The mission of ecoReserve is to restore and protect endangered land, support sustainable livelihoods, and spawn a new grassroots movement for micro-conservation by providing an engaging online platform for individuals of any means to create their own nature reserves around the world.
Situation / Need
Burning of rainforests alone causes 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions that result from human activity. Species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than historical natural cycles with dire economic consequences relating to food, medicine, water and climate. Additionally, many of the world’s poorest people live near ecologically sensitive lands and they need a way to make a sustainable living. It is clear that we urgently need to change the way we use land, and that everyone’s help is needed.
For the first time in history, there is widespread awareness that we are using the earth’s resources at a rate that is unsustainable, and that land use is at the center of this crisis. There is a broad willingness and desire by individuals to take action, but there is a lack of tangible, meaningful, personal actions available.
Meanwhile, conservationists have identified private reserves as key tools for land conservation, since they can be used to quickly and strategically protect endangered land. However, due to the cost of purchasing and maintaining land, private reserves have been limited to wealthy individuals and nonprofits.
ecoReserve is launching a breakthrough model that brings private reserves to the masses. ecoReserve provides a web platform that connects individuals to land conservation projects managed by our local NGO partners around the world. We enable people to create their own private nature reserves for just fifty cents per square yard. Individuals can create a reserve the size of their living room for $25, or a one-acre reserve for $2,000. Their one-time contribution pays for the land purchase and restoration, and funds a land preservation fund that will pay for the monitoring and protection of the land by local community members in perpetuity.
To address the needs of land and people, we will offer three types of reserves: 1) Conservation Reserves that protect pristine land, 2) Reforestation Reserves that restore degraded land, and 3) Sustainable Livelihood Reserves that are used by local people for sustainable agriculture and agro-forestry.
ecoReserve is committed to providing a compelling online experience that leverages high-technology to enable our members to personally connect with the land, the people on the land, and their own social networks through our engaging, interactive 2.0 web site.
Here’s how the site will work:
- Create a Reserve – Individuals select a parcel on our interactive map that uses the Google Maps API and high resolution aerial imagery to display the available reserves. Once created, individuals will receive their own private reserve page with annually updated images of their reserve so they can track changes over time. Individuals may visit their reserve whenever they wish. Our scientists will provide ongoing information about the reserve’s restoration, its plants and animals, and its ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration.
- Learn About Conservation – The site will offer engaging educational features such as Posts from the Field with videos, photos, and blogs from the scientists, staff, and local community members. The research area of the site will provide in-depth material on the local area, the science of restoration, ecosystem services, and more.
- Connect With Community – Individuals will have their own personal profile where they can share facts about themselves and upload photos and videos. Our members can save land as individuals or in a group (such as family, friends, colleges, companies). They can join clubs to connect with people who share similar interests (e.g. sustainable livelihoods club). Our Facebook app and iPhone app will enable individuals to share their reserve easily with their social networks.