The beginning of our Ocean Program at OpenEarth
1 year ago today, the OpenEarth Foundation hosted OceanDrop, an NFT art fundraising auction to raise funds for our Ocean Program! The OceanDrop campaign was successful in helping start our program, which launched in February 2022, and raised awareness about ocean conservation. Since then, we have made incredible progress, collaborated with many organizations and launched the first outcomes of our research. Read on to see more about our journey over the past year.
OceanDrop allowed us to research and innovative solutions that will scale ocean conservation finance. We worked with amazing sponsors and 23 renown Artists to make this auction possible. OceanDrop featured 24 ocean inspired NFTs, created with messages behind each art piece telling a story of love, destruction, awe and inspiration of the ocean.
We would like to thank the artists of the OceanDrop family that donated their stunning works of art! Nicole Buffet, Paul Nicklen, POSTWOOK, Cristina Mittermeier, Frenetikvoid, Kyle Gordon, Kevin Heisner, Popil, Rebecca Rose, Swaggy Wolfdog & DJ Swagrman, Giancarlo Pucci, SVN, MB Boissonnault, Fractal Frontiers, Kevin Mack, Mieke Marple, Jens Kull, Gilles Augustijnen, Will Selviz, Taranveer Singh, Sara Ludy, Silvio Pupo & Isla Moon, OVR and Rudolph Goldenberg.
To ensure we considered planet Earth in our NFT minting, we pegged carbon offsets to each NFT thanks to the generous donation from KlimaDAO, Offestra and Creol. The NFTs dropped on SuperRare and DoinGud and OpenSea, with all funds raised going towards cutting edge work on ocean conservation!
The funds raised were mobilized towards a pilot project in Cocos Island, Costa Rica. This is helping us anchor our research and innovation of advanced financial mechanisms that can be used for marine protection and restoration. The choice of starting our program with a pilot in Cocos Island was an easy one; this island is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The water surrounding this island is close to what many ecosystems looked like before degradation. Therefore, protecting Cocos Island and learning how to apply our research globally is key to ensuring the future of the ocean.
Our Ocean Program Progress
Stakeholder meeting in Costa Rica
Throughout August 2022, the OpenEarth team conducted expert workshops with the Costa Rican government and strategic local partners. Key meetings and workshops were organized by FAICO (Friends of Cocos Island) done with the National Conservation System and the heads of the Cocos Island Marine Park (i.e. Sinac and ACMC), with the deputy Minister of Environment (Minae), Fundación Marviva, Conservation International, Costa Rica Por Siempre, and the UK embassy among others. These meetings helped consolidate local support for the OpenEarth program and validated the need for increased accounting and market innovation for oceans, as well as opened new opportunities for research and innovation. Among others, the local government was particularly interested on how Marine Ecosystem Credits could play a role in the Central Bank’s Environmental accounts, considering OpenEarth has started an early discovery work on the Nature Based Currencies. As such, the OpenEarth team has started conversation with the Costa Rican Central Bank and looks forward to next steps on this as well as continued collaboration with FAICO.
Launching our first whitepaper on Marine Ecosystem Credits
In November this year the Oceans team at OpenEarth launched our first whitepaper: Marine Ecosystem Credits. In this whitepaper, we outline an advanced credit class design that will aid in scaling ocean conservation.
In the paper you can read about many of the ideas we are researching and innovating that can be applied globally to marine parks and marine protected areas. Our mission is to contribute advanced methods that will allow us to contribute to the protection of 30% of the ocean by 2030.
In the whitepaper, we go in depth on how we aim to build the open digital infrastructure for a new class credits, among other key topics such as:
💧 Protection credits
💧 How we see credits being modular and stackable
💧 The implementation of digital and democratized MRV and tokenization
💧 Decentralized tokens for secure issuance
💧 The types of credits we will use; marine biodiversity, plastic, blue carbon and eutrophication
Hosting a webinar for our whitepaper
On December 2, we hosted a webinar where the Oceans team described in more detail some key components of the whitepaper on Marine Ecosystem Credits. The team discussed the inspiration behind the program based on a trip made to Cocos Island, Costa Rica, where the Park Rangers and local experts inspired the OpenEarth Foundation to steward a digital innovation program on the critical topic of scaling finance for Marine Protected Areas. In the webinar, we go over our advanced credit design with key features such as the credits being modular, stackable, decentralized, with digitized MRV and open.
The Marine Ecosystem Credit framework presents a standard for a family or ‘stack’ of credits. Credits are distinguished by protection or restoration activities of marine ecosystems, with a focus in marine protected areas, and include credits in marine biodiversity, plastic, blue carbon and eutrophication. Our first focus is on marine biodiversity credits —researching the best methodology to robustly measure biodiversity for credit issuance. The marine biodiversity unit aims to quantify marine conservation efforts within a given area and time, and support a credit that rewards maintaining a high biodiversity baseline.
OpenEarth’s Oceans team is working hard to research, innovate and collaborate to advance research and knowledge in the marine field. We look forward to the future of our program and to advance progress on financial innovations for marine conservation.
If you would like to watch the webinar and see what the team had to say, you can watch it here!
Learn more about our Ocean Program here