[DISCUSSION] Environment DAO and BitDAO

Proposal Title: Environment DAO

Authors:

I am Raph, PhD in Environmental Sciences and Environmental management/conservation biology with almost 15 years of experience in research. This space attract people with different skills and I am convinced I can do a bit too.

There is a legitimate growing concern about the environmental impact of DeFi and more broadly of blockchain technology. Some projects try to offset their carbon footprint buying carbon credits but climate change is not the only anthropogenic pressure on the environment. I also know from my experience and from peers that it is quite difficult for PhD students, Postdoctoral fellows and junior researchers to get grants to fund their research, even if it is much needed if we aim to halt the decline of biodiversity in the coming decades.

So I want to start from scratch and create Environment DAO which will be at the interface between the Crypto space (DeFi in particular) and Environmental Sciences. The main idea is to launch every year and for three years, several rounds of grants financing 30 small projects and 10 large projects by years. These projects must be focus on environmental management and conservation biology to protect and restore biodiversity. They will also promote science by supporting the young generation of researchers and education.

Date: 01/05/2022

How will your proposal, if activated, benefit BitDAO?

In the process of project selection, the community of BitDAO and Environment DAO will actively participate. BitDAO will have a share in Environment DAO tokens used for voting. It is a way to bring Environmental Sciences to people who would not have get these knowledge otherwise. On the opposite, applicants will have to get information about the funder: Environmental DAO, sponsored by BitDAO and DeFi. Conferences in congress will be presented to scientists to promote the grant opportunity and so the context of Environment DAO, Bit DAO and the broad context of DeFi.
Funding 90 small projects and 30 larger projects in three years is also a way to offset the environmental impact of the crypto industry, even if it must not be the only option.

BitDAO will be cited in any scientific communication and pedagogical tools that will be created to communicate on the funded projects which represent 120 projects in total. We also know how much it is important to support research, especially in environmental sciences as political, regulation and management decisions must be taken based on scientific evidence.

What are the projected outcomes?

There are several objectives and expected outcomes which will be discussed and prioritized:

  • To monitor the funded projects and increase chances of success, any funded project must constitute an international scientific committee and annual meetings. That will help the project to keep track and the most important is that the scientific committee will include a diverse panel of researchers and nationality. So that would create a dual role of mentoring the Principal Investigator and monitoring the project. It will also build the network of the PI and committee members.

  • At the end of the project, the PI will make a short video to explain the project, results and prospects. It will be essential in the selection process to mention how the applicant will be in charge of information outreach to a broad audience and to stimulate education Environmental Sciences.

  • Scientific papers will be published in peer-reviewed Scientific journals dedicated to Environmental Sciences but some projects could be at the interface between Environmental Sciences and Education. So outcomes could be diverse in these situations.

  • As BitDAO and Environment DAO will grant projects, long-term collaborations with high-ranking scientific institutes, universities and NGO will be developed. Basically, Environment DAO will make the connection between R&D in environmental sciences, blockchain technology and the concept of DAO.

-This project will fund people working on 120 environmental projects globally to protect and restore biodiversity and gather hundreds of scientists and project managers.

Every journey begins with the first step but I have idea that could be developed to scale this project and have a greater impact on the environment, producing scientific evidence and by educating as much people as possible.

How long will it take to complete your proposed changes?

It is a 6 year project. Eight months are needed to launch the DAO, create communication tools, securely manage funds (multisig wallets) and communicate ASAP on the grants. The scientific community will need 2-3 months to design projects and apply. As the funded projects will last for 2-3 years each, after the third round of grants, the team will keep working until the end of these projects. After 2-3 years we will reassess how Environmental DAO will keep going and growing beyond round 3.

Who is involved?

-Myself (PhD and several postdocs) to kickstart the project. I will initiate this project and recruit the first team members: one developer to help me structure the DAO, design the website, secure funds on the wallets through multisig and other technical recommendation I am not even aware of at the moment. I will also contact Education DAO to start a collaboration and to benefit from their technical knowledge in blockchain technology and design of DAOs. One or two project managers with complementary scientific skills will be recruited to communicate, and help me deal with the scientific part of the projects and to communicate with our peers.

What are the milestones?

After the 8 month period that will initiate the project, every year we start a one year cycle starting with the selection of projects and ending with a report of our activities before the next year cycle. At the end of the projects, the scientific committees and PI will be invited to meet and present their work.

Specifications:

  1. Timeline

Month 1-12 : Launch of the DAO, communication to the targeted audience and steps previously described. Call for application, presentation, review and vote of the selected projects.

Month 12-48 : First round of 30 projects of 45k$ and 10 projects of 250k$
Month 24-60 : Second round of 30 projects of 45k$ and 10 projects of 250k$
Month 36-72 : Second round of 30 projects of 45k$ and 10 projects of 250k$

  1. Budget:

Month 1: 280k USDC to recruit team members, for operations and communication.
Month 10: 3.85 M USDC to fund round 1 of projects + 280k USDC for operations and communication
Month 22: 3.85 M USDC to fund round 2 of projects + 280k USDC for operations and communication
Month 34: 3.85 M USDC to fund round 3 of projects + 280k USDC for operations and communication
Month 46: 750k USDT to support the team operation until the end on month 72.

  1. Add technical details and/or links to source documentation

I am currently writing the google drive document that will be used as a first draft of the Whitepaper.


Review Process

The BIT Community and delegates might discuss and verify the following before considering proposals.

Personnel

  • Is the team credible?
  • Are they qualified to do this work?

Technical

  • Does the proposal make sense technically?
  • Does this fit into, or compliment, other projects in the BitDAO ecosystem?

Temperature Check Poll

Would you like to see this proposal go to vote?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Needs work

0 voters

9 Likes

Hi BitDAO,
I see that my proposition started with 3 Negative votes, I’d really appreciate some feedbacks, maybe I could bring some more information. I think my proposal is not out of the scope of BitDAO, obviously the community will decide. The budget has been designed considering Research standards in Europe. Please, leave some constructive comments.
Cheers,
Raph

1 Like

Hello. So if I understand correctly, you are building all this from scratch this startup? Do you have a team for this project? From what it sounds like, you don’t and that is one of the main reasons why people are voting No on your project.

1 Like

Thank you very much for your message.
The project would start from scratch, that is why the first 6-8 months would be focus on recruiting the team and founding the DAO structure, website, voting platform. We would be more like a NGO than a start-up as we do not aim at making profits. I even think that the Environment DAO token should be a stablecoin (to be discussed) that donators could buy and donate to the DAO to vote or simply to support our activities beyond the 3 rounds. So, there would be no speculative aspects, no pressure from investors and so we stay focus on the primary goals. In fact, 86.1% of the funds we request from BitDAO will not be used directly by the team but will be redistributed to the 120 selected projects. The team job would be 1) to ensure relevant scientific projects are funded, 2) they are well structured scientifically and on track to succeed (mentoring/monitoring) and 3) scientific and educational contents about environmental sciences and conservation biology will be delivered to the Environment DAO and BitDAO participants.
My network is mostly constituted of academics and environmental managers in my field so I do not have much technical knowledge on blockchain technology. It’s not a problem as the project is not centred on that aspect but leverage the technology to bring a real life use case. One full time developer will be hired and would oversee this aspect.
The scientific part (the core of the project) will be managed by myself and 3 full-time postdocs (scientific level equivalent) or 6 part-time postdocs to cover the main area of Conservation biology and Environmental management. The team will be funded and dedicated to do this work for 6 years. I would like to recruit at least 2-3 native English speakers and to build an international team. I know how to recruit them, but I’ll be able to start the process if the project is voted and accepted.

If this soft proposal gains traction and interests from BitDAO, I will update it with the community feedbacks and post a link to my ResearchGate profile which is like LinkedIn but for researchers. Everyone will be able to check my scientific background and my papers in peer-reviewed journals. Over the last 7 years, I have been granted of 406k€ to run my scientific projects, supervise postgraduate students, and I have collaborated to many others. I have been mostly successful, but I know there’s less funds available than good idea. Funding research is also very expensive as we usually use cutting-edge technologies (expensive equipment or analyses):

  • Small grants of 45k$ would be a good supplement to an existing project to pay for analyses or do some field work in developed countries but would be enough to fund almost entirely a project in developing country.
    -Large grants of 250k$ would fund entirely an ambitious project in developed country and even more ambitious in developing countries. Large projects are known to be the most efficient in terms of conservation.
    I hope I provided enough info to make the project clearer and to explain the design. I would happily respond to your questions.
    Cheers,
    Raph
1 Like

Hello everyone,
I have not convinced yet but let me show you through the figure below why Environment DAO must be created and why it is a Win-Win-Win-Win project.

It is a Win for Environment DAO which will become the first Crypto native NGO focus on biodiversity conservation (protection/conservation). Constituted of a team of postdocs, the team will make sure that Environment DAO will fund high-ranking scientific projects or high impact educational projects in environmental sciences. The team will monitor and provide scientific support to the projects.

It is a Win for the 120 funded projects which will benefit from the grants. Their work will improve biodiversity protection and conservation globally. Project funders will benefit from the scientific support that the Environment DAO team will provide on the concept of monitoring/mentoring the projects to ensure they are successful.

It is a Win for BitDAO and DeFi more broadly as the industry will benefit from the promotion by the 120 funded projects. Furthermore, to promote that 3 rounds of 30 projects of 45k$ and 10 projects of 250k$ will be funded every year, for the next 3 years, the Environment DAO will advertise broadly the call for projects (in congresses, scientific mailing list, academic networks). Trust me, these grants are interesting enough to reach a broad audience within the scientific community.
BitDAO will kickstart the first crypto native NGO which will aim at protecting biodiversity and to offset the DeFi industry impact on the environment. Global climate changes are not the only threats to biodiversity.
The BitDAO community will benefit from voting for their favourite projects and will benefit from the scientific educational contents produced by the projects themselves (mandatory at the end of the projects).
Let’s think together about how the BitDAO token can benefit from Environment DAO. In the mid-term BIT could be bought with the extra external donations to Environment DAO to be included to the treasury (with the prospect to fund more projects in the future, round 4).

It is a Win for mother NATURE as all of these funds, projects, research, energy will ultimately favour biodiversity protection and conservation based on best scientific practices. Educational contents will be broadly available to bring Environmental Sciences where it is not, and as much as we can.

Please do not think about what BitDAO/DeFi need today but think about what Environment DAO will bring to BitDAO and DeFi in the long run. We are building a crypto native structure that will ensure that donations to offset DeFi environmental impact are used globally based on best scientific practices on a transparent manner (tutoring/mentoring). Environment DAO will also be a borderless scientific institutions based on the recruitment of postdocs all around the globe.

To move ahead, I have contacted two European crypto Fintech to meet their teams in person in the next weeks. They don’t have a treasury as big as BitDAO but more we create partnerships and more projects we can fund or share the costs.
As a postdoc for 7 years, I could keep doing my projects and publish my articles as usual but with the foundation of Environment DAO, I could leverage my work by as much projects and postdocs that will be funded. It is my main motivation.

Please, leave some comments / questions. Let’s build together.

Raph, Ph’D in aquatic species conservation.

2 Likes

Interesting idea, love to see innovation around the environment!

1 Like