Introducing the Impact Token
Greenstand is excited to announce our first event in support of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration! Our upcoming Impact Token Raffle will allow members of the public to own environmental impacts created by growers planting and caring for trees. But what is an Impact Token, and how does it help fight poverty and climate change?
At Greenstand, we like to say that our work is primarily social in nature. From the way we designed the Treetracker app to the planting organizations we partner with, we put tree growers at the forefront of all of our decisions. In order to stay true to our mission to alleviate extreme poverty, we have developed a system that values the important ecological services these humans provide and protects them from exploitation.
Impact Tokens are digital representations of the positive environmental impacts that tree growers create. When tree growers take photos of the trees they care for and upload them to the Treetracker platform, the Greenstand verification process ensures that the location, species, and other tree attributes are recorded accurately. The system then issues an Impact Token, which is linked to each tree’s photo capture. Every token is assigned a relative impact value based on the tree's confirmed environmental and social impacts. Impact Owners, typically tree growers, can sell their Impact Tokens to planting orgs or investors around the world. This creates an incentive for tree growers to become repeat trackers, which benefits the growers themselves and strengthens the local ecosystems that they already rely upon for survival. To see why this matters, check out one of our favorite Treetracker success stories here.
Over the past year, the Greenstand community has been carefully developing a system to value the incremental growth of individual trees differently - in natural forests, no two trees are the same. Our result is the Tree Value Matrix which assigns an appropriate relative value to each tree’s Impact Token based on data captured in the field or assigned in the cloud. We have developed a system that allows the Tree Value Matrix criteria to evolve as we gain a fuller understanding of the demands and needs of the reforestation community. These new criteria will be issued as version updates to the Value Matrix. Greenstand will hold virtual conferences open to industry professionals and experts to help us develop the round of criteria additions. In our first version, we value tree attributes such as ecological appropriateness (i.e. not invasive to planting location), method of tree capture (ground truth preferred), and the tree’s associated social impacts, proven or implied.
And that’s why this system incentives payments to individuals who keep trees alive. Not only are investments maximized through increased tree survivorship, but Treetrackers do not have to make a choice between revitalizing their land or cutting down trees to generate an income. With our Tree Value Matrix, tree captures can achieve a higher value when payments to planters are proven. This is because economic opportunity is equally important to environmental restoration in the fight against climate change. In order to build climate resilient communities, their socioeconomic needs, such as income and food security, must be addressed alongside environmental action.
Greenstanders envision a reforestation industry that values and properly compensates the tree growers that are responsible for positive environmental impacts. Currently, there is no industry standard regarding paying planters or follow-up tree care. There is a need for transparency; at the moment, it is not uncommon for planting organizations to enlist locals to plant trees without providing compensation or incentive for tree planters to make repeat visits and care for the tree. Trees outside of heavily forested areas are often dependent on protection from humans in order to make it through the first critical years of their life. This care may include regular watering and constructing fences to protect young trees from grazing animals. It isn’t easy work, and it isn’t fair to expect anyone to devote their time to tree care if those efforts do not result in compensation. Many of our Treetrackers are not just concerned with their own well-being; they also have families to support. Especially if planting organizations sell the impacts from the trees they plant, there should be a system in place to confirm that newly planted trees actually survive long enough to begin providing environmental services to its ecosystem and furthermore to ensure people are compensated for doing so.
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration officially kicks off on June 5th, World Environment Day. We are joining in on the celebration by offering YOU the opportunity to win Impact Tokens of your own! This is our very first Impact Token Raffle, and the first opportunity for members of the public to own verified environmental impacts through the Treetracker platform.
If you’re interested in being engaged in the restoration space, sign up here and be sure to share this form with your friends, family, and professional networks to receive additional Impact Tokens! This form will be closed and winners will be announced on June 5th. Each winner will receive an email with a custom link to their new Impact Wallet.
The Treetracker platform, consisting of the Treetracker app, Web Map, and the Impact Wallet and trading system, works to address social and environmental wrongs while bridging gaps within the reforestation space. We are so excited to finally share these updates with you and give you an opportunity to participate in our innovation! Be sure to sign up for our raffle and help us bring Greenstand’s work to the forefront of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.