Rescue Earth System
About Rescue Earth
The Rescue Earth System is a holistic suite of diverse regenerative solutions that can be applied to all levels of society, economy and the environment.
Rescue Earth System
The Rescue Earth System is a holistic suite of diverse regenerative solutions that can be applied to all levels of society, economy and the environment. The primary objective of the initiative is to dynamically enhance the regenerative capacity of the Earth System using natural mechanisms that can be amplified by human influence, while simultaneously reducing the human impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.
Rescue Earth System
The Rescue Earth System has been purposely designed to facilitate the seamless integration of the Regenerative Design Framework with an unlimited number of Rescue Earth projects, volunteers and funding. The Rescue Earth System is both ecocentric and sociocentric — it is a movement that is designed to help people and the planet.
For long-term Climate Change mitigation, the Rescue Earth System is a platform that promotes the kg-by-kg reduction in Green House Gases, which we believe can be achieved by fixing the following underlying ecosystem issues, (1) through regenerative restoration solutions that are primarily focused on cooling the planet through the rehydration of landscapes, and (2) the sequestration of CO2e from the atmosphere through ecosystem restoration and regenerative farming systems.
The more immediate outcomes are more nutritious food, more balanced weather, restored ecosystems, restored rainfall patterns, rehydrated landscapes, less flooding but more water, less pollution, cleaner air, water, etc. and so much more. The more long-term outcomes are that we get to regeneratively restore the Earth System and harmonise our relationship with Earth. The syntropy of billions of actions by billions of people will undoubtedly result in resurgent natural systems, and this has the potential to rapidly Rescue Earth from ecosystem collapse.
From the organisational point of view, the Rescue Earth System is the regenerative restoration interface of the Regenerative Earth Initiative — it is where the action is — where the multidisciplinary theories (drivers) of ecosystem restoration, climate change, carbon sequestration, public policy, the social benefits of change, etc. are put into action, evaluated and refined.
And, when viewed through the lens of society, the Rescue Earth System is a global “call to action” to join the volunteer corps and to Rescue Earth from ecosystem collapse. The easy to remember (& spell) rescue.earth domain is the designated point of contact for volunteers, patrons, donors, businesses, etc. who are helping to Rescue Earth. All transactions — financial & volunteer time — are logged in the banking software based Rescue Earth Sustainability Credit Exchange — rescue.exchange.
In South Africa, we have already started working on implementing the Rescue Earth System. RegenCAN (Regenerative Community Action Network) and #PowerCAN (Power Community Action Network) are two of our most recent initiatives.
Regenerative Design Framework
The Regenerative Design Framework is a multi-disciplinary knowledge base of principles that can be collated into a framework that fits the context of a bioregional ecology, economy and culture.
In other words, the Regenerative Design Framework is the structured interface between the theory, the systems, the policies, the collective intelligence, etc. and the tangible grassroots action of getting things done.
The organisational structure of the Regenerative Earth Initiative is based on Sociocracy — a coherent way for growing organizational integrity and developing a sociocratic and agile mindset that facilitates effective collaboration at any scale.
Decisions throughout the Rescue Earth System are made by consent (instead of consensus), and specific feedback is asked through an “advice process” with different members of the supporting circles. Furthermore, the Rescue Earth System is audited by two system-wide integrity circles.
This way, decision-making is based on relationships of trust and integrity. Processes are thus more agile and capable of integrating different points of view. This is an essential conflict-of-interest resolution pathway for an international organisation intent on changing the status quo.
An Alliance of Organisations & Projects
The Rescue Earth System is a facilitator and does not have any projects of its own — all projects listed on the system are ‘owned’ by individuals and organisations. Furthermore, all funds raised by ads 4 a cause go directly into the bank accounts of projects. The Regenerative Earth Initiative is the umbrella organisation in the transition phase — the transitioning of our focus from rescue to sustainability.
Regenerative Earth Alliance
The foundations of a functional Regenerative Earth Alliance will be built from the beginning. This assures a smooth transition from an initiative focused on global change to be an alliance of stakeholders focused on local sustainability.
The resilience and long-term sustainability of the Regenerative Earth Alliance lies in the diversity of individuals and organisations leading many projects that are integrated into a holistic bioregional planning framework.
Bioregional & National Assemblies
The principles on which a bioregional planning framework can be built are founded upon the research and recommendations of the WRI; IUCN; UNEP; and UNESCO. Bioregional planning is an organised process that enables people to work together, think carefully about the problems and potential of their region, set goals and objectives, define activities, implement projects, take actions agreed upon by the communities, evaluate progress and refine their approach.
Bioregional & National voting is based on RE. One RE is equal to one minute of volunteer time. RE can be ‘earned’ by volunteering at any of the approved projects. In other words, the more you do for Earth, the more powers you have!
“It is essential to seek comprehensive solutions which consider the interactions within natural systems themselves and with social systems. We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.”
POPE FRANCIS, in his 2015 encyclical letter “Laudato Si”
Safety, open space and trails, access to recreation, neighborhood character, and short commute times are all highly rated factors for people deciding where to live.
Responding to Global Issues
The global problems we face, such as climate change, social and economic inequalities and division, consumerism in the face of natural resource limits, and lack of community resilience, urgently require innovative, systemic responses arising from the bottom-up as well as top-down.
The 2018 IPCC report warns the world has just a decade to take “unprecedented” action to cut carbon emissions and hold global warming to a moderate, but still dangerous and disruptive level. This will require rapid and far-reaching transformation, one of such scale and magnitude that has no historical equivalent.
Search the internet and you’ll find that there are literally hundreds of proposals to solve the world’s problems circulating in the solution pool. The best proposals are actionable and somewhat scalable yet all lack the true ability for universal adoption.
Many proposals are ignorant of real-world issues and can be labelled as utopian daydreams destined for failure unless they get real and downsize their ambitions to a niche audience and join a network.
What is obvious to realists is that the enormity of the problems we face are so huge that solutions need to go beyond the domain of activists and government — they need to be adopted by the masses at an unprecedented scale.
Furthermore, to succeed, solutions need to be both quantifiable and qualifiable while at the same time improving people’s lives. They also need to be equitable and inclusive.
The Rescue Earth System provides the collaborative framework for the universal adoption of the many actionable solutions provided by the diverse range of projects (organisations).
By working together, organisations can offer a broader and more holistic set of solutions to local, bioregional and global issues, and thereby increase the chance of averting ecosystem collapse.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
The 17 Goals and 169 Targets that make up the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) underscore the scale and urgency of our predicament.
Clearly, we need to urgently Rescue Earth and all its inhabitants with all the enthusiasm and resources that we can muster. Nothing short of Global action on an unprecedented scale will suffice.
To achieve the UN SDGs; people, communities and nations need to be ‘thinking globally and acting locally’. Inclusive cross-cultural inter-generational dialogue that results in localised solutions that are collectively managed for the benefit of all are thus crucial.
An equitable sharing of resources — locally, regionally and internationally — is vital if we are to engender a genuine sense of fairness, especially if developed countries expect LDCs to share the burden of degrowth, ecosystem collapse, climate change, etc.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. — Socrates
Jason Hickel: “It’s either degrowth for the rich or climate disaster”
The UN SDGs were launched in 2015 and encompass 17 Goals — each goal has a set of corresponding targets and set of indicators. The aim of the SDGs is to encourage all countries to implement the necessary transformational environmental, economic and social change to achieve peace and prosperity for planet and people.
The focus of the Rescue Earth System
Transitioning to a more sustainable and inclusive world — the goal of the UN SDGs — will not be easy. It will require strong leadership with processes that are both transparent and fair.
Most environmentalists believe that to Rescue Earth, we need to start by getting people to embrace nature; that we need to restore degraded ecosystems and that we need to stop people destroying more of the little pristine nature that remains.
We agree except for one caveat; we environmentalists have tried this approach for decades and failed repeatedly with very few successes. The approach must change.
Firstly. The way that food is produced and consumed has an immense impact on the Earth-system processes — CO2e emissions, topsoil loss, forest clearing, etc. For example, the food supply chain — which includes the production, processing, transport, packaging, cooling, heating, and decomposing in the landfill of foods — contributes about a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Secondly. 70 % of the world’s food is produced by smallholder farmers on only 19% of the arable land available for food production. 94% of the world’s farmers are smallholder farmers! Smallholder farmers preserve 95% of agricultural genetic diversity!
Thirdly. Nearly 40% of potential terrestrial net primary productivity (sunlight to biomass) is used directly, co-opted, or foregone because of human activities. Over 80% of ice-free land has been altered by human impact, changing atmospheric composition, climate dynamics, nutrient cycling, biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Fourthly. What matters to most to 90% of the people on Earth is adequate nutritious food and clean water, good health, sufficient energy, and equitable housing and infrastructure — not Facebook, the latest iPhone or a mansion!
The focus of the Rescue Earth System is more about ecosystem restoration, the rehydration of landscapes, and the efficient production of nutritious food than climate change. The reason is simple. If we regeneratively restore the soil fertility of pastures and agricultural land by increasing hydration and soil organic matter, and increase living biomass by restoring ecosystems, we sequestrate carbon and reduce CO2e in the atmosphere — and we stabilise weather — resulting in more consistent rain with less flooding, etc.
This win-win approach reduces the pressure on natural ecosystems by increasing the productivity of existing agricultural land. Further benefits other than more nutritious food; is cleaner water, less flooding, better health from better food, more energy, and better housing and infrastructure and a more resilient community.
“Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.” — Dr Vandana Shiva
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