Moja global is a collaboration under the Linux Foundation that aims for the widest possible collaboration on and use of credible tools to better manage the land sector. The flagship software is the Full Lands Integration Tool (FLINT), a tool to estimate emissions and sinks of greenhouse gasses from forestry and agriculture.
Moja global is established by Charter using a typical open governance approach. The primary task of moja global is to keep the software safe and available to everybody as well as to stimulate collaboration on the continuous development of the tools. moja global neither has commercial interests nor a profit motive.
Why moja global?
Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. Globally, more than 25% of the greenhouse gasses emissions are caused by the land use, mainly agriculture and forestry. But plants are also the easiest way to take CO2 out of the atmosphere again. So while land use is now part of the problem, we want to make it part of the solution. Before we can better plan and monitor land management, we have to start with better measurements.
Measuring emissions and sinks from land use is notoriously difficult and developing tools to estimate these sinks and emissions is expensive and requires specialised expertise. Through global collaboration between scientists and coders, moja global reduces the cost and increase the quality of the software that can estimate emissions and sinks from land use.
To know more about moja global, read the moja global charter.
Moja global and Open Source
moja global is a non-profit project under the non-profit Linux Foundation. It has no commercial interests. Its sole aim is to promote the widest possible collaboration on and use of its tools. More collaboration and use result in better software which again results in more use and collaboration.
moja global is a neutral platform and any of its users can decide how they want to use its tools. This includes commercial purposes. You could compare it to a leased car: you can lease a car and use it for holidays, for commuting to your day job or as a taxi to generate income.
A key role for moja global is to ensure various interests are channeled in such a way these result in a common advantage. Good communication between participants and full transparency is used to avoid potential conflicts of interest. In case of a perceived conflict of interest the board will discuss how competing interests can best be resolved.
The quality of the software is the most important reason for companies to use open source software when it is available. The quality of the open source software is mainly a result from the pooling of resources from various organisations, governments and companies who would otherwise be competing as well as the diversity of the contributors. Open source code management systems have overtaken private systems as open source code has far fewer bugs at the time the code is accepted.
Open source is a guarantee for sustainability. Once a tool is released as open source, it will remain open source. The tool has been built by various people who keep the ownership over their contribution. They only give others the right to use their contribution under the same licence (in moja global's case mostly MPL2.0). This allows everybody to use the contribution from everybody else. Undoing this decision is not possible as the licence is irrevocable. Practically, it would also be impossible because all the small contributions from every person would have to be dealt with separately.
More info is provided in the White Paper - Governments, open source, and moja global
Licensing and Financial support
Most moja global software has been released under the open source licence MPL2.0. This means that anybody can download, use, change and redistribute the open source tools on the condition that you share the improvements you make with all other users. This way everybody wins.
The licence is soft-copy-left: If you develop a module without using existing moja global parts, you are under NO obligation to share this module. If you do release it under MPL2.0, that would be great for others of course and very much appreciated but there is no obligation.
This allows companies to develop specific modules or services using the software for commercial purposes (e.g. FLINTpro SaaS) They are free to do so as long as they share the improvements to the open source software so everybody can profit from those improvements.
moja global tools are open source and therefore free to use. The only obligation users have is to share all improvements they make to the software with all other users in line with the Licence.
moja global does not charge any fees nor seeks payments from users. However, for reasons of sustainability, contributions - in kind or cash - are necessary. These are always voluntary.
Direct financial support is possible through a grant to the Linux Foundation. The money is released once moja global’s board approves the expenditure.
However, moja global prefers contributions in kind. Donors can contribute by providing funds directly to contributors, user groups or countries to enable code development as well as documentation and science support.
moja global does not provide implementation support to countries. This role is provided by some parties in moja global’s ecosystem (companies, country departments, international organisations, etc.) To remain a credible facilitator, moja global should not compete with its collaborators.
More information about contributions can be found in the document Who Pays?
Moja global governance
Users own and control moja global. More info on governance can be found here.
All users have the right to take a seat on the board. The strategy board decides on strategy and budget. Currently the board is comprised of a Kenyan national, an American national, a Polish national, a Canadian national and a Ghanaian representative of the UNFCCC. The board supervises 2 co-directors, one is Belgian and one is Australian. The chair of the technical steering committee is a Canadian national.
At the time FLINT started only two countries in the world had a spatially explicit system using integrating software to estimate land-sector GHG fluxes. Those were Canada and Australia. The strong points of each of these systems were taken on in the FLINT design process. As a result FLINT has a number of key ingredients comparable to the software being used in those two countries.