Ax22S - Why is Swmp creating a marketplace for just letting nature be as it is?

April 21, 2022
Written by 
Aleksi Lintunen

Swmp is creating a global marketplace for all nature types – a marketplace for leaving these natural areas untouched. Before going any further, we want to tell you the reasons why we want to double the size of global nature conservation areas. 

Finland is the land of forests, but did you know only 2,9% of them are in their natural state? These primary forests are homes for biodiverse ecosystems that support all life on our planet (our economy included). Ecosystem services are the basis of everything that keeps us (and our GDP) alive and well. This basis is on the verge of collapse.

Why do we need so much more nature conservation? First, we need to get some facts straight by using an example from the forests. Compared to commercial forests, primary forests are better carbon storages in the long term. They are home to endangered species and they are more resilient to forest fires and climate change. And yes, the forest industry tells us exactly the opposite, but do remember we in Finland live in a country, where “taking care” of commercial forests is a major driver of our economy. 

This being said, we are not here to ban the use of commercial forests and destroy the forest industry. We are here to create options: a more diverse set of how landowners can be financially compensated for letting the trees be. 

After all, it is time to accept we are not the only beings having our homes on this planet (actually humans account for 0,01% of the global biomass). Primary forests are homes for many species that simply can’t live anywhere else. Having too much of the commercial forest makes these animals have a hard time finding homes. If this is not enough to financially motivate us, let's look at the selfish human perspective. These animals need to find homes, because they are part of our ecosystem that sustains our own lives as well. Compensating biodiversity follows the same logic 

We at Swmp think this selfishness is something to be harnessed, at least to some extent. Following the logic of the tragedy of the commons, ownership and financial incentives are keys to expand the volume of nature conservation to its full potential. If we are not doing this for other species (as we at Swmp are), we need to do it for ourselves. There’s a value of just leaving nature be, and we are going to make this value visible. 

Our idea is simple. We need a place where nature conservation projects can be listed on a global marketplace with standardized rules. Secondly, you will be able to sell the listed project in order to get it funded. Thirdly, both sellers and buyers need to be able to prove what they have funded with common standards. This way, greenwashing is eliminated and everyone plays by the same rulebook. 

We know that companies want to fund nature and compensate for their ecological footprint, but they lack reliable solutions for doing so. We are here to serve this need, ultimately creating a global marketplace for all nature types, not to use them, but just letting them be.

CEO & Co-founder of Swmp

Aleksi Lintunen




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