"The aim of Regen Network is to imbue the economy with ecological sentience.
The model of production of ecological knowledge—what and how we know about what is happening in a given ecosystem—is the foundation for achieving this aim. Therefore, a community dedicated to maintaining a decentralized open ledger of ecological health information to serve as the basis for conditional agreements between parties is an essential building block for a new phase of the global economy that accounts for ecological health and invests in ecological regeneration as the cornerstone of healthy business and governance. On top of this ledger, a new economy of ecological value will be built.
The “Regen“ in Regen Network is short for regeneration. But what does this mean? When we use the term, we‘re drawing on the work of business development consultant and educator Carol Sanford. We refer to regeneration as actions that increase the capacity, viability, and vitality of both the agent and system being acted within or upon. As these concepts can be elusive, it may be useful to ground our working definition in the sphere of regenerative agriculture. As defined by our sister enterprise, Terra Genesis International, regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that enhance ecological health [Ter19]. This could be contrasted with conventional agriculture, which degrades ecological health. Public good outcomes of Regenerative Agriculture include carbon sequestration, clean water and biodiversity. Private good outcomes include increased economic prosperity for land stewards and other network participants." (https://regen-network.gitlab.io/whitepaper/Economics.pdf)
"Recent developments in blockchain architecture—such as Byzantine-Fault-Tolerant Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithms—have enabled a new form of decentralized governance in a data commons. To build on this foundation, we introduce a community staking model to even further decentralize decision making and align it more deeply with the community of users. Built on the Cosmos SDK, Regen Network is one of the first of a third generation of blockchains that leverages the governance mechanisms and data provisions for real world commons management."
Ecosystem Service Markets and Agreements
Gregory Landua et al.:
"Current ecosystem service markets such as carbon offset markets (voluntary and compliance), are deeply flawed. We feel strongly that the foundation upon which ecosystem service markets—as well as non-market agreements between stakeholders to govern ecological commons in a sustainable, and if possible, regenerative way—will depend on in infrastructure of trust that we refer to as an ecological knowledge commons.
The layers of technology that generate security, durability and integrity around data, compute functions and algorithms are the foundation for a trusted monitoring and verification system of ecological state. This trusted monitoring and verification system in turn is the foundation of any agreement between parties about ecological state. Agreements about ecological state are the foundation for the inclusion of ecological health into our financial system—an important aim of Regen Network.
Currently, ecological health is not held on the balance sheet of any entity, private or governmental. This means that financial decisions are blind to their ecological impacts. This is starting to change in small ways; there is a global payments for ecological services market. A conservative estimate puts the global market size in 2016 at $36 billion annually [SBC+18]. One example of this would be the Natural Resource Conservation Service (a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture) paying farmers to plant riparian buffers around streams that pass through their farms to improve the health of their waters. We would like to build on these shifts in societal perception of farmers and others interacting with natural systems. Rather than viewing farmers simply as food producers, we would like to elevate their societal status to that of land stewards. Agricultural use is the primary way (by land area) that humans interact with land, representing 37% of land globally [wor19]. Currently, the vast majority of this activity is degenerative, but it doesn‘t need to be this way.
We do this through two fundamental instruments: Ecological State Protocols (ESPs) and Ecological Agreements. ESPs are algorithms that, primarily utilizing remote-sensing data, determine the change in state of a specific facet of ecological health. An example of this would be a soil carbon ESP, which would track the change in soil carbon in a given piece of land over a given period of time. Ecological Agreements are smart contracts tied to the outcomes of Ecological State Protocols. For example, a rancher has demonstrated via a soil carbon ESP that they‘ve sequestered one hundred tons of CO2 over the past year in their ranch land. A carbon market, utilizing an Ecological Agreement, could pay them automatically when this carbon sequestration is verified." (https://regen-network.gitlab.io/whitepaper/Economics.pdf)
- Economics whitepaper: Regen Network Economics Technical Paper. An Ecological Market-Commons, Secured by Proof-of-Stake. By G. Landua, K. Birchard, W. Szal. Version 0.2, November 14, 2019