Semi Finalist 25: My Forest mobile cooperative
Field: Climate and environment
Summary of the idea:
Forest is a living, breathing ecosystem, which today became merely a commodity, an exploitable, in theory renewable, natural resource. While forestry in an important economic sector, we still fail to fully account for the environmental services of our forests. Besides those, there’s also a historical and romantic connection between people and forests. However, vast majority of citizens, especially in urban areas, cannot own forest because of the minimum plot sizes on sale, legal limitations, the technical difficulty of managing an actual forest and remoteness of the forested land from the cities. But the shift back towards smart local living, taking care of one’s own ecological footprint and a re-established connection with nature is happening.
Many charities allow individuals to plant trees remotely or offset their carbon footprint by supporting reforestation. However, only real ownership can provide a long-term responsibility, a vested interest and thereby a lasting demand for a sustainably managed forest.
Mobile applications facilitate interactive communication, easy financial transfers and even trading. Our goal is to establish a virtual cooperative through a social media application, which would pool resources by joining together potential forest micro-owners. Our service will be dedicated to people who would like to socially invest relatively small amounts of money into a living, breathing ecosystem, and then manage it collectively in a democratic manner, by giving each owner voting rights regarding the management of that actual patch of forest, jointly purchased in the real market.
In the countryside, where the links to nature and basic production means remain stronger, forest still represents a natural savings fund, and a certain social security for the owners. We want to re-establish this link with the help of the modern information technology and provide an opportunity for everyone to own an incremental piece of our breathing future, while fostering ownership demand for healthy, sustainably managed forests.