KONZA is “the UBER of climate projects”. A growing stock of appropriate technologies, competent advisors and climate related financial resources are available. The root of the problem is that local entrepreneurs or individuals engaged in small-scale mitigation or adaptation actions, as well as the project “angels” (i.e. consultants, advisors) and climate finance institutions don’t meet properly each other. KONZA establishes a project development market place that connects project developers (Project Promoters), advisors (Mentors) and “Banks” (Financial Institutions) via its website and mobile app.
The Platform is based on a searchable, structured database of projects and their users. Users are the Project Promoters, the Mentors (Advisors) and the Financial institutions. The registered Project Promoters provide description on their projects in a standard project profile. Users and projects establish a searchable, structured database. Rating is the central tool to build a reputation and trust among users of KONZA. Users evaluate each other and the projects as well. A low rating might filter the inappropriate projects and, at the same time, enhance the convenience among users. The projects are also labelled by Climate Performance Index (CPI). CPI enables the project’s evaluation and qualification based on algorithm using the indictors given in the project profiles.
KONZA will operate as a community based information exchange platform and will enhance the climate-related social networking. KONZA, as an interactive forum that collects the climate practices and makes possible to replicate them. KONZA promotes concrete actions for dealing with climate change mitigation and adaptation and may be divided by thematic groups (with subgroups, themes). KONZA is free to its Project Promoters and Mentors Users and generates revenue from advertising, such as ads by Financial Institutions. (Mentors my also pay a moderated amount for advertisements on their detailed business activity.)
The project development is in preparatory phase. A concept paper has been completed. Based on the concept paper, a detailed feasibility study, business plan and risk assessment are under preparation. The finalization of these documents is expected by November 2016. The KONZA website and applications are planned to start by the end of 2017.
KONZA as a trade mark is under registration. The Env-in-Cent Consulting Ltd. (env-in-cent.hu) keeps all the intellectual property rights related to KONZA project and platform.
Objectives and beneficiaries
The primary objectives of KONZA’s development is to improve the access to climate financing thorough information exchange and networking among the project developers, advisors and financial institutions.
The Platform’s aim is to explore, ranking and share the climate practices. The mission and vision of KONZA’s development is to improve the access to climate financing thorough information exchange and networking among the project developers, advisors and financial institutions. The implementation of KONZA may catalyze the climate related “micro” project development and drive the financial flows towards the local entrepreneurs, especially in the low-income communities. KONZA helps the poor individuals, communities and micro entrepreneurs by making it easier to access the knowledge and financing for their energy efficiency, renewables, land use, waste re-use etc. projects. KONZA may effectively contribute to combat energy poverty and climate vulnerability, especially in rural areas. Both in developing countries in Africa, Middle East and emerging countries in South Asia and South America, as well as the roma communities in East Europe may be the most benefitted target groups of KONZA Platform. KONZA adds transparency and efficiency to the matching among the users of climate-friendly and climate proof projects, worldwide.
The beneficiaries are the Platform’s Users. The main beneficiary groups are the following:
1. Beneficiary Group: Project Promoters
The main KONZA’s users are the individuals and local SMEs who plan, develop, generate and implement climate change mitigation or adaptation projects. After registration, the Project Promoters may access all KONZA’s information, in free. (The registration should properly identify the personal or legal entities, their location and access.). The registered Project Promoter’s obligation is to provide relevant description on their projects in a standard project profile (simple fill-in form).
2. Beneficiary Group: Mentors
Project managers, consultants, advisors, “blue angels” etc. may serve as professional solution providers to develop and implement climate change related projects. They act as “third party facilitators” between the Project Promoters and Financial Institutions. After registration, the Mentors may access all KONZA’s information, in free. (The registration should properly identify the Mentor’s entities and experiences without any advertise.) The registered Mentor’s obligation is to provide a brief description of their activities in a standard mentor profile (simple fill-in form).
3. Beneficiary Group: Financial Institutions
Commercial banks, national and regional development agencies, SME incubators, social responsible private and state funds, public or private investors etc. may share their portfolios related to financing of climate-related projects. The Financial Institutions may introduce their services as a standard portfolio’s profile and an advertisement, against payment. The Financial Institution’s portfolio’s profile (thematic focus of their services, grant schemes, credit lines, supported loans, guaranty fund etc.) form a searchable, structured database.
Strong points of the practice
KONZA is the first attempt to establish a community-based information exchange platform of climate change related projects and its stakeholders.
KONZA gives users a choice between the traditional project development and a brand-new, innovative way towards “shared economy”. The Platform potentially provide Mentors with new and flexible jobs.
KONZA may effectively contribute to combat energy poverty and climate vulnerability, especially in rural areas.
Rating is the central tool to build a reputation and trust among users of KONZA. The projects are also labelled by Climate Performance Index that enables the project’s evaluation and qualification based on algorithm using the indictors given in the project profiles.
Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation
Expected outcomes and impacts of KONZA Platform may contribute to all five ICCG’s hot topic, especially to low-carbon finance and energy poverty. KONZA is:
1) Feasible: no need “extra” IT or software innovation. Existing experiences in social networking, as well as the motivation of the Users makes feasible KONZA project.
2) Attributed by measurable climate change impact: the project-based indicators (such as GHG reduction, cost figures, number of people protected against natural disasters, area of land use change, etc.) make possible to monitor the overall impact of KONZA. The Platform may contribute climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in the following areas:
- sustainable energy use (renewable energy use and energy efficiency improvements in services, public and industrial sectors)
- sustainable land use, irrigation and farming
- flood protection, drought management
- building’s retrofit (energy efficient and resilient buildings)
- urban heat island and health, tourism
- critical infrastructure
- climate proof and resilient community transportation
- energy-climate awareness rising (i.e. actions to children, students, rural communities, urban citizens, workplaces, municipalities etc.)
Replicability potential of the practice
The implementation of KONZA Platform may catalyze the climate related “micro” project development and drive the financial flows towards the local entrepreneurs, especially in the low-income communities. The highly ranked projects, as best practices, are replicable: the KONZA communities may easily develop worldwide, both in rich and developing/emerging countries and regions.
The project replicability also means a significant social impact. KONZA makes steps towards shared economy, bringing equal rights, transparency and effectiveness in climate financing of local mitigation and adaptation actions.
KONZA is developed for typical low income users. KONZA’s IT realization is optimized for users on slower or intermittent Internet connections (similar to Facebook Lite version). The smart phone app with a total size should be less than 1,5 MB, primarily focusing markets (i.e. in developing and emerging regions) where internet access is slow or limited.
All registered users (Project Promoters, Mentors and Banks) can:
- exchange messages (dialog forum),
- update their profiles,
- rate each other and the projects,
- receive notifications when others update their profiles,
- access a newsroom,
- access reports, assessments produced by KONZA’s Operator
A public website will also be available for non-registered users to fulfill the transparency requirements and to attract new registered users.
[Editor's Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.]