Use of scarce space
Crops rival for space with each other and with nature. Loss or damage of forests for any cause, such as new agricultural crops, is unacceptable, as is loss of coral or other ecosystems on land or at sea.
All space on earth is related to each other and every person on earth is using an amount of space. If all 7 biliions of people, growing to 9 billions, would live on European or American standards, we would need several more earth’s which aren’t available. The developed world has already used up a great deal of the cake and still is using ever more. The developing world is claiming its share now with increasing speed and has created an enormous population. Both worlds have grown to this stage in autonomic processes, mostly unaware of the coming problems, but fact is that without major changes or developments there simply is no space for the combination of the level of development and way of living of the rich world and the amount of people of the developing world.
The Oiconomy standard will, as much as possible using international agreements, select or develop a definition for the concept of scarcity of land and put a value to it, related to preventive cost of using more nature or using the price of bringing wasteland into culture.
All forms of use of space which used to be forest, denuded after 1-1-1990, the year of the Kyoto Protocol, will therefore obtain ESCU’s. Since large parts of the old world were denuded long ago, it would not be fair to only impose ESCU’s on relatively newly denuded space only. Therefore this standard also allocates ESCU’s to any use of space and any form of crop, wherever on earth, depending on the yield per hectare and the purpose of the crop.
Organic or biological crops cause much less pollution and land degradation and will be rewarded by this standard by a low ESCU score on these issues. But a farmer also has a responsibility for an optimal use of land and production to feed the 7 billion and will be allocated ESCU’s for suboptimal production. This way the advantages and disadvantages of organic farming are properly weighed.
The Oiconomy Foundation will of cource consider the quality of the land (and climate), e.g. based on its carbon sequestering ability.