What is Intemerate?

Intemerate Accounting is a sustainability and resilience program measuring wellbeing and our ecological biodiversity.

Expressed as an equation, intemerate accounting provides a tangible pathway for local, indigenous, and customary methodologies to integrate with national accounting systems.

Intemerate means pure, sacred, sacrosanct. Intemerate accounting measures how we account for our ecological biodiversity and how to value those interactions.

Rather than assigning values to natural capital as other ecological accounting programs, the intemerate equation measures restoration and revitalization to attain a fair, just, and equitable economy. Our local interactions with the environment must provide a greater collective value than the private ownership of commodities and natural capital schemes managed by investment regimes.

Ecological biodiversity is sacrosanct. How do we assign a monetary value to that which provides our existence? Commodity values are for markets, not our existence. Shifting national economic indicators to value the data on our environmental and social interactions is the most sensible route for reversing climate change, restoring our ecological biodiversity, and redistributing global wealth.

Our mission is simple: we seek to bring ecological accounting into the global justice movement.

Intemerate Earth is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Lemaima Vaai: Reweaving the Ecological Mat member, Foreshore, Suva, Fiji

Here’s the Issue

Many economists understand that our present national accounting standards– GDP or Gross Domestic Product– needs revision if we are to reverse the economic drive most contributing to environmental degradation, resource depletion, biodiversity loss, climate change, poverty, inequality, and many of the fragility factors that have contributed to the loss of our environmental security and wellbeing.

While there are several alternative indicators proposing how we should account for consumption, production, distribution, and exchange of goods and services, what makes the intemerate accounting equation unique is that our equation does not simply adjust national accounts by adding new natural capital accounts or create new nature-based asset classes benefitting institutional investment regimes. 

Environmental indicators and climate-based insurance schemes that profit from fragility and scarcity will not address the issue of redistributing wealth or the widening gap in global wealth disparities. The addition of new environmental indicators would simply be imposing another top-down consent for an eco-privatization economy where the same power structures will provide security, technology, monitoring, auditing, and other services that perpetuate systems of exploitation and exclusion.

Responding to global demands for environmental and social responsibility (ESR), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Debt Service Suspension Initiatives (DSSI), and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), the Intemerate Equation could provide a bottom-up pathway for indigenous peoples, impacted local communities, and developing countries to value environmental data with real-world evidence-based assessments and outcomes.

Sean Meadows. Chatanooga, Tennessee.

Our Solution

Intemerate Earth is developing a curriculum for degree accreditation. The purpose is to integrate community-based relations, leadership, and the household with a just and equitable financial index based on the intemerate equation, enabling a bottom-up translocal and inter-global economic approach. Intemerate Earth seeks to work collectively towards an outcome that will transition local, national, and regional economies by accounting for wellbeing and our environmental interactions.

Intemerate Earth has received support from the World Council of Churches (WCC) and we seek to promote partnerships in regional and global collectives. Intemerate Accounting was initially developed in programs and workshops convened by the Institute of Mission and Research (IMR), Pacific Theological College (PTC), the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC), and the Oceanic Centre for Arts, Culture, and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific (USP), as part of the “Reweaving the Ecological Mat” initiative, as well as the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, Pacific Island Forum/Secretariat (PIF). Intemerate Accounting embraces indigenous and customary peoples, women, at-risk communities, and can be adjusted for local and regional governments.

This work culminated in the publication of a book called Ecological Economic Accounts: Towards Intemerate Values.

Reweaving the Ecological Mat Conference, Suva, Fiji, 2019.