It easy to see when a human is hurt and bleeding. But many people are turning blind eye to the bleeding earth; soaring temperatures, intense natural calamities, inhabitable environment, degrading and polluted air, water, soil quality, escalated desertification, more prominent droughts, and what not... And yet, many don't even care to at least acknowledge their contribution to the detriment of our beloved planet. Petty luxury of people; like drinking with a plastic straw, more than 90% packaging for 10% product with non-biodegradable plastic, ignorance and carelessness on the use of sustainable products over one time deal, to name a few; and the greed of manufacturing companies and corporations, have created the threat of existence, not only to the humans, but also for all the living beings. So-called modern people have kept themselves aloof from nature and they only believe in the concrete forest.
Fact: 133 billion tonnes of carbon was released to the environment in 2018 alone; where Australia accounts for 1.3% of total emission.
Keeping all these in view, with growing interests in Paris Climate Accord, Kyoto Protocol, our team was inspired to do something for the environment. Then we the idea of 'The Green Feat'.
What it does
The Green Feat is an online platform that focuses in afforestation, reforestation, and maintenance of community forests in Nepal through collaboration with local community and council of community forests and utilising individual investments from all around the world.
The primary partners of The Green Feat are the community councils, individual investors, Manufacturing and Mining companies (that require carbon credit to operate), and individuals, who want to offset their carbon footprint.
Our platform receives funds from the individual investors, and uses the fund to create carbon credits to sell to manufacturing & mining companies and individuals through collaborations with the local community councils in Nepal.
After selling the carbon credits, 50% of the revenue is distributed to the investors proportionately, 30% of the revenue is provided to the communities as they are the actual owners and caretakers of the forests, and the remaining 20% of the revenue is used by the platform for operating costs and expansion for the following years.
Is this it, then?
Actually, there are more aspects to this initiative;
For the investors;
- They get the name plates in areas in the forests so that they can be proud of their investment to contribute to sustainability and environment conservation.
- Photos and videos are uploaded in the website to showcase the locations that are protected and named through which the investors can share their contribution through social media and other online means.
- They can visit the places first-hand which will obviously provide them the sense of satisfaction and pride.
- They can get the investment return as per the sales of carbon credit.
For the communities;
- They get the part of income after selling the carbon credits.
- Proper maintenance Community forests and funding ensure other economic gain to the locals.
- Funding for the development of the communities and other awareness/ empowering campaigns.
- Employment generation
- Enhanced living standards
- Global recognition that, in turn, highlights the communities for other benefits.
- They get newer resources through afforestation and reforestation schemes.
For the manufacturing companies;
- They get to buy the carbon credits.
- They get to support the communities and their livelihood.
- They get to support the cause of environment conservation adding to their corporate social responsibility.
For the cause;
- The number of forests will increase.
- It will reduce the carbon footprints in the long run.
- Newer ecosystems will be generated that will support biodiversity and resources.
- More countries will be added in the future to support the cause of afforestation and reforestation.
- It will be an inspiration to others.
So, this is an initiative, which aims to derive revenue streams from the emitters of carbon dioxide and further utilise the economy to encourage environment conservation and sustainable development.
How we built it
This is in addition to community and other collaborations.
Challenges we ran into
There are a lot of challenges that we have faced till now and are expecting in the future. Some of the challenges are as follows;
- Talking to the community councils and making them believe that the project will benefit them.
- Due to difference in perception, we found that people in different countries understand the idea differently which makes it challenging to communicate the idea.( For instance, community forests in Nepal are completely under the control of the local community and government has little control over it. They have the right to use the resources and maintain the forests as per their own guidelines; which may not be true in other countries)
- Being an online platform, there is a challenge to maintain data security and secure payment gateway.
- As the Government of Nepal has given exclusive rights to the local government bodies, some of the local bodies tend create difficulties in trading forests for carbon trade.
- The Green Feat believes in transparency and accountability; so it is a challenge to ensure all the partners are on the same page for the success of the project.
- As we need a lot of individual investors, especially in the starting phase, they are skeptic of the financial transactions as the returns are promised after two years.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As we are in the development phase and recently started we have limited accomplishments to be proud of which are as follows;
- we have developed a business model canvas which gives a general idea on the project.
- we have an established network with some of the community councils and local government bodies (like Kageshwori Manohara Municipality, Ward No 4 and several others)
- We have the researchers and forestry experts for carbon sequestration.
What we learned
Learning is limitless and we learnt a lot in the process.
- We learnt about the financial gain which can be achieved through working in favour of environment conservation.
- Strength and importance of team work.
- Knowledge about the costs involved and breakdown.
- Innovative ideas can help in generating greener ways of life.
- Generating idea alone is not enough, and working model is necessary for it to be successful.
- We need to foresee every possible threat and challenge so that the idea is sustainable.
What's next for The Green Feat
The Green Feat is in the development phase and the next is the executive of all the plans and efforts. First off, it starts platform development and community collaborations simultaneously. Then, after the test of the systems, it will integrate all the partners into the platform for a working mechanism.
When all is developed, up and running, the next for the Green Feat is to include as many Communities and Forests as possible so that it can have a huge and global impact for the conservation of environment and to mitigate climate change from our side.
Sustainable future and environment is the next for The Green Feat.