How do we avoid using land-based peoples as vehicles of further financial wealth concentration?

(this conversation started in the thread “Proposal #4 Signalling Proposal” )

We could also call this thread:

  • How can Regen Network promote self-governance, sovereignty, and autonomy of land-based peoples?
  • How can Regen Network promote real cultural and ecological regeneration, and not a speculative bubble that moves a lot of money without achieving real regeneration?

Threats to consider (maybe each one could have its own thread, but to get started, let’s use this thread):

  • speculative bubble
  • further wealth concentration, i.e. increased economic inequality
  • intermediaries and prospectors (especially greedy, dishonest people)
  • loss of sovereignty
  • land grabs

Maybe the thread about Regen Ledger uses besides credits will be relevant to this thread.

The example I started earlier:

…continuing that example:

If the oil company didn’t retire the credit, then they could wait for the price of the credit to rise and then sell the credits at a profit. Considering that the credits might have been sold by a federation of forest peoples in order to finance their community processes, or a farmer growing potatoes and wheat, I would prefer that all financial value generated by the credits go to those forest peoples or farmers, and not to the oil company – more profits to the oil companies based on the labor of forest peoples and farmers would just be another repetition of the system my family is trying to compost, where the financially wealthiest companies in the world profit off the financially poorest people in the world, and then use their money to keep hurting more people.

Would it be possible to create a credit batch, class, and/or type that is limited to only one transfer? This would be similar to something mentioned elsewhere: marking certain credits as retired at the moment they’re minted. This way we know that all the financial value of the credits went to the people who created them, not to brokers, intermediaries, and others looking to extract value without contributing value all while free-riding on the good reputation of the people doing the real work – there’s a long history of certain people using the names and images of native peoples (and others) to sell t-shirts, NGO projects, weapons, and many other things, often without their permission, and we don’t want to see that repeated with ecosystem service credits.

Thinking long term, I guarantee that if credits based on my family and neighbors protecting and regenerating the forest are sold to an oil company or even an organic fair trade clothing company or some other nice people, and then they hold the credits while the price rises, and then sell the credits for a profit… if that happens, federations of native peoples and farmers all over the world are going to reject this system of “a marketplace of credits.” People are sick and tired of being used, and the ecosystem service credit scheme is already kind of suspect from the perspective of land-based peoples: oil companies give us money to regenerate our territory, but they keep doing harm elsewhere and to the climate? That’s already sub-optimal, and if people hear that the credit purchasers profit by holding and reselling, that will break people’s trust in this system.

Another way to talk about this is:

  • living systems (that include humans) are mentally divided into “services” that they “perform”.
  • those “services” are financialized – they’re given a value in some currency, based on either some market created by someone, or by other decision making methods.
  • you know what happens next with financialized assets: speculative bubbles!!!
  • and you know what happens while a speculative bubble inflates: a bunch of scams and meaningless projects get funded.
  • and you know what happens next with speculative bubbles: they burst!!!
  • and when a speculative bubble bursts: the people on the ground lose, the people behind those assets, they lose.

So, how do we avoid using land-based peoples as vehicles of further financial wealth concentration? How do we avoid a speculative bubble that in the long term hurts living systems instead of regenerating them?

Is it enough to issue credits in a retired, non-transferrable state?

Are there any historical examples of speculative bubbles that benefited the underlying assets? As far as I understand, speculative bubbles always hurt the real things they’re based on, like the sub-prime mortgage situation that hurt a lot of families, and the commentaries I’ve read about fake or poorly run solar panel companies sucking up government money and achieving nothing.

There’s also the matter of “once you sell it, it’s not yours.” How does this relate to peoples’ sovereignty and autonomy to live in their territory in the ways they wish to? Seems that credit design has a lot to do with this, and so does credit issuance and intermediaries.

For example, suppose some intermediary organization (such as an NGO or a development bank or a private individual) shows up in a native community with a contract to sign, saying that the community will get paid a certain amount if they protect their forest. The intermediary person tells the community lots of other things, maybe lies and maybe truth, in order to convince the community to sign. The community signs the contract, and then months or years later finds out that A) they aren’t allowed to cut any trees or hunt anymore, and B) that intermediary is making twice as much money as what they’re paying the community.

The more carbon credits and other ecosystem service credits are worth, the more dishonest, greedy people are going to show up trying to steal land from communities and push unfair contracts on them. This ranges from carbon credit prospectors, to companies with lots of capital who are looking for investment opportunities, to governments that have a long history of stealing native lands and ruthlessly displacing small-holder farmers.

Many of these threats are from the carbon market in general, and the geopolitical situation where war and greed get rewarded. Regen Network is trying to turn that tide, while still participating in certain parts of the current political and economic system.

So, how can Regen Network be useful, instead of continuing the long historical trend of using land-based peoples as vehicles of further financial wealth concentration?


Absolutely correct and I would argue one of the most important threats to Regen. We stand to loose legitimacy and trust and thereby risk damaging the Regenerative movement more than benefiting it. To be honest, this should freak everyone out like crazy :scream:

My proposal is to invite stakeholders ASAP in these conversations, even before we’ve figured out how to onboard them as DAO’s. This would include the Voice of Nature, which is a very helpful stakeholder to remind us of our human limitations. Something akin perhaps to the practice of asking what people 7th generations down the line would say/inherit.

Principles that I have found helpful in tech dev are:

Keen to hear others’ views! So happy we’re having this conversation at what’s still an early stage : )


Here are some analysis and proposals from indigenous peoples, other land-based peoples, and scientists, to read and watch:

Personally I think the question to answer is not how to stop speculation, but how to link speculation in a productive way to regeneration, and ensure that when speculative activity happens, it benefits all stakeholders involved and does not undermine of degrade ecosystem or social systems. That is the CORE value proposition and mission of Regen from my perspective. From my perspective, Regen is NOT trying to STOP speculation. In my opinion trying to STOP speculation is similar to trying to stop a river, or stop gravity and foolish. You adapt and design according to gravity, or the river, or speculation…you don’t shake your fist at the river for flooding your house, you move it or put it on stilts…but that just my opinion.

Historically, and presently speculation has been strongly associated with expropriation, degeneration and violence. You are coming from a context where that is clear and present. I really deeply respect this line of inquiry and think answering HOW we align speculation and markets with community and ecological health is the core of what we are up to. However we will not answer that question in a whitepaper, a forum or a single discussion. We will answer it by evolving an economy based on those values together, which will take years, result in mistakes, errors and successes…

One of the premises of Regen Network is that speculation and speculators can play a productive role in regenerating ecosystems. We are building a marketplace and engaging in market systems. Some people may find that challenging and have different theory of change, however at this stage we are most working hard to engage with the market and as a voluntary association of humans working on a project to change the world together, I would invite us to have solidarity around that theory of change and respectfully ask people who are unwilling to give that a try, to consider other change making communities to invest their precious time into. I think most of the founding team and humans in both RND inc and Regen Foundation are market skeptical and have eyes wide open about historical and present moment context. We are also trying to engage markets, not stop them or destroy them.

To put it bluntly: oil companies are not the ones we will need to worry about if we believe speculation to be a problem to be solved.
Oil companies now have to consider carbon emissions as a liability on their balance sheet, therefore yearly they have an amount of carbon they must buy. They may over buy to hedge against price increases, they may even participate in selling if markets really go up. However the basic design of regen means that the stakeholders who participate in provisioning credits can certainly also see an appreciation in the value of their services and assets.
Speculators are speculating on the demand for carbon credits going up as the world realizes it must embrace climate action.

This is true. Also true is that as carbon prices rise, this brings liquidity to a market, and enables start ups, forward contracts and livelihoods for those of us engaged in working on climate action…

Lets take a moment to unpack the concept and reality of speculation:
Ironically, the present economic value we can bring forth to engage with planetary regeneration source form place and governed by land stewards, and scientists and all of us on this forum, is speculative. And part of our conversation is taking the next obvious steps in the evolution of our approach as a community to fulfill the potential and make a marketplace real.

I do not believe speculation to be the primary driver of our problems as a species.
Speculation is a core part of being human.

We speculate on good weather when we plant crops, we speculate on each others intentions when we form partnerships. People are currently speculating on Regen Network’s (in the sense of the whole community of actors, including you) ability to create a transformative solution with market AND commons based approached to climate challenges.

The basic theory here is that if stakeholders are included as governing members of the infrastructure on which a marketplace exists the value of that marketplace will accrue to those stakeholders. The theory is that this makes it unnecessary to have more taxes or friction imposed on markets, than the transactions and block rewards backed into the token economics. This also means that these stakeholders can govern the rules of the game.

The concept of embedded markets is important. We are trying to create rules that allow communities to govern the conditions they can accept and benefit form in relating to markets. We are working to create a direct linkage between economic value and ecological and social health.

Certain philosophical approaches believe money to be the root of all evil.

I believe that the ability for a community to determine the socially constructed definition of monetary value is a HUMAN RIGHT.

You are referring to speculation incentives related to an economy backed by and running in the petro dollar, where the basic unit of account demands extraction of and burning of oil. We are trying to create a system where the unit of account is derived by ecological health. To boot strap our vision of a different economic system we are interfacing with the existing economy in order to sell it “offsets”. In my opinion we need to succeed in that venture to build enough economic spaciousness to do the research, development and community engagement o build an alternative form of value.
There are hazards on the way. One of those hazards is being coopted and pulled into the incumbent economy. It is a hazard I believe we can overcome, but I don’t believe the correct strategy for overcoming the hazard is to stop speculation, or eschew markets. Transforming both is core to the mission at hand.

Yes, credit design, as well as market design. If your community has the liquidity to be able to LP your own credits, you have all the risk and all the reward of markets. Alternatively if you set a price and sell it, and someone else buys and then resells, you could have a contract that ensure you get some cut of the resale value (a broker arrangement). Those are proactive ways to design a system to ensure economic incentives are aligned with stakeholder health, value provision and ecological health.

Please explain whether I’m understanding this:

  • a community that has 5,000 hectares of forest generates a credit that includes carbon.
  • in order to sell that credit on the current carbon market, that requires the credit to last 25 years.
  • 25 years from now (2021) is 2046.
  • the community sells carbon credits in 2021, they receive a payment in 2021, and no payments thereafter, and are prohibited from selling credits again until 2046. Therefore, all changes in price in the carbon market are irrelevant to that community, unless both A) the credits they sold are not retired, and B) they manage to setup some sort of broker system that channels some part of reselling back to them.

I don’t understand the LP part. How would that work?

I think people’s different theories of change result in part from their different understandings of history. If we look at history as, “there’s too much carbon in the atmosphere because of industry and agriculture”, then we take a decarbonization approach. If we look at history as, “indigenous peoples’ land was stolen and then the hydrocarbons were mined and burned mostly by men, and now one of many symptoms of that is the climate crisis” – then we take a decolonization approach.

Are there any examples of this?

The closest thing I can think of is the Northeast Biodiesel plant built by Co-op Power in Massachusetts. If I remember correctly, they sold shares to private investors that allow the investors to take a profit based on their investment and company performance, but those shares do not allow voting in company governance. Instead, governance is handled by a cooperative that includes workers and community members.

As far as I understand, the major carbon markets have not had a steady upward price trend. Rather, they’ve had periods of the price collapsing to almost zero. Where can we find historical data? Where can we find evidence that suggests carbon prices will rise?

Many countries use legislation to create laws to regulate the actions of humans, individually and collectively. Speculation is a human activity. Gravity is not. Saying that markets and speculation are the only way to do things just makes you sound like Margaret Thatcher, and ignores the reality that the origin of today’s carbon markets comes from the fact that the UN Earth Summit in 1992 was chaired by a gas executive, Maurice Strong, and placed transnational corporations at the center of their idea of sustainable development. Strong coached the US delegation, and at the negotiations that grew out of the Earth Summit and led to the Kyoto Protocol, the US was one of the only countries that wanted a market-based regulatory mechanism. Most other countries though it would be far more efficient and effective to simply regulate carbon emissions, and they only agreed to a market-based system because the US said “we, the biggest polluters, will only join the agreement if there’s a market-based system” – and then even when their conditions were satisfied, the US still didn’t join the agreement! How’s that for sabotage? That’s why we’ve gotten to this place of such a malfunctional, inefficient, ineffective system of carbon markets (seen the most recent report by the IPCC? That confirms market failure.). And, that also means that at any moment, many countries, including the US, could realize that (as most suspected) carbon markets have failed, and those countries can change course and choose to just regulate. So no, this isn’t about gravity, this is about decisions made by humans, and especially decisions made by greedy energy company executives and the politicians they’ve bought. Where am I getting this information? and .

As far as I know, the only people doing on-the-ground work to use Regen Network beyond tradeable carbon credits are Terra Genesis, who are working with a group of farmers to makes credits that basically function the same as an organic certification, but with criteria designed by the farmers. The credits (just like a certification) are bought with the agricultural product, and therefore can never be decoupled and traded apart from the coffee or whatever it is, and get literally eaten. That’s an entirely different thing than tradeable emissions credits.

Those are not the kinds of speculation that cause bubbles, and they are fundamentally different from speculation on commodity markets, because they do not happen in markets. See, for example, the Wikipedia section mentioning the disputed difference between speculation and investment, and note that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has a definition for speculation related to commodity markets.

Who together? Regen Network has already been in development for what, 5 or 6 years? How much money has been spent on software development and carbon market analysis and investor relations during that time? And how much money has been spent reaching out to indigenous and peasant peoples and listening deeply to their critiques of the UNFCCC, REDD, carbon markets, and their dreams of what would make sense, and really weaving that into Regen Network?

You’re right, people’s time is precious, and taking the time to sit down and understand Regen Network and try to engage with it is even harder when people realize that they’re being invited to take a seat at a table that wasn’t build by or for them – it was built for a market that was built by people who ignored and repressed indigenous and peasant peoples. Trusting that this system is worth engaging with when people have already been put in second place behind the software, the market, and the investors… that’s a tough sell, and is going to require some effort.

How about dedicating some of RND’s collective intelligence to reading the documents here and here and writing up an analysis about how Regen Network relates to the critiques and proposals given? And I mean all the teams at RND, not just one person. That would show a willingness to engage with the ideas already expressed by people historically excluded and as of yet not intentionally included in Regen Network. It’s all there in writing. No need to ask anyone from an indigenous or peasant farmer group to offer their opinion or risk their time on something that might fail until RND has already read and responded to that. And if you want to go beyond that to seek out more material already created by other indigenous and peasant organizations, great!

Then people can feel like the table they’re being invited to actually cares about them. Because right now, everyone at the table is expected to understand carbon markets and the needs and desires of greedy energy company executives, but only indigenous people are expected to understand and care about indigenous people. Put some effort into overcoming this 5-year gap in caring that has been baked into Regen Network. And yes, the CSDAO idea is an idea to intentionally include people, but that’s all it is, a vague idea who’s implementation has been left as an afterthought until July 2021. This conversation is part of figuring out the CSDAO process.

I’m not giving up on Regen Network. I’m asking the toughest questions I can in order to see what’s really possible here, and to sort out the vague ideas from real, concrete investment of human attention and money, and to expose my own ignorance to the possibility of learning something new and building trust.


A couple of points.

The wikipedia article is fantastic. As it points out, there are benefits to speculation and speculators, and down sides.

I cannot tell from your argument if you think:

A) Speculation is completely counterproductive and has no place in Regen Network’s marketplace
B) Speculation may be problematic and therefore should be designed in carefully,
C) Notice that many stakeholders that are essentially to successful stewardship and regeneration of ecosystems, such as indigenous peoples, may have beliefs about speculation that make speculations exclusion more likely to lead to a harmonious and engaged community of stakeholders.

Perhaps some mix of those three?

In relationship to the argument that speculation is merely a human failing, I wonder what you think about: Brainless fungi trade resources with plants like a stock market | New Scientist

I will read and review what you have shared. I will also note that I come from a background of studying globalism, working with indigenous and campesino peoples and have a knowledge of and sympathy for the perspective you are sharing. I simply do not agree with all of the analysis. I am happy to talk about it. And I may be wrong. The past few years have transformed my perspective of markets to a place that is very different from where I started.

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Thanks for asking hard questions. It’s what is needed to ensure we are building something that is truly transformative, and not just something that perpetuates the patterns that exist. That is a real risk with the strategy we’ve taken.

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These are the core questions that I 100% agree with need to be deeply considered and engaged with creatively. I happen to believe that some form of speculation will be impossible to exclude, and therefore should be integrated into our assumptions and design. But perhaps I am wrong about that. See prior statements.

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This sounds like a great idea.

The point I am trying to make above (which it seems might be missed) is mostly that this needs to be a design challenge that we embrace, not one that we use to sink the proverbial ship.

There are interesting examples of roles for investors and helping them focus on maximising impact, rather than maximising financial returns. As long as the entire planetary economy is not run on the Regen Ledger (or one of its sisters) there will be unfair competition for value based enterprise. And this means purely profit oriented investors will ALWAYS be tempted to choose extractive over regenerative business models.

So to level the playing field there are models like Yunus Social Business Investment (eg: in India) where investors get their investment back + impact in stead of dividends, or Participative Capital (promoted by Just Change), where investors receive surplus in kind, rather than in cash.

Very important discussion, very good to have it early, honestly and fact-based.

I’d like to add a few points, thoughts and experiences around some of the hotter topics touched in this thread

I do understand where they come from and i very much appreciate the energy and mobilization they add to the broader discussion, but the sources and - after some reading and watching through their content - seem very opinionated and disregarding of facts for the purpose of story telling and rethorics. The picture that is painted by these sources is too black and white and is not reflecting on the many many positve effects impact financing and projects facilitated by carbon markets already had.

I’d like to add a bit of input on some of the mechanisms in question

Carbon Markets:

As for regulatory pricing schemes like emission trading or cap & trades as well as for carbon taxes, real impacts were off to a slow start but are picking up in the recent years, within the EU ETS for example a constantly decreasing number of allowances is given out, prices for allowances hiked over the last years and emissions in total declined.

Additionaly, unlike stated in - i think it was -, most emission trading schemes only allow a small percentage (e.g. 8% in California’s Cap n Trade, 0% (from nature based solutions at least) in EU ETS) if any of the allowances to be “topped up” by offsetting credits. While the notion certainly exists, a mass “buy yourself out of regulation with offsets” is just not a thing.

Regarding involvement and inclusion of indigenous peoples in regulatory pricing schemes, I can only speak of the the California Air Resource Board’s cap’n’trade, in which offsets can come from forestry projects in participating US states. Some of these are being developed on the land of indigenous americans in the form of
changing the way the land owners do timber operations. In no case can anyone loose their land or be forced to sell or change practices for the worse.

The big down side in regulatory markets offsets was and to some extend still is that it’s heavily focused on avoidance offsets, like with renewable energies or REDD+ and so called “improved forest management” in the US, which has a wide qualitative variety ranging from being really great and “additional” to just being a word for kicking the can down the road for 10 more years.

As for voluntary carbon markets, they did make up the much smaller part - both in terms of monetary as well as volume values - of carbon pricing mechanisms, in the last three years they grew rapidly tho and crossed the 1 GTon mark in 2021 for the first time.

The vast majority of the demand for voluntary carbon markets is driven by corporations who set net neutral or - increasingly - net zero targets and pledges. Natural based solutions grew the most, of which forestry led the growth. Renewable energy is declining, as the offsets from these sources are not “accountable” for net zero strategies. (This is of course no law or physical constraint, it’s all arbitrary but this is what corporate and thought leader consensus currently looks like)

The land use and forestry sector - like i said, absolute favorite amongst ESG purchasers of credits currently - is of course where land-based peoples are involved the most as landowners and land stewards. Safeguarding integrity of these sorts of credits is very complicated. As a result, a very complex and opaque quality assurance process involving a lot of intermediaries like standard bodies, validation bodies, whole salers and project developers evolved.
In effect this means that in the standard Over the Counter deal today the vast majority of profits is spread amongst the supporting functions and very little is left for whoever actually executes the action, be it landowners, small holder farmers or indigenous peoples.

As for involvement of stakeholders (read: communities affected by the project that is generating offsets), one has to say that the biggest standards (VCS by Verra, Gold Standard and Plan Vivo) require very thorough stakeholder consultations and everyone who wants to be heard can be heard, publicly and visible for everyone. This also includes documented and reviewable interviews with community members who have no way of handing in complaints in an online form, for example. Of course there’s a human factor of profit-motivated consultancies and projecteers who might not be incentivized to openly report issues, but i know of no independent standards’ projects where this was the case on any significant scale.
No doubt, this stakeholder involvement can and should take a much more center-stage place, but it’s not all greedily brushed off and ignored right now either.

Role of Intermediaries

Carbon markets, both regulated and voluntary ones are super complex and opaque and absolutely not accesible for neither smallhold resource “owners” (for lack of a better term) nor corporate buyers without professional trading units. Intermediaries play a pivotal role in this so supply can find demand, prices can be discovered and financing of actions can happen in the first place.
Economically speaking, there is no amount of profit that would be “fair” to allocate to these intermediary functions. The cost of services like sales, marketing, financing, quality assurance is whatever the service provider charges. Only via competition in that segment these prices will go down, which is what’s happening already. The 30% cut for just marketing and distributing voluntary offsets is at it’s end of life.

Offset Trading

Trading of anything really is an efficiency mechanism between humans that saves resources and leads to better use of input factors. Trading of allowances and credits work the exact same way.
Now it’s important to define trading a little in that context: Trading within the credit life cycle could happen:

  • multiple times horizontally, i.e. a generated and distributed unit could be held (and not retired) by a for profit entity and sold whenever price is higher than acquisition cost. This is your oil company example and this is what’s happening with regulated market allowances, like in the EU ETS. Energy companies have large trading desks that act both as profit as well as cost center (i.e. purchase needed allowances at lowest cost, and generate some additional income from additional trading)

  • once, from generation to “consume” of credits / allowances and only vertically, i.e. down the value stream (credit originator sells to investor, investor to distributor, distributor to corporate). This is the most common path for voluntary credits, since the largest crediting bodies make it much harder than the EU ETS to buy and trade credits. Also there’s a very clear trend in corporate ESG departments to not by vintage credits that are older than 4 to 5 years, making “banking” on credits a risky endeavor. There’s methods like futures and “planned emission reduction” credits (really just an IOU on a verified credit) to enable trading and more liquid markets but these are still not liquid enough to create bubbles fueld by speculators yet.


Personally, I think speculation is crucially important for carbon markets to work and climate action to be successful. And not just climate action but all ecosystem “services”. Mankind collectively underprices the drain and destruction of resources. Pricing carbon emissions is one step that achieved main stream attention and it’s still way below anything associated with the true cost those very emissions come with. But other than with other externalities like loss of biodiversity, clean water or tranquility, we now price in carbon emissions on systemic levels. We should ride that wave and use the momentum to restore beyond emission-driven thinking. This is why prices should go up drastically and this is why i think speculation is a very useful vehicle.

As stated above, speculation and - accordingly - price hikes are already taking place in regulated markets.

In voluntary markets, speculation opportunities pretty much only exist for project developers or land owners who can front the effort and complexity of issuing credits themselves.
Renewable energy / avoidance projects are trending down and have additional limitations due to the vintage credit policies of buyers (see above).
Natural based projects that sequester carbon via biological growth also come with a very long issuing period for credits (normally at least over 20 years if not longer). This is both detrimental (because harder to upfront finance) as well as beneficial for the issuer, because it has a built in speculation vector, as the credits you issue and sell in 15 years from now might have 2-5x’ed in their price.
In your example the landbased people selling credits out of an activity with their forests they steward can benefit from that very bubble as much as any “greedy trader” can. A key requirement for this is to get rid of the upfront financing hurdles that give power to institutions with cash that can exert too much negotiating power on land owners / stewards, making them sell off too many credits upfront.

Reselling credits over and over for increasing profits has no downside for the originator. It just FEELS unfair that someone is earning more with your work later on, but it doesn’t diminish what you earned in the first place. For you it won’t make any difference if you sell the credit once and it’s retired or if you sell the credit once and afterwards it gets resold over and over until it gets retired.
Actually, as you get “fresh” credit supply to sell over a longer time, you benefit from the scenario where a market or aftermarket drives up the prices for all credits.

I read and heard the term commodification of life over and over again. I understand the premise and the message it implies, but i think it’s not helpful for a broader regeneration agenda. Matter of fact is that we collectively commodified all life on land and in sea for a long time and are putting price tags on every piece of matter we can control. We’re giving ourself (arbitrary) boundaries and use psycho-economic mechanisms rather than brute force (at least recently). But let’s not kid ourselves: As long as people are offered more to destroy than to protect or even restore, people will have to or want to trade in the reseources of the piece of land they are responsible for.

Let’s turn it around. Let’s use this mechanism and make people earn more for restoring than they would earn for selling off. If your goal is restoration, what does it matter if financial markets profit along the way if they profit purely on transactions rather than on transformation of resources. This is a net positive for all involved.