Please find below the
Some discussion of economics, finance, and the role of central banks is essential to implement the type of novel vision presented in this proposal. There is actually a fair bit of research & practice on complementary currencies that is not addressed in this proposal.
An interesting idea to link local currency to improved farming and information sharing, however, primarily, this is a PES scheme of payment for better farming methods (to store carbon), but with the - in my opinion - unnecessary added complexity of inventing a new currency. It also shows bias towards particular farming methods (that may or may not be the best for achieving multiple SDGs).
Impressive collation of proposals. Well-presented, however, the proposal’s crux / feasibility is not compelling enough. Could have benefited from a from critical reflection on lessons learned from existing comparable market-based PES schemes that have faltered.
Judge 1: Okay to move forward, however MAJOR CHANGES NEEDED this is well presented but it is essentially a global 'payment for ecosystem services' scheme, like REDD+. And, like REDD+ and other carbon credits payments, the crocus scheme is also bound to face major hurdles, unless market demand and a strong need is there to require the creation of the crocus (as opposed to solutions with existing currencies or REDD+-type schemes). this aspect is not yet addressed. Perhaps a more independent movement (not under IMF, but crowd-based) for crocus-coin type e-coin (like the bit-coin, but with a green aim and backing from the global green movement) may be worth exploring?
Judge 2: Great collation of multiple proposals. Very well presented and appealing and of global significance. The proponent however errs on the side of description of all the positives that can/will be achieved by implementation, without raising any of the challenges to implementation - if it was all so easy, why hasn't it happened? Why would the vested interests of the political and economic status quo buy into this new paradigm? Without a concerted effort to identify, and address the challenges and inevitable pushback form these sectors, it is an admirable, ambitious proposal, but too idealistic. Very definitely worth taking forward.
Jan 29, 2018
Answer to Judge 1:
Regarding REDD+ and other carbon credits payments schemes, one must be aware that these systems have many drawbacks:
"Problems have been identified in Reduction of Emissions through Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) schemes, which are in effect PES schemes (Payments for Ecosystem Services) that categorise the carbon sequestered in forests and soils as a service. Complexities regarding how to measure the carbon sequestered and the rate of deforestation are routinely ignored, as is the distinction between forests and industrial tree plantations. The diversity of approaches to valuing and relating to forests is similarly ignored, in the process of creating a single exchange-value (...). Land rights for Indigenous Peoples and land tenure conflicts in REDD+ are often sidelined and existing disputes are aggravated, leading to increased struggles and corruption.
As a result, not only is REDD+ an inadequate instrument to address climate change but it also aggravates problems of inequalities and profiteering that are at the heart of deforestation and land use conflicts."
(The Natural Capital Financial Facility—A window into the “green” economy—November 2014 http://www.carbontradewatch.org/downloads/publications/a-window-into-the-green-economy.pdf ; www.counter-balance.org ; www.recommon.org)
"Now that various REDD readiness and REDD projects have been underway for some time, we can see that—as already predicted by Friends of the Earth International and other movements and organisations in civil society—REDD is a risky and false solution to climate change, both in theory and in practice.
There are now some notable real world examples demonstrating that REDD projects can facilitate rather than prevent the continued use of fossil fuels; exacerbate tensions over land and resource rights; have significant negative impacts on forest-dependent Indigenous Peoples and local communities; threaten food security; and even endanger forests. Some REDD projects have also faced significant financial difficulties, wasting considerable amounts of public funding."
(The great REDD gamble—Time to ditch risky REDD for community-based approaches that are effective, ethical and equitable—October 2014 | Friends of the Earth International report http://www.foei.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/The-great-REDD-gamble.pdf)
"G8 economies are using the climate crisis for profit. Through free trade agreements and institutions like the World Bank, Canada is banking on using carbon offset initiatives such as REDD and REDD+. By privatizing forests through the international carbon trading facility to be bought and sold as commodities, Canada can plant a million palm oil trees in the Global South to justify expanding controversial developments like the tar sands in the north. We have such a huge responsibility on our shoulders to keep the oil in the soil living in a region with the second largest carbon pool on the planet. If Canada’s tar sands are developed to the fullest of its capacity it's game over for humanity."
(Clayton Thomas-Müller, a member of the Mathais Colomb Cree Nation—Pukatawagan—in Northern Manitoba, Canada - 4 stories of Indigenous Peoples’ struggle for climate justice | Greenpeace International, Blogpost by Martin Vainstein - 9 August, 2016
The OMF-crocus scheme would have far fewer perverse effects than REDD+ and other carbon-credit payments schemes because in order not to clash with the traditional uses of the land—especially where territories rich in “ecosystem services” are public or common property—the OMF's micro-farm cluster certification system will give extreme care to respect the choices of the local community.
Basically, there is a difference in nature between these two approaches.
The OMF-crocus scheme is not a market-based system. On the contrary, it is based entirely on political will and human-to-human cooperation. This should be an imperative, since it is a question of preserving the best possible climate conditions, saving endangered biodiversity and eradicating hunger and unemployment, which are objectives that the market logic has failed to achieve.
This is why crocus is more desirable than REDD+ or the payment of carbon credits. It would prove that human will cannot be reduced to the laws of the market.
When in Europe the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, rose up against fascism in 1940, he did not appeal to market mechanisms, which are basically laisser-faire economic forces. He called on the entire population to come together in a genuine war effort. His lucidity in the face of Nazism saved the world's freedom.
Today, faced with an even greater challenge, we have no choice.
In the age of the Anthropocene, our responsibility is to act in a coordinated way, as quickly as possible, and all over the globe.
This requirement means that we must not be satisfied with half-measures. Disseminated local initiatives, paltry actions (faircoin-style gadgets), the scattering of financial aid that is never enough, and even protracted negotiations on greenhouse gas reduction, are not up to the crucial challenges we are facing.
The OMF-crocus project can effectively bring together the international community's efforts in a single direction, the most urgent and vital: the reconstitution of thick, rich soils and of the highest possible rate of living organic matter (plants and animals) on the planet's emerged lands. The simultaneous involvement of billions of human beings will curb global warming, stop the biodiversity haemorrhage, and will have a virtuous effect on the health of the oceans as well.
Acting by bringing us all together will not be easy, but is feasible.
To do so, we must mobilise the will of all those who understand that despite global progress, humanity is probably facing its most dangerous time ever—that is the majority of us now.
Are we not a species of intelligence and skill?
Are we not all interconnected?
This is how we will overcome the obstacles, and how humanity will once again be proud of itself.
Humans can either continue to fight each other, or come together in a new pact, a "natural contract" of co-development with the planet and a declared armistice with nature. We must sign a peace treaty with the Earth.
Feb 2, 2018
I have added the following elements to my proposal to take account of the judges' observations and also to clarify the concept of regenerative agriculture.
1 - At the end of the summary, just after the photograph of the purple crocus growing in the grass, I added a summary poster of the project.
2 - Under "Summary" again, I added, just after the circular figure "Carbon Farming":
- an image that summarizes arguments in favor of reorienting agriculture in 4 points and one sentence;
- an image specifying the nuances between regenerative and organic farming;
3 - At the end of the Costs/Challenges section, just after the image "Sustainable food is...", I added:
- a slide that introduces a comparison of the crocus with existing tools;
- a slide that summarizes in 9 key points the drawbacks of the REDD mechanism;
- a slide to prove that the crocus is a far better way of addressing the challenges;
- a slide about the brakes and resistances likely to oppose the implementation of the crocus idea;
- a slide arguing that given the challenges humanity faces, we can no longer be content with half measures;
- a slide with a quote that allows the soil to speak, like in the famous Conservation International series 'Nature Is Speaking'.
4 - Finally, my answer to the question which was added at the end of the form.
I hope the jury will be satisfied, and I send you some kind words of thanks from France!