Rebalance Partnership Project and Saving Forest Elephants, Fighting Climate Change and Empowering Local Communities
In 2021, CAP teamed up with the purpose-driven company Rebalance Earth. The aim was to save a fast-disappearing species while simultaneously mitigating deforestation and climate change. Using a human rights-based approach, the model is also designed to help reduce poverty and social inequity for communities surrounding the forest and elephant habitats.
Along with her seat on Rebalance Earth’s Executive Committee, CAP’s Executive Director, Kathi Lynn Austin, was quickly tasked with helping to lead and coordinate the efforts of both the Protection and Security and Local Communities Working Groups. Throughout 2021 and 2022, Kathi has built a volunteer-based team of highly skilled individuals with experience in targeting wildlife crime and conducting local community risk assessments. In addition, the working groups engaged local and international stakeholders with the goal of planning, funding, and executing a precedent-setting assessment and pilot project startup mission in mid-to-late 2022.
Under the Rebalance Partnership Project, CAP has successfully raised just over the minimal $20,000 in public support funds to support our first international team in the field. The journey ahead will be exciting as we build momentum for the first ever ecosystem services platform that purports a paradigm shift in the way we value keystone species and local stewards of the environment.
Why CAP & Rebalance Earth?
CAP is a registered 501(c) (3) organization that partners with other organizations and stakeholders engaged in the protection of endangered species, the reduction of wildlife crime, and support for local communities in affected areas. In addition, CAP’s ED, Kathi Lynn Austin, is an internationally recognized expert on wildlife trafficking, fragile states, and human rights, and has carried out assessment missions over the past 30 years for the United Nations and other multilateral organizations. Currently, Austin serves as a volunteer on the Rebalance Executive team and leads the Protection/Security/Local Communities working group. She will lead the assessment and design team mission. (To learn about CAP’s most recent wildlife crime report, see:www.followtheguns.org).
Rebalance Earth is fast proving itself a global “green” leader by developing the first ecosystem services platform that captures the carbon sequestration services of keystone species. The funds generated from this platform are then utilized to fund the species’ conservation and raise the living standards of its human neighbors while furthering the science and data-driven knowledge of our interconnected planet.
When we value elephants differently, we can make elephant conservation more profitable than poaching.
We know you care deeply about the fate of endangered elephants, indigenous communities, and our natural world. All three are imperiled in the Congo Basin Rainforest, known as our planet’s “Second Green Lung.” If you are willing to help, we can give you a brand-new reason for optimism.
The poaching of elephants in Africa has a ripple effect that reaches around the world and impacts you and me. When forest elephants are killed for their ivory, the old growth forests that they garden lose much of the biodiversity upon which human life depends, along with the forest’s full capacity to protect us from climate change.
Sadly, these elephants carry a dollar value only when destined to be destroyed. Their tusks can earn up to $40,000 on the black market.
We humans now stand at a crossroads: Shall we continue along our present course and allow profiteers to damage our earth beyond repair? Or will we help sustain a livable planet where wild creatures and local communities are valued?
We at CAP have teamed up with the purpose-driven company Rebalance Earth. Our aim is to save a fast-disappearing species while simultaneously mitigating deforestation and climate change. Our model also helps to reduce poverty and social inequity for surrounding communities, creating a symbiotic relationship to reduce human-elephant conflict.
This model is ground-breaking, scalable and promises to launch a global paradigm shift that values elephants that are alive over ones that are slaughtered for their tusks. According to the IMF, a forest elephant is worth $40,000 when killed for his/her ivory while a healthy elephant is worth $1.75 million while alive, based on the carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services that it performs within a forest during its lifetime
With this information, a new trustworthy, traceable, and transparent ecosystem services platform has been built—grounded in the most innovative technological, scientific, and economic advances— to offset unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions towards sustaining and regenerating both the elephants and their forest habitats. And it is not only carbon offsets, but the ecosystem services, such as increasing biodiversity, that these elephants provide us and our planet. With Rebalance Earth’s valuation system in place, we are already making green waves across the planet.
The next step is for CAP to assist with the implementation of this precedent-setting project as soon as possible.
For this reason, we are reaching out to you to help. Please join us on this bold frontier by contributing the first tax-exempt donations in the U.S.
Once we have completed our proof of concept, we will extend this model to other keystone species, such as gorillas, jaguars and whales. We invite you to join us in this extraordinary opportunity to advance a lasting, replicable and scalable solution to our planetary crises. If you’d like more information, we can walk you through our project model.
Let's Work Together
You can further support this timely and extraordinary effort to mitigate climate change, biodiversity loss and human poverty by clicking on the Donate button above and specifying the Rebalance Earth Partnership Project as your reason for donation.
How the African rainforest is helping fight climate change
By Isabelle Gerretsen18th April 2022
Selling elephants' carbon services
Others are taking the concept of an elephant's monetary value a step further. The startup Rebalance Earth aims to use Berzaghi's scientific findings and Chami's valuation to sell elephants' carbon capture potential to companies around the world.
Building on the carbon offsetting market, which enables companies to offset their emissions by paying for tree planting or renewable energy projects elsewhere, Rebalance Earth has started selling ecosystem tokens which represent the carbon captured by each elephant.
"The monetary value of the forest elephant is directly related to how much carbon sequestration they perform within their lifetime and that amount is multiplied to the present price of a carbon offset," says Rebalance Earth's chief executive Walid Al Saqqaf.
Can you pay an elephant to fight climate change?
by Thomson Reuters Foundation | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Countries and businesses pay billions of dollars to offset their carbon dioxide emissions, transferring money to projects like forest or wetland restoration. But these markets have generally ignored wildlife, which are often critically important to the growth of their ecosystems.
We traveled to Gabon to meet up with researchers studying the world’s largest remaining population of forest elephants, and spoke with experts finding innovative solutions to fund these animals’ conservation: creating a market that pays the elephants for the services they provide, to invest in rangers and local communities who can protect them.
Is Blockchain Technology the Key to Saving Africa’s Elephants?
Katharina Cavano l Palladium - Sep 07 2022
In 2021, Palladium launched its annual Challenge Fund with the theme ‘Valuing Nature.’ The theme was focused on supporting projects that monetise the services provided by nature to fight climate change. One of the three chosen winners, Rebalance Earth, recently completed its Challenge Fund work on its blockchain platform, the critical first step upon which the startup’s future work will be built.
The team developed a blockchain-based platform which will allow buyers to transfer funds directly to local communities and wildlife justice initiatives in a trusted manner. This functioning prototype platform is the first step in establishing an ethical ecosystem services credit that provides both an opportunity for investors to contribute directly to the conservation of an important, endangered species, receive carbon and biodiversity credits, and provide positive livelihood opportunities for local communities where the species live. Read more