The emerging industry of Regenerative Finance (ReFi) and Digital Asset development is backdropped by the urgency of our world’s race against climate change. We find ourselves in a world of lightning speed development and innovation, where mission trajectories often either overlap, or miss each other entirely. Opportunities to gather and collaborate are crucial, setting the stage for the next rotation of working hard for the collective.
In October of 2022, Open Forest Protocol was honored to be invited to the Accelerating Digital Environmental Assets Summit in San Francisco, co-sponsored by Google and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners. The three day event focused on Digital Environmental Assets (DEAs) and brought together a pioneering cohort of organizations, each of whom are leaders in the frontiers of environment and technology. Fred Fournier (CEO) and Jeremy Epstein (Head of Growth), attended the conference, representing Open Forest Protocol, alongside other Regenerative Finance friends such as Flowcarbon, Senken, and ReGen.
There were three crowning jewels of conversation: The Technological Disruption of Voluntary Carbon Markets, The Emergence of Digital Environmental Assets (DEAs), and The Next Frontier: Marketplaces, Project Finance, and Tokenization as a Service.
DEAs are any environmental feature that can be used as a base for a digital asset, such as a carbon credit (which is based on carbon sequestration amounts, usually in tons), or a biodiversity credit (based on a reflection of the species diversity of a region or ecosystem) (cite). An emerging concept in and of itself, DEAs have been met with both praise and censure as a controversial solution to climate change by assetizing nature. With an industry full of new ideas and passions around restructuring the future of money through planet preservation — such as marketplaces for trading DEAs — this Google event signaled to the world ReFi, and beyond, that we are ready for a change.
“ReFi is, and particularly OFP, is building a digital pipeline to get value from forests out into the world”- Jeremy Epstein
Three days of discussion and panels strengthened the thesis around the ReFi ecosystem: we cannot solve this alone. Just like coral reefs and the fish that inhabit them, the symbiotic relationship between nature preservation and economic evolution through ReFi is built on collective success. Recent partnerships within the space help to solidify the foundations of regenerative assets that make a difference, for both our people and our planet. At present, we are redefining Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) with OFP, with aim to influence restructuring of the carbon trade and DEA generation with Flow Carbon, ReGen, and Senken, to name a few, to make marketplaces more accessible, and credits more credible. And, we do so alongside Google and Sidewalk infrastructures, who support our endeavors and help pave the way.
Moving forward as a collective piece of the ReFi ecosystem, we believe that no legitimate DEAs can emerge unless backed by a solid MRV structure. OFP’s MRV aims not only to verify forest growth data, but to ensure a foundation of truth for a new industry and marketplace emerging in a world where corruption is often more common than sincerity.
Upon leaving Google, the confidence in ReFi was clear. Together with Sidewalk Infrastructure, we rekindled the drive to not just work in tandem, but do so in a way that joins people with solutions. Ultimately, the only way forward is as one industry, with alignment of vision and motivation, to craft a paradigm for generations to come.