benedicte for your important questions on keys issues that our project idea seeks to address. To add on what my partner Sai has mentioned, I would like to go deeper on how we will use blockchain to address food security in the whole supply chain.

A blockchain is a shared, traceable and transparent ledger for record-keeping. Information is captured in each transaction along a supply chain, which is agreed on by the business network members, and made permanent once consensus is reached. Blockchains increase:

1. TRANSPARENCY

Digital tracking and storage of all product information at all stages of supply chain
– Farm origination data, growing / raising conditions
– Factory/processing data
– Batch numbers
– Expiration dates
– Storage temperatures and conditions – Shipping data

Strengthens safeguards related to food authenticity, thus avoiding food fraud.
Consumer confidence increases because producers and any related parties are held accountable.

2. EFFICIENCY

Blockchains improve how food is tracked, transported, and sold.
Inaccuracies caused by traditional paper tracking and manual inspection systems.
Retailers can better manage product shelf-life. Streamlines distribution process.
Cuts costs & reduces food waste.

3. FOOD SAFETY

Blockchains could create huge progress in food safety-cutting costs and saving lives
Fewer contamination incidents.
Faster detection of problems.

Photo of Benjamin Quinto
Team

This is a very interesting application of blockchain, which I look forward to following.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much for your support Ben and we look forward to helping the most vulnerable communities using this new blockchain technology start from Andhra Pradesh.

Photo of Vikram Seth
Team

Thanks very much Bremley, Sai and Sriharsha for this fascinating proposal bringing together block chain, crypto/complementary currencies, ecosystem services, natural capital valuation and grassroots environmental conservation! One thing I am wondering is how the local communities and/or the conservation projects would benefit from your ESC token value appreciation beyond the ICO (initial coin offering). For example, would further tokens be issued based on identification of additional ecosystem service value delivered by existing projects and/or new projects? Seems to be a new area of application and token values can reflect real wealth creation through natural capacital and ecosystem improvements. Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Vikram for taking time to read our project idea and asking very important questions. We have loaded a few supporting documents on the attachment section of this platform which you can review https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/345a6d5c-e64f-48f4-a7fd-0bd528f6724e.pdf

If you look at the Ecosystem Service Market Place presentation you will see the ES Coin Representative ‘Base Value’ by Ecosystem Type and in this project site we are restoring tropical forest.

A study was conducted to analyze tree species diversity in the tropical forests of the Eastern Ghats of northern Andhra Pradesh, India. A total of 270 species of trees (≥15cm girth at breast height) pertaining to 177 genera belonging to 55 families were recorded. Among the 270 species, 141 species were observed to be common, 78 were occasional and 51 species were rare in the study area. Fabaceae was the dominant family with 33 species followed by Rubiaceae with 15 species and Malvaceae, Moraceae and Phyllanthaceae with 13 species each. The genera with the highest number of species include Ficus (12 species), Diospyros (8 species), Albizia and Grewia (6 species each), Acacia and Bauhinia (5 species each). Forty-five percent of the species were indigenous. This illustrates the diversity of the tree species in the studied area of the Eastern Ghats and also emphasizes the need for conserving these mountain ecosystems.

Calculating the opportunity cost and its relationship to the economic value of provisioning services and overall ES Coin market value is critical. The sum of the opportunity costs plus the value of provisioning services forms the basis of payment to the land owner for the
lease of ecosystem services. The lease payment covers the duration of the lease (of [50] years) following the Natural Capital Protocol.

Once bought (via the Ecosystem Service Market Place platform) by corporations to offset the natural capital damage resulting from their annual operations the proceeds are re-distributed annually to the land owner (for the lease) and to land manager(s) (from local community) for the management and monitoring of the ecosystem for the next [50] years.
A proportion is also retained by Route2 and VCCSL to pay for ecosystem insurance and other operational costs.

It is important that we Identify the proposed land parcels in collaboration with the local government for grounding the project as a pilot initiative. As the project aims at restoration and rejuvenation it is necessary that the identified project lands are not diverted for any other purposes during the project term. Necessary agreements would be entered into with the stakeholders to protect the lands.

Our local partners will secure leases on the ecosystem services title from the landowners in the Araku valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh in South India in return for financial payment.

Another important step is the securitisation of these leased ecosystem service benefits. Using Blockchain technology, the ecosystem as a hectare of land is considered as a tradable (digital) asset (such as an ES Coin) that can appreciate or depreciate in value according to land management and market dynamics. Only one ES Coin will be minted per hectare of land restored and the value of this ES Coin will go up and down depending on how well the landowner maintain its integrity and functionality over a period on 50 years.

A business model surplus will be distributed to land managers (for land management) as
communities directly dependent on the ecosystem to be the designated land managers.
The distributed surplus could be paid in local currency or the digitised asset (i.e. ES Coin)
through a blockchain wallet to the locals and all the members of the community who are working to protect the restored ecosystems for generations to come.

It may please be noted that these steps are subject to change. Investment would be used to
develop and concretise the model structure. These steps do not include other necessary business activities such as seed funds, insurance, etc.

Source: http://threatenedtaxa.org/index.php/JoTT/article/view/2112/3274

Photo of Vikram Seth
Team

Thank you very much Bremley for your explanation and additional information. The presentation is very interesting and shows a lot of potential for additional project developments. I look forward to hearing of your further developments.

Photo of Belkys Lopez
Team

Hello Bremley and Sai, This sounds like a great idea. I'm especially interested in your use of blockchain as it has not always been clear to me how it can be used practically. I see also that you are addressing the concerns regarding blockchain energy consumption. I'd like to keep tabs on your work to see how you progress. Good luck to you!

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Belkys, thank you for your feedback, as its an innovative project that's conceptualised, we seek your inputs as we move forward in the implementation of the project. Thanking you for your interest in the project.

Photo of Elena
Team

Hello Bremley, Sai and Sriharsha!

Your project sounds amazing and I truly hope you will gain all the necessary means to successfully implement it. However I do have a couple of questions. If I am not mistaken someone has already asked a question regarding gender inequality and castes, so i will bypass them and ask if this project will have an affect on flow of internal migration (especially in regard to the rapid urbanization), and secondly, will the implementation of this project affect in any manner the land tenure rights of the indigenous peoples? (given the fact that your idea is centered around the restoration of degraded land belonging to small farmers, I am somewhat puzzled by the implementation)

Thank you!

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Elena, thank you for feedback and the questions raised about the project. Firstly, with regards to internal migration, the project being implemented in the state of Andhra Pradesh has relatively low internal migration, some migration does happen and its related to seasonal migration especially in the dry season. The project is proposed to be implemented on lands that are owned by either small farmers or on community lands for whom the usufructs rights have been passed onto the communities under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. The land parcels that are degraded would be identified and restoration activities would be implemented under the project.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank your so much Elena for your valuable inputs and I appreciate the time you took to read out project idea. To add on what our partner Sai has mentioned we are aware that conflict over control, management and decision making over resources is the primary consequence of the increasing changes in politico economic trends and policies.

These conflict situations, having led to an alarming degradation of natural resources has given rise to new thoughts on the need to take people into confidence and involve them in the process of development. One such effort made by the government is the Joint Forest Management programme (JFM) initiated by the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.

Introduced in the year 1993 as part of the Andhra Pradesh Forestry Project and aided by the World Bank, JFM is the first programme of its nature in the state, to attempt at a recreation of a balance in the grossly degraded forests in Andhra Pradesh and has brought in a new form of forestry wherein people play a major role in afforestation and forest protection. Such a catalystic programme which has far reaching implications for development has to be understood in the changes it envisages to bring to people and the nature of changes that actually take place.

Our plan of action is to work with these existing institutional arrangements and take the best out of them while making sure that our ground intervention uses a people centered model of engagement where our target beneficiaries have a major decision making role in the whole process.

Photo of Camille
Team

Dear Bremley and Sai,
What a wonderful project, it sounds truly unique to me ! Ecosystems restoration require inspiring and innovative projects such as this one.
The project will be measuring more specifically the ecosystem services generated and when this stage of the project is developed, I’d love to read more about it (which services are measured).
All the best !

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Camille, Thank you for your valuable feedback. The project aims to develop a standard that quantifies the total ecosystem services, instead of the different standards like carbon, social carbon, biodiversity, etc.,. This integration of all benefits from ecosystems under one standard is an approach to build the natural capital accounting process. We would update and share the developments as we move along in the project implementation process.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Camille for taking time to read our project idea and sending us your important feedback to the types of ecosystem services that we plan to measure from our target projects sites. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page you can read the supporting project documents attached where we have stated clearly what methodology we will deploy during our field operations in the Eastern Ghats of southern India.

On another note we want to state that while India might have a GDP of $2.65 trillion in nominal terms, it fails to take into account the externalities of such economic growth. For example, India routinely suffers from high levels of air pollution that impose costs on local transport, health and liveability in urban and rural areas. When economic growth leads to the destruction of forests, wetlands and woodlands for agriculture, mining or even urban expansion, it is typically the poorest of the traditional dwellers who suffer. Ecological collapse can soon come, examples being the Darfur region in Sudan and countries in the Horn of Africa. All were subject to rapid socio-economic decline.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/natural-capital-in-the-21st-century/article23971804.ece

Photo of Rodney Lobo
Team

Hi Bremley Lyngdoh 

Don't you think that it would consume a tremendous amount of power to use blockchain? There are two problems here: Most of the electricity generated in India is from burning coal (more than 75%) and the second is that most people, especially in rural India do not have access to computers.

I still like this idea as it potentially empowers local communities.

I would like to suggest something. It seems to me that you are trying to create digital contracts between the companies and these communities. So why not use an existing blockchain based technology? Ethereum is a good example.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Rodney, thank you for your excellent feedback, we would work with existing blockchain platforms to inset our project. Also, our project would be quantifying the tokens annually, and through the proof-of-authority (PoA) system instead of proof-of-work (PoW) where the energy consumption is drastically reduced. This would reduce the computation needs for maintaining the blockchain and thereby energy consumption would also be reduced. The authorities in this case validators / verifiers of the project would create and validate blocks. Furthermore, we would explore opportunities to source the energy from renewable sources to the extent feasible. Thanking you once again for an excellent and pertinent question.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Rodney for taking time to review our project proposal and I am glad you like our idea with a goal to empower local indigenous communities to restore the degraded mountain ecosystems where they are living along the Eastern Ghats of southern India.

As you may know Indian states are now exploring a switch to blockchain technology to record land deals digitally and bring transparency to a system that is rife with fraud and leaves the poor at risk of eviction. At least two Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are investigating blockchain - a ledger system tracking digital information - to help modernize Indian property deeds and boost economic growth.

Land records in most Indian states date back to the colonial era, and most land holdings have uncertain ownership. Fraud is rampant and disputes over titles often end up in court. Putting India’s land records on blockchain - the technology behind the bitcoin currency - would greatly increase efficiency and reduce fraud.

The blockchain technology works by creating permanent, public “ledgers” of all transactions, potentially replacing a mass of overlapping records with one simple database. Once a land record or real estate transactions is on blockchain, all the parties involved banks, government, brokers, buyers and sellers can track the deal. Countries across the world from Sweden to Dubai, Georgia to Britain are beginning to embrace or test the technology in their national property records.

Distortion to India’s land markets is a barrier to faster growth, accounting for 1.3 percent of lost gross domestic product growth every year, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the global consulting firm.

To add on what my colleague Sai has mentioned, there is a company Consensys which is blockchain venture production studio that is based out of New York which has an existing partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Their global team of engineers are building an ecosystem of consumer-centric products and enterprise solutions using blockchain technologies, primarily Ethereum. We plan to route our project through that blockchain platform and build our new Ecosystem Services Assessment and Evaluation Standard (ESAES) on it which would be mutually beneficial.

Source: https://inc42.com/buzz/andhra-pradesh-govt-mou-consensys-blockchain/

Photo of Rodney Lobo
Team

Hi Sai Nellore and Bremley Lyngdoh  

A lot of existing blockchains are moving away from proof of work due to heavy power consumption, and moving toward proof of authority. Good to know that you will be working with a company who is using this. You might want to mention a short paragraph about this in the post, as it makes it clearer about how this will help in reducing the energy consumption.

I do know that the land records in India are unreliable to a significant level. They still use olden units to keep the measure of land areas owned by people, which a lot of modern day people do not understand. Hopefully, by putting these records in a blockchain the system will be able to catch up to the present day.

All the best.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Rodney, thank you for your valuable inputs, would incorporate your feedback as we move forward in the challenge. There is tremendous interest and pilot activities are being undertaken in couple of states in India to use blockchain for land records. All this activities would showcase the benefits and use cases that can be replicated and scaled up. We value your feedback in this effort.

Photo of Luke
Team

This is such an awsome idea!!!! Keep up the good work! :)

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much Luke for your kinds words of inspiration and we look forward to making a deep impact in the lives of our target communities living in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.

Photo of Lina Nikitinaitė
Team

Great great project!!! Thank you for doing this amazing job for our Mother Earth and it's people.

Have you thought about how this project could be replicated in conflict zones? More people could benefit from it as well.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Lina for taking time send us your feedback and for asking a very important question about replicating our project by using blockchain in the conflict zones of our planet. There are 5 ways that blockchain can keep mineral supply chains conflict-free.

Conflict minerals – those extracted in conflict zones and sold to fund the conflict – are a challenge in the mining industry and throughout the world. Time Magazine reports that international efforts to stop the sales of “blood diamonds” and other conflict minerals are facing problems. Loopholes in the current system allow these products to get onto the market and reach consumers. Using a blockchain lowers the risk of conflict mineral purchases for individuals and businesses.

Verifying the origin of a mineral

Individuals selling a mineral in the blockchain must show proof of ownership. Since the information about the product is public, users in the chain can verify the data by tracing previous trades for the mineral. Verifying a mineral’s owner prevents the sale of stolen minerals through the online system.

Users must meet specific standards to use the online system or tool. They are required to provide appropriate documentation to confirm ownership, country of origin, and other details related to the mineral. A document of authenticity gives the buyer peace of mind and provides a greater level of comfort in purchasing the mineral.

According to The Economist, a blockchain’s key benefit is the updated and amended ledger of information. Since no individual controls the chain, everyone has access to information about the mineral’s origins. Users in the chain keep the information up to date. The peer to peer sharing with open transparency and clear standards of documentation limit the risk of obtaining conflict minerals.

Data transparency

Transparency is an important aspect of preventing the sale of conflict minerals. The World Economic Forum states that a full transaction history of an item sold through a blockchain allows for greater transparency. It limits the risk of purchasing from deceptive sellers. The public access element of a blockchain allows individuals to clarify and verify information. The individual purchasing an item can audit through the online tools and system.

Security for transactions

When a sale does not have proper security solutions, individuals and companies have a higher risk of purchasing conflict minerals. They may accidentally buy the mineral if a third party interferes with the sale. Alternatively, poor security may suggest an underlying problem with the system.

The Economist reports that a blockchain ledger prevents double-spending and creates a unique signature for different users within the system. While the system offers a reasonable level of anonymity in relation to an individual’s personal identity, the public nature of the transaction allows buyers to purchase with confidence. The ledger requires a digital signature, which limits the security risks when making or receiving a payment through a blockchain.

Reducing loopholes in the system

While international authorities, systems, and laws limit the sale of conflict minerals, loopholes allow these minerals to enter the market. A blockchain reduces the risk of conflict mineral purchases by verifying data and setting specific standards for a sale. The seller provides the proper documentation, which becomes a public record. Items must be supported by a document of authenticity, proof of origins, and proof of ownership. Third parties have access to the information and digital miners provide an online service to audit the data. The implementation of a blockchain is an effective method of preventing the purchase of conflict minerals.

Photo of James Burt
Team

Sounds like a great project.

Keep up the good work and the good ideas!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thanks James for taking time to read our project proposal and giving us your support. We are now developing partnerships with other projects that have similar goals on this platform.

Photo of Sarah Leighton
Team

Dear Bremley and Sai,

This is such an exciting initiative that has far reaching potential benefits with successful implementation of the scheme in Andhra Pradesh. I'm so grateful that you are out there dedicating your time and making it your life's mission to protect the environment for all of us but particularly those most vulnerable to climate change. I'd be interested to know whether the scheme is able to address other social issues such as gender inequality within the region?

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Sarah, thank you for your valuable feedback. That's an excellent question with regards to gender issues. The project would address these social issues like gender and caste as part of the project management framework that would be established when the project is implemented. The project is being implemented in the agency area which has over 90% of the population belonging to the various tribal communities including particularly vulnerable tribal groups. Hence, social issues would be given due consideration in the project implementation phase.

If you look up on our earlier project (https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/TUEV-SUED1298895593.56/view) more than 63% of the project participants are from the backward classes. The project primarily focussed on small and marginal farmers and whose livelihoods are impacted due to climate change. The project has been conceptualised in 2004 and an ERPA with the BioCarbon Fund of the World Bank was signed in 2007 for sale of emission reductions from the project. The project has delivered the benefits to the communities 2012. This is the first project in Asia to deliver the carbon revenues under CDM A/R large scale sector projects.

Photo of SIMN Global
Team

Hello Team! What an excellent idea! Have you looked into the building practice of bio-mimicry and blending sustainable infrastructure into the landscape?
Jillian

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thanks for your excellent question Jillian which I really appreciate. I understand the significance of biomimicry as a design methodology within the context of urban infrastructure planning and design. I have read some papers that examine the application of biomimicry principles to urban infrastructure problems by analysing case studies that used biomimicry inspired designs rather than ‘mainstream’ infrastructure approaches. It is amazing that some experts have presented biomimicry as an ontology of the city that fosters innovative and collaborative urban infrastructure design and management, supplements dominant future city paradigms like the ‘smart’ city which is worthy of further, detailed study. With regards to our project we are focused on first restoring the full functionality of degraded mountain landscapes using assisted regeneration approaches and creating sustainable livelihoods for the local indigenous communities that live in the Eastern Ghats. Once this operation is complete we will consider using biomimicry and blending sustainable infrastructure into the restored landscapes.

Photo of Sophie Ibbotson
Team

Reversing land degradation will not only will have a direct impact on CO2 sequestration and agricultural productivity, but also in the mid-term increases the viability of sustainable tourism development. There seems to be great opportunity for eco tourism in the Eastern Ghats, which if carefully planned and managed can bring huge benefits to the local communities, economically and socially.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much for your excellent feedback Sophie highlighting the importance of creating sustainable livelihoods for local indigenous communities living in the Eastern Ghats via eco tourism, which involves responsible travelling to natural areas with the purpose to educate the travelers without any environmental and cultural impact. Since forest and its wildlife are the primary settings for developing eco tourism activities, we have included this function as one of our vita ecosystem services as an output of restoring degraded lands along the mountain range bringing its full potential and functionality back to benefit the communities.
Source: https://eastgodavari.nic.in/eco-tourism/

Photo of ribor kharshiing
Team

Great and brilliant proposal. All the best with the implementation.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your support Ribor and we hope to replicate our model of sustainable development financing using new technologies to also benefit the highland communities living in north east India and beyond.

Photo of Kartick K
Team

Interesting opportunity indeed!
By the way what is the total potential of this opportunity in terms of forest land area that can be covered?

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Thank you Kartick for your inputs, our target is 5000 ha, as we wish to test this model in the area. Based on the outcomes we will scale up the model to cover other ecosystems and geographical regions.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your question Kartick. To add on what Sai has mentioned once we have successfully deployed our project in Andhra Pradesh we will replicate it in other parts of India and around the world. We have recently submitted a GCF concept note that is aimed at different ecosystem (Mountainous, Coastal, Mangrove & Tropical) management in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar for the application of the ecosystem standard that we are developing in partnership with Route2 in the UK. In this activity, we plan to move beyond carbon sequestration and undertake Natural Capital Accounting using the Natural Capital Protocol. We are planning to integrate our on going projects with blockchain technology to maintain registry services for the emission reductions and functional ecosystem services that are generated from different projects around the world. The GCF project being conceptualised is multi-country and multi-ecosystem with diverse outcomes.

Photo of Carolina Mndz
Team

This a great idea. You have 7 years of experience in this topic. Good luck!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you Carolina for your support. Actually both Route2 and VEDA Climate Change Solutions have more that 20 years of combined working experience in addressing climate change and sustainable development.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Thank you Carolina, VEDA Climate Change Solutions (VCCSL) has implemented a project that was conceptualised in 2004, the IRL project has been the first in Asia from a CDM A/R sector to release the carbon revenue to participating farmers. Route2 has the expertise in valuing the ecosystems as they have undertaken multiple projects in this domain. We have conceptualised this unique project that moves beyond carbon sequestration and values the total ecosystem benefits instead of quantifying the different services along different standards like social carbon, emission reductions, biodiversity. This project would help in showcasing the benefits from a project at landscape level.

Photo of Diana Gerbec
Team

"these benefits are ‘external benefits’ and therefore the landowners receive no financial compensation and therefore no incentive to maintain the integrity and functioning off the ecosystem." Is there an incentive solution possible to mitigate this risk? I think this is a unique, viable and inspiring business proposal. Unique to me that is.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much Diana for your question and your support for our project. The idea of the project is about Improving Rural Livelihoods (IRL) by restoring fragile mountain ecosystems in the Araku valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, South India and adopting environment friendly technology based agroforestry practices. The main threats facing the northern Eastern Ghats include deforestation, hydropower projects, bauxite mining and road widening. The massive impoundments that dams and their reservoirs have formed between the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha borders have submerged thousands of hectares of forests. Our plan is to work with local partners on mitigation of forest encroachments, restricting road traffic particularly during the nights on the roads traversing the Eastern Ghats and the Andhra-Odisha borders, and capacity building of local stakeholders will contribute to conservation of the northern Eastern Ghats region.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Thank you Diana for your valuable feedback. With regards to the incentive solution, if you refer to our earlier project (Improving Rural Livelihoods) the farmers are the beneficiaries as the revenue generated from the project was passed onto the participating farmers. The tokens would be offered to corporate to meet their social responsibility / emission reduction requirements, the revenue thus generated would be shared with the participating communities proportionately.
As part of the Improving Rural Livelihoods project we have shared the benefits to the project participants (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/Carbon-credits-yield-AP-ryots-a-fortune/articleshow/17776877.cms). This project has showcased the process of delivering carbon benefits directly to the participating communities. Having delivered the benefits we are now in the process of extending and expanding the benefits from carbon to total ecosystem services.

Photo of Ismael Traore
Team

I love this Idea, it really help transform Land into what it is really is, one of the most precious thing we have. I hope your Idea Can be use in many other countries around the World, in Africa and many other Continent where they still have primary forest... Giving value to the Land et the ecosystem and helping saving them ��

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your valuable feedback Ismael and I agree that land is more precious than gold. So once we have successfully deployed our project in Andhra Pradesh we will replicate it in other parts of India and around the world. We have recently submitted a GCF concept note that is aimed at different ecosystem (Mountainous, Coastal, Mangrove & Tropical) management in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar for the application of the ecosystem standard that we are developing in partnership with Route2 in the UK. In this activity, we plan to move beyond carbon sequestration and undertake natural capital accounting. We are planning to integrate the same with blockchain technology to maintain registry services for the emission reductions and functional ecosystem services that are generated from the project. The project being conceptualised is multi-country and multi-ecosystem with diverse outcomes. We have responded to GCF Private Sector Facility call for proposals as there is a strong partnership with the industry wherein they are offering the saplings on subsidised prices to the participating farmers of the project. The farmers are contributing their land and labour for the project. From our discussion our proposed project is inline with your strategy at the SDG Company and it offers an excellent opportunity to explore a collaborative partnership for this project.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Thank you Ismael for your feedback. We are working on this project to explore options for replication of this model across different ecosystems. The current ecosystem valuation is based on carbon as the primary driver, we wish to move beyond carbon and develop a comprehensive standard that is unique at a landscape level.

We have started a project in 2004 under CDM A/R (https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/TUEV-SUED1298895593.56/view) and this project has delivered the carbon benefits to the participating farmers in the region. This project is unique as it works under the Private-Public partnership model, where we collaborated with the local industry and World Bank to deliver carbon benefits to local communities. We work as an institutional mechanism to link the farmers with the international carbon markets. The carbon revenues have been distributed in 2012 to the participating farmers (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/Carbon-credits-yield-AP-ryots-a-fortune/articleshow/17776877.cms).

Photo of Badri
Team

Its a great idea where your project not only addresses the challenges of total ecosystem collapse from serious land degradation but also provides the local communities with food security and additional means of livelihood.
The concept of a tradable token through blockchain technology is very appropriate and timely. Though there is volatility around digital/crypto currencies at this time, there is never a better time than now to adopt this technology, so your plans are certainly in the right direction.
You can choose to add some specificity of the extent of land area that you are intending to cover, some quantifiable benefits to the local communities etc., so this proposal becomes more credible.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Dear Badri thank you very much for taking time to share your kind words of inspiration on this platform which I really appreciate. I just want to let you know that our local partner the VCCSL team working on the ground in Andhra Pradesh is engaged in the process of identifying the extent of land parcels that pose the highest risk from collapsing due to degradation. The VCCSL team that has been work on ground with different target communities from the part 10 years is also involved in seeking the consent from the local indigenous communities and we will keep updating our project proposal as we proceed forward in this Bridge Builder Challenge so please stay tuned.

Photo of Sai Nellore
Team

Dear Badri, thank you for your valuable feedback. The extent of land area would be finalised based on the participation from the local communities. The target area for the project is 5000 ha, with regards to quantifiable benefits, that is dependent on the market dynamics as the ecosystem marketplace is dependent on the buyers of these tokens.

As part of our Improving Rural Livelihoods project that has been implemented in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh and Rayagada, Kalahandi and koraput in Odisha we have successfully delivered the carbon revenues for the first time in Asia. Under that project we have delivered benefits from carbon alone, in this project we are expanding on the same and valuing the total ecosystem benefits. It's an organic expansion of the activities that we are undertaking.

Photo of Madhu Jha
Team

Really appreciate this great innovative idea, loved it Bremley Lyngdoh . When this will be implemented it will bring great change in our disturbed ecosystem and also will create source of income. Great!Thanks.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much Madhu for your inputs and we appreciate your support at this early state of our project. The proposed project would move beyond the carbon sequestration and value the total ecosystems. Our project offers a paradigm shift in addressing conservation activities. The present conservation efforts work in silos either for biodiversity, reforestation, social carbon, etc., However, our proposed project undertakes a holistic approach where the different parts are assessed under one standard to address issues at landscape level.

Photo of Jessey Baba
Team

Ihis is such an intresting and great idea,i love it,if realy embarked on,it will bring a great change in the treath from our ecosystem,and prevent so many natural desersters, i hope this proposal wil really be given due consideration and support,but as for me,you have my full backing and support thank you. Jaystix

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you very much Jessey for your feedback and we really appreciate your support. Our project team has experience of working with the corporate sector to engage and mobilize
collaborative partnership development. The proposed activity in the Araku valley along the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh involves building on the success of one of the very few A/R CDM projects through scaling up and replication of activities that have been successful in delivering additional revenue to the participating indigenous communities from the sale of carbon credits generated from the ecosystem restoration on degraded mountains along the Eastern Ghats in partnership with the private industry.

Photo of Ash Domah FCCA FFA FIPA
Team

Wow, that's Wonderful, simply Majestic Bremley, thank you for sharing. Glad to see the Blockchain Ecosystem project is well underway. We will definitely be utilising yours & Route2 expert service offering in order to (i) create Value to Society (ii) Protect our Ecosystems, Environment & Planet (iii) build upon an innovative and modern methodology to build awareness for everybody to care & save Mother Nature (iv) accelerate and deliver UN Global Goals SDGs (www.globalgoals.org + www.17goals.org )
Keep up the great work and we shall support and collaborate to expand & democratize your Ecosystem Services Market Place platform & technology.
All the very best of luck,
Our Best wishes,
From THE SDGs COMPANY
www.SDGs.co

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your valuable feedback Ash which I really appreciate. Indeed we look forward to collaborating with your team from the SDG Company once we have a fully operational model after deploying in our target area in South India first. The successful expansion requires further financial incentives. To this end, and Route2’s role, is the design, development, and implementation of a new ecosystem service assessment and evaluation standard and tradeable token, using blockchain distributed ledger technology. This standard will ascertain the annual economic value of ecosystem services delivered by the mountain ecosystems that we restore, which will enable to make it sustainable and incentivise stewardship among the local communities to engage in forest expansion and conservation.

Photo of Zee West
Team

I went to the Whitley awards last week with Princess Ann and it reminds me of this! Love it ..but for a new age...keep up the amazing real world work!

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh
Team

Thank you so much for your support Zee and we hope to make this work in a target area of 5000 ha addressing the challenges of total ecosystem collapse from serious land degradation that local indigenous communities living in Araku valley are facing before we sale up our ground operations all along the 1750 km range of the Eastern Ghats facing the Bay of Bengal in South India.

Photo of Sophie Anastasiou
Team

It sure is Carolina, Brem was born to offset carbon emissions and reforest degraded land. A percentage of 42.4% of Eastern Ghats shows soil degradation, this is 74,200 Hectares in total to be exact. Brem gave an estimate of 5000 but this is based on the figure of a 1.8% degradation before soil analysis. This shows, the shear scale of this project and why economic investment is so important.

Photo of Sophie Anastasiou
Team

Badri, The Eastern Ghats cover 1,750km so that is the area Brem is focusing on right Brem? Brem is also looking at, to what extent the degradation has effected the area. Looking at your idea Brem, I can see that it is current and innovative, it won't only have a positive social impact on this area but it will have a positive social impact on neighbouring areas too! Also Brem did add some quantifiable information that gives you an idea of the area, he suggested 1600 hectares of degraded land for an area of Northern Ghats where an IRL project was implemented.