ReSeed White Paper
Dive deeper into how ReSeed works, from collecting data with our farmer partners
to the diverse marketplaces where carbon credits are sold.
ReSeed’s innovative technology platform incentivizes carbon storage, protects natural resources and raises the living standards of farmers across the world while providing benefits for consumers, companies and investors.
This paper provides an overview of the methods and protocols developed by ReSeed to create a global movement to take on the climate crisis. ReSeed does this by building a market to financially reward responsible stewardship of the carbon stocks managed by over two billion small farmers around the world.
ReSeed’s innovative technology platform incentivizes carbon protection and removal, protects natural resources, and raises the living standards of farmers across the world while providing benefits for consumers, companies, and carbon investors.
ReSeed pays farmers directly for their verified carbon stock management. ReSeed’s business model is inherently scalable globally and directly tackles the failures of current carbon markets to provide immediate and fair incentives for smallholder farmers to maintain and grow their carbon stocks
Key Issues with the current carbon markets
Reseed recognizes four main problems that inhibit effective growth in the carbon markets:
1. Legacy carbon credit markets aren’t working, as global carbon emissions are out of control
2. Global carbon markets are inadequate to scale to humanity’s needs
3. Global carbon markets lack transparency and trust
4. Small farmers’ contributions are not recognized
Problem #1: Legacy carbon credit markets aren’t working, as global carbon emissions are out of control
Carbon emissions have us on a path to disaster. In June of 2022 the New York Times reported in an article titled “Carbon Dioxide Levels Are Highest in Human History,” that “humans pumped 36.3 billion tons of the planet-warming gas into the atmosphere in 2021, more than in any previous year. It comes from burning oil, gas and coal.”
If we do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are on course for an average temperature increase of 3-4 degrees C by 2100 unless CO2 emissions are reduced.
More specifically, this level of warming could bring:
- The inundation of coastal cities;
- Increasing risks for food production, potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates;
- Many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; Unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics;
- Substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions;
- Increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and Irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.
In addition to our industrial and transportation emissions, another main cause of climate change is the loss of terrestrial carbon stocks through deforestation and the loss of natural ecosystems. Tropical forest carbon loss has doubled over the past 20 years, and more than 80% of forest land loss globally was cleared for industrial-scale agriculture.
Problem #2 – Global carbon markets as designed today are inadequate
Carbon markets are limited in their ability to impact scale and provide transparency. They also do not allow for individual climate change mitigation contributions, such as those of small farmers who, if enrolled and aggregated, hold the potential for massive and scalable climate change mitigation.
Carbon markets are an internationally agreed upon way to bring carbon externalities into the marketplace
Carbon credits, frequently called carbon offsets, represent projects that reduce emissions or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, such as preserving forests, building wind and solar farms, or capturing methane gas. In general, one carbon credit represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide that has been saved from the atmosphere. To a purchaser it represents permission to emit that same amount of carbon guilt-free (and in some cases, tax-free). A global carbon market emerged in 1997 with the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that established carbon credits as a way for countries to offset their emissions to reach limits set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Currently, carbon markets are divided into three generic types.
- Emission Trading Systems (ETSs) are the most liquid and robustly regulated form of carbon markets;
- International Carbon Markets allow the transfer of project emissions reductions among different countries;
- Voluntary Carbon Markets provide carbon “offsets” that individuals and companies typically use to offset their carbon footprint. These markets aim to increase participation and cost effectiveness of achieving global emissions reductions.
Problem #3: Global carbon markets lack transparency and trust
Carbon markets have come under increased criticism and scrutiny because they are not able to provide a clear and understandable way for buyers to track the validity and impact of the credits they’ve purchased. Legacy carbon systems have many layers of intermediaries, opaque and out-dated systems for tracking information and lack of any standardization for reporting results to customers.
Problem #4 – The climate contributions of millions of small farmers are not recognized
Small farmers produce up to 75% of the world’s food. Many of these farmers have been living and farming on the same land for generations, often perfecting traditional forms of biodiverse carbon- capturing regenerative farming practices that care for soil health and above-ground ecosystems as if their livelihoods and very lives depend on it. Because they often do.
Unfortunately, these same farmers, instead of benefiting from their service to humanity in the form of food as well as other critical ecosystem services, are too often stuck at the very bottom of the value chains to which they are foundational. This lack of recognition is due in part because of price volatility, lack of direct access to markets, and an inability to compete with large, chemically intensive monoculture factory farms that destroy soil and ecosystems with impunity.
Smallholder farmers are under relentless and increasing pressure to sell or simply abandon their farms. Every year thousands of smallholder farmers leave their farms. When this happens, in addition to cumulative threats to local and global food security, and incalculable personal and societal costs, the biodiversity of the lands they have farmed as well as the surrounding ecosystems they have stewarded for generations are lost, and with them, massive carbon stocks are lost as well.
The ReSeed Model – A path forward for fixing the problems of legacy carbon markets
We recognize, quantify, verify, and pay for existing smallholder farmer practices. We start with what exists today and reward beneficial practices that lead to an increase carbon removal and storage. ReSeed leverages the most advanced end-to-end digital technologies to ensure validity of carbon stock protection and removal, from farmer onboarding and verification, all the way through to reporting to our customers. We transform the concept of “additionality,” which in its current form is one of the main barriers to entry to the world’s smallholder farmers who are our biggest allies in helping nature rebalance the carbon cycle. ReSeed uses the latest technology to quantify and verify carbon protection and removal actions that reduce our carbon footprint.
Our Four Step Process:
Mobile Data Collection: Through the use of our tested inclusive mobile app technology, built from the ground up, we work directly with smallholder farmers to help them map the carbon assets they currently hold and manage. Further, we have farmers fill out simple survey questions to track farming practices, socio-economic data and demographic information. Farmers spend between 3-10 hours per year interacting with ReSeed’s data collection process.
Satellite Imagery AI Analysis and Verification: Using advanced AI and satellite imagery analysis we verify these existing assets and their status every six months.
From the moment it is generated, all information is tracked in our proprietary distributed ledger for unparalleled accuracy and transparency. We don’t make use of legacy systems or outdated validation protocols. All of our data is fresh from the farm AND fully auditable.
As verified carbon credits are certified by ReSeed on yearly basis, they are made available for sale through various carbon credit marketplaces. Farmers are paid 50% of the gross revenue from the sale of the credits, providing timely income and greater incentive to increase their carbon holdings.
Mobile Data Collection
The first step in the ReSeed process starts with our partner farmers. Built on 20 years of field experience of supporting community data collection and management by ReSeed technical partners, ReSeed partner farmers use inclusive applications property, its ecosystem management practices. Land tenure rights are verified against public land registries, and where necessary local ReSeed technical partners work with local farming representative organizations to ensure all legal and regulatory requirements are met. Every bit of information included in the application is verified to ensure its authenticity.
For the participating farmers, ReSeed mobile technology allows them to accurately measure their carbon stocks and additional carbon sequestered.
ReSeed Farmer Case Study
In one of Brazil’s most verdant regions, the northern state of Amapá, Joaquina dos Santos makes her daily trek to tend to her community’s farm plot. But unlike in traditional agriculture, this plot is tucked away inside the Amazon rainforest in a practice known as agroforestry. In it, Joaquina and her community grow fruits, vegetables, and tree-based products like shade-grown cacao.
Dependent on small-scale regenerative agriculture for income, her community provides an important source of organic food for urban centers while protecting the forests on their traditional lands. This mix of productive agriculture and forest protection supports both the increasing demand for healthy food and the need to reduce and offset carbon emissions.
Joaquina is one of nearly 16 million Quilombola, descendants of African peoples who were forcibly brought to Brazil, escaped slavery, and established their own communities. Since the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888, these communities and their regenerative agriculture practices have been mostly invisible to the rest of the world.
The success of their endeavors depends in large part on their ability to scale the collection of their data in a digital format that can be presented to other communities and private companies. Reliable data collection in rural and forested areas, however, is notoriously difficult.
Using ReSeed’s mobile app for data collection, Joaquina is able to collect the data in minutes that a few years ago would have required a team of highly trained specialists and proprietary software. During the ReSeed pilot, two of the small traditional communities who only recently put themselves on the map using Google Earth were already able to identify over 80,000 tons of carbon stock under their protection.
Satellite Imagery AI Analysis and Verification
The technical procedures necessary to carry out the above actions require the selection and processing of satellite images, in addition to calculations made in a GIS environment. In this case, after selecting the best scene, we apply georeferencing and atmospheric corrections according to the need for each image and after that apply spatial and context analysis.
In addition, the ReSeed protocol allows us to bring in additional data regarding the farms’ productive activities. The productive techniques are evaluated, specifically the emissions and carbon sequestration categorized by cultivation technique. The procedural steps include the following:
- location and spatialization of the cultivation areas
- description of types of crops
- description of the techniques for each type of crop (focusing especially on soil management and water resources use)
- a customized emissions calculator to measure emissions and carbon sequestration from production
- calculation of economic values and distribution of financial benefits
For the measurement of GHG protocol emissions and removals in the practice of family farming, ReSeed uses as reference internationally recognized standardized protocols such as the GHG protocol. Standardized protocols are then adjusted for each farming region’s reality, made possible through our use of ground data. Ground data is sent to the AI cloud environment such as Google Earth Engine and functions as a trainer for the supervised classification algorithm. The results extrapolate the sample data to the project areas, thus enabling the calculation of areas with stock type environmental service potential.
Auditable Data Trail
All data collected throughout the entire process, from the farm to the delivery of certifications to our customers, are clearly documented in an immutable and auditable distributed ledger. This provides unprecedented access to externally verify the data so it can be trusted.
Beyond just providing access to highly detailed data transparently, ReSeed provides its customers with access to the stories of the farmers, the ecosystems and communities that are part of the process. These stories are compelling and provide the ability for our customers (and potentially their customers) to connect with not just the numbers associated with the data, but the stories behind the numbers.
Transparent Revenue Share with Farmers
Our farmers are our business partners. We split all gross revenue (the total amount paid for a carbon credit) equally with farmers. They get 50% of the gross revenue of every metric ton of carbon sold. An additional 30% of the gross revenue goes to cover farmer support services, which include local agricultural technical support, carbon smart farm planning, MRV costs, etc.
For cooperatives, community collectives, tribes and other local/regional collections of farmers, payments can be made to the representative organizations in accordance with their participatory investment plans.
All payments are made in the currency preferred by the farmer recipients.
Validation of the ReSeed Model
ReSeed’s carbon protection and removal credits have been measured using the latest inclusive technologies and are verified using highly advanced and established methodologies.
ReSeed Carbon Removal Credits are among the most valuable and verifiable carbon offset credits in the world, as they guarantee that additional carbon is actually removed from the atmosphere.
ReSeed Carbon Protection Credits quantify and directly value the carbon stored in vegetation and soil that are under management and protection.
Both represent the most tangible ecosystem services provided to humanity and our planet. Together they are a critical onramp for billions of farmers to participate in the carbon markets that will pay them to both protect AND to remove carbon.
By giving smallholders the financial means to stay on their lands they also avoid the loss of extensive carbon stocks and in this way contribute to stabilizing global climate change.
Why is Carbon Stock Management Important?
The world’s hundreds of 2 billion+ smallholder farmers manage gigatons of carbon stocks every day through their use of regenerative techniques, soil care efforts, protection of native vegetation and the use of cover crops, among many other practices. ReSeed recognizes the existing management work of these farmers and helps them quantify, verify, and transform these previously ignored carbon stocks into financial assets that can help provide extra income while incentivizing them to increase their carbon stocks under protection. This not only prevents these stocks from being transformed into carbon emissions, it also helps them draw down legacy carbon from our atmosphere.
ReSeed recognizes the existing management work of these farmers and helps them quantify, verify, and transform these previously ignored carbon stocks into financial assets (ReSeed Carbon Protection Credits) which provide extra income to help smallholder farmers stay on their land while incentivizing them to increase their carbon stocks under management (ReSeed Carbon Removal credits).
Supporting effective carbon management of farmers allows us to reduce our carbon footprint as a whole and is not an incentive to maintain or increase our own individual carbon emissions. Supporting the increase of carbon stocks under protection by farmers through the sequestration or drawing down of legacy carbon in our atmosphere provides another direct benefit in our ability to mitigate climate change. It is these benefits that ReSeed quantifies and brings to market, allowing individuals and companies to associate their own carbon footprint with these actions through their support.
Enhancing carbon removals from soils and of restoration of peatlands and coastal wetlands can, starting today, remove over 6 billion tons of CO2 per year across 79 tropical countries and territories between 2030 and 2050 at a cost of less than US$100 per tCO2. This is significantly less than the price tag of $1,200 for mechanical carbon capture, for example.
In order to do this at scale we need to be able to engage with those who are the current guardians of the world’s soil and forest carbon assets – the world’s 2 billion+ smallholder farmers. By recognizing the value of their current carbon stocks, ReSeed leverages investments in regenerative farmers around the world, using the latest technologies to ensure scale, transparency, and impact.
How does ReSeed address Additionality?
ReSeed defines the concept of additionality as developing the incentives to both being able to scale positive carbon management actions globally to achieve a mass movement as well as increasing the drawdown of legacy carbon by existing participants either by intensifying existing practices and/or introducing new technologies/practices. The current use of the additionality concept has proven to be unworkable in practice time and time again. It also has baked into the carbon market an inherently unjust and mostly unmeasurable theoretical quality that acts as an insurmountable barrier to entry into this market and greatly reduces its ability to scale.
ReSeed’s model provides the proper incentives necessary for smallholder farmers to be able to join in and grow their carbon management actions through the adoption of regenerative/traditional farming practices. Protection Credits allow them to gain the funds necessary to stabilize them on their land and have enough left over to invest into new smart carbon farming techniques. Typically, these lead to increased revenue from carbon credits, as well as increased yields from their crops!
How does ReSeed address Permanence?
Carbon stocks are measured during a specific period of time, and their value is derived from the ecosystem service provided during that time. By providing yearly payments based on verified past performance of their carbon asset management, ReSeed incentivizes all of its partner farmers to directly maintain and increase their carbon stocks. For many other carbon credit classes there is no length of time, short of perpetual, that is equated with the assurance of permanence. Nor is there a sound scientific basis or accepted international standard around any number of years that equates to an emission reduction/removal being permanent.
How does ReSeed address Leakage?
ReSeed Carbon credits are based on real, quantifiable actions in the maintenance and management of existing carbon stocks in vegetation and soils. In many cases, our ReSeed farmers have for generations prevented others from destroying their carbon stocks and replacing them with other less beneficial land uses. Unlike some other carbon offsets, ReSeed carbon credits do not create a perverse incentive to increase deforestation activities in other regions. To the contrary, by paying farmers directly for their positive carbon protection and removal actions, ReSeed encourages others to follow in their footsteps. We consider leakage of these good practices to be an essential part of our work.
How does ReSeed address Double Counting?
All of the partner farms in the ReSeed network receive a unique identifier that is directly linked to the location of their carbon assets. By including and verifying all data as it is entered into the platform, ReSeed technology provides unprecedented transparency, enabling us to clearly show the origins and destination of each carbon credit created on our platform. Where necessary, ReSeed works with jurisdictions to ensure carbon assets of small farmers are not double counted towards the jurisdictional carbon offset schemes.
ReSeed solves critical issues related to the carbon markets and is based on making it possible to direct payments for ecosystem services to farmers who are protecting and drawing down clearly measurable and verifiable carbon stocks.
ReSeed is an on-ramp for involving more farmers globally in the carbon markets. This is an absolute necessity for reducing legacy carbon in our atmosphere by drawing down carbon into soil and vegetation.
ReSeed provides a global climate solution that is based on scale, transparency, and directly benefits farmers while allowing buyers to either reduce their carbon footprints or invest in tokens anchored to real assets.