5 Ways to Use Climate-Smart Agriculture to Tackle the Climate Crisis

Regen Network’s Letter to the USDA

1. Identify and support carbon credits and payments for ecosystem services.

These registries should serve the needs of individual, small-scale land stewards, and be designed to ensure that they can financially thrive. These registries must have processes that are affordable and accessible for land stewards, and programs that are transparent, digital, streamlined, and efficient, both in terms of cost and implementation time, and easy to understand.

2. Guarantee a floor price for carbon credits to ensure the economic viability of carbon credit.

The price, at a minimum, should cover the total cost of participation in these programs, including administrative, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) costs over the length of the program, and ideally the cost of practice implementation.

3. Methodologies must represent a wide range of land use/ land cover classes (LULCs).

Monitoring methodologies should be customized for agriculture and forestry. Methodologies must represent a wide range of LULCs, including everything from major agricultural to conservation and forestry practices. Ecological outcome protocols that should be included could range from afforestation, reforestation, forest protection, agroforestry grazing, and ranching, no-till/low till, etc.

4. Go beyond carbon, acknowledging ecosystem services.

Few economic models currently account for natural capital, the inherent value present in clean air and water, healthy forests, and biodiverse ecosystems. Ensuring that other ecosystem functions (ie. nutrient cycling, water regulation, etc.) beyond carbon sequestration, are monitored and verified, shifts the global climate economy towards re-wholing ecosystems, instead of reductionist carbon accounting standards.

5. Transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0.

Web 3.0 is emerging globally and promotes open, trustless, and permissionless networks. For example, in the case of Regen Network, the Regen Ledger is a custom-designed native blockchain for publicly verifiable international carbon accounting. The technology was designed to address Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, specifically regarding international transfer of outcomes, avoidance of double counting, and verification of voluntary actions and outcomes. This also enables opportunities for coordination across instruments and institutionals.

  • Data Verification — data provenance, and quality can be tracked and verified
  • Payments — using a blockchain allows Regen Network to facilitate direct payment for ecosystem services, as well as issuing trading & retiring of a whole new class of financial assets tied to ecological health, Ecosystem Service Credits
  • Smart Contracts allow for automation of the issuing of ecosystem service credits, or payment for ecosystem services, based on verifiable changes in ecological health.

RESOURCES

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Regen Network

A blockchain network of ecological knowledge changing the economics of regenerative agriculture to reverse global warming.