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Ecovanomy, ecovamoney

Ecovanomy™ is a new approach to strengthen the green economy and reshape our local and global communities into prosperous, sustainable and equitable living environments for all.

Ecovanomics™ covers the areas of socio-ecological economics, focuses on bridging the gap between formal and informal economies, and suggests to introduce debt-free ‘ecovamoney*’ through a set of monetary tools and products that allow to secure ecosystems, value informal economies, and guarantee unconditional social security for all.

The nature of modern money

While money as a medium of exchange could be anything we agree it to be, today on average 97% of the money supply is produced by commercial banks under the form of credit, created out of thin air. Banks lend money that doesn’t exist, by adding the numbers of the credit to your account with a computer. This debt money system, which relies on fractional reserve banking, interest rates and inflation, supposes and pushes for permanent but unrealistic economic growth, while leading in practice to continuous social, environmental, economic and financial crises. This system has proved to be largely unsustainable and destructive as it puts profits before people, nature and planet. That’s why – as modern money is nothing more than a technology, invented to be a medium of exchange and social control, we should rethink our monetary systems and adapt it to put people, nature and planet first.

Debt-free money to secure ecosystems, value informal economies, and guarantee unconditional social security for all.

At Planetecova we recommend to rethink and adapt our monetary systems through introducing debt-free money (ecovamoney), designed to:

• accelerate the transition to a green economy
• protect nature and secure ecosystems
• handle the consequences of further automation
• value informal economies among which prosumerism and other forms of unpaid or informal work
• and guarantee unconditional social security for all.

Debt-free ecovamoney could be directly injected into society through central banks. Core objectives are:

• price and market stability
• keeping inflation low
• allowing an adapted VAT system
• abolition of taxes on labor
• encourage sustainability and respect for planetary boundaries
• discourage economic activities that are unhealthy and damaging for people, nature and planet
• encourage green energy, zero-emissions transport, green tech, sustainable agriculture, healthy food and wellbeing
• transform social security through introduction of unconditional guaranteed income, unconditional guaranteed healthcare, and other measures allowing a decent life quality and a life-fulfilling education for all
• fortify healthcare, culture and social care
• encourage peace and creativity
• raise awareness of the values of nature and life
• end hunger and poverty
• integrate science, holistic wisdom, technology, and creativity to unlock the full human potential and build a sustainable world of freedom for all.

On a smaller scale, ecovamoney could be introduced under the form of a complementary currency (EcovaKoin™), to set up pilot ecovanomy projects locally. Like other complementary currencies, EcovaKoin is meant to be used in addition to official money.

Ecovanomy recognizes hidden economic and ecological values

Today the so-called hidden half of the economy, consisting of all the indispensable unpaid work and prosumerism, is estimated to have a value which is at least equal to the gross domestic product of the global formal economy.1 It includes household- and volunteering work, and everything we ‘prosumers’ produce for free, from online blogs and the veggies in our garden to our unpaid assistance in the development, marketing, processing and finalization of products and services in the marketplace. Without the non-stop contributions of this ‘hidden’ economy, the formal economy would simply collapse in no time. Introducing an unconditional guaranteed income and unconditional guaranteed healthcare, as proposed in ecovanomy, will be a core step to valuing this hidden economy.

Furthermore, ecosystems have an equally measurable but ‘hidden’ value related to ecosystem services which not alone are fundamental for the economy, but also benefit us humans and all life in general. Ecovanomy and ecovamoney are meant to become a highly effective incentive to restore and secure the ecosystems.

Unconditional social security

Ecovanomy also focuses on creating unconditional social security for all. Access to a full-fledged social security system will therefore no longer depend on whether or not you’re employed in the formal economy, but become unconditional indeed. Consequently, unconditional social security will appear to be a most valuable right in a society developing the technology that is making human labor increasingly superfluous. It will guarantee full access to healthcare, stimulate income security and include the necessary measures to secure children, disabled and elderly.

Although article 22 of the UN Universal Declaration of the Human Rights states that everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security, today only 27 per cent of the global population is adequately covered by social security, according to the ILO’s “World Social Protection Report 2014/15: Building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice.”

Securing the informal economy

Making social security unconditional will allow to accomplish another core objective of ecovanomy: bridging the gap between formal and informal economies.

In its broadest definition, the informal economy can be described as related to any economic activity or source of income that is not taxed, monitored or regulated by any form of government nor incorporated in any gross domestic product (GDP) computations. It includes all kinds of unreported and unprotected employment, odd jobs, barter, mutual self-help, street trading, informal housing and businesses, as well as the hidden economy of unpaid work and prosumerism as described above.

According to the International Labor Organisation (ILO), the informal economy globally employs 1.8 billion people as opposed to 1.2 billion in the formal sector. The number of informal workers is estimated to grow to 2 billion or 66% of the global workforce by 2020. If agriculture is included, the informal economic activity in some of the developing countries even accounts for more than 90%.2 The informal economy also comprises more than 90% of Micro and Small Enterprises.3

Unconditional social security, as proposed in ecovanomy, aims at eliminating the dark components of the informal sector such as illegal activities that cause damage to other people or their property for profits, child labor, slavery, debt bonded and other forms of forced labor, underpaid labor exploitation, etc…, while securing and fortifying its positive aspects.

When socially secured, the informal economy can be transformed indeed into a core player to eradicate hunger and poverty, stimulate gender equality and social justice, and accelerate the transition to a green, prosperous, inclusive and equitable society for all.

Greening our economy, villages, cities and world

Ecovamoney, ecovanomy and their core goal to secure social and ecological environments, will allow to discourage environmental pollution and destruction, while encouraging the development of a fully sustainable green economy that will generate many new work and personal development opportunities.

It will be a core driver to make our cities sustainable, green our villages and all transport, encourage care and respect for nature and animals, enhance happiness and wellbeing, and make healthy food as well as renewable energy available for everyone.

It will enable us to stabilize financial markets, optimize labor rights, introduce prosumer rights, decrease taxes while having a positive impact on wage development, and create a new framework for global cooperation and world peace.

New banking products

Finally, ecovamoney and ecovanomy will create numerous new opportunities for the banking world to develop and introduce new green financial and investment products which will all contribute to elaborate a prosperous sustainable society and green economy for all.

1: Alvin & Heidi Toffler, 2006. Revolutionary Wealth, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group,
2: OECD, 2009. Rising informal employment will increase poverty.
3: ILO, 2016. Informal Economy.

*Ecovamoney has been described and proposed first in “The Ecova Project. A monetary alternative for worldwide social, economic and ecological security”, 2008, author and copyright: Rafael Staelens.
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