Frequently Asked Questions¶
This section answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) about moja global and the associated projects.
Why is moja global using open source?¶
Moja global is open source for quality and sustainability.
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 of the pooling of resources from various organizations, governments, and companies who would otherwise be competing and 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 ownership over their contributions. They only give others the right to use their contribution under the same license (in moja global’s case, mostly MPL2.0). It allows everybody to use the contribution from everybody else. Undoing this decision is not possible as the license is irrevocable. Practically, it would also be impossible because everyone’s contributions would have to be dealt with separately.
Further information is provided on the White Paper - Governments, open source, and moja global.
Are moja global tools free?¶
Anyone can use moja global’s tools for free.
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 sustainability reasons, contributions - in kind or cash - are necessary. These are always voluntary.
You can find more information about contributions in the document Who Pays?
(The misperception is that Moja Global is not accessible or has hidden costs).
Is moja global controlled by one country?¶
Moja global is a genuinely global, neutral platform owned by its users.
Users own and control moja global. You can find more info on governance here.
All users have the right to take a seat on the board. The strategy board decides on strategy and budget. The board supervises two co-directors. The chair of the technical steering committee is a Canadian national.
When 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. We took on the strong points of each of these systems in the FLINT design process. As a result, FLINT has several vital ingredients comparable to the software used in those two countries.
(Misconception: Moja global is Australian/Canadian dominated)
How to contract moja global?¶
Financial support to moja global is possible as grants to the Linux Foundation.
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 organizations, 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?
What licence is moja global using?¶
Moja global uses mainly MPL-2.0.
Most major global software has been released under the open-source license 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 license 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 release it under MPL2.0, that would be great for others, of course, and very much appreciated, but there is no obligation.
It 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.
What is FLINT?¶
FLINT is a software platform to estimate emissions and sinks of greenhouse gases from land use.
FLINT (Full Lands Integration Tool) is moja global’s flagship software the platform mainly used for estimating emissions and sinks from land use (but in the future also for economics, biodiversity, etc.).
It is a second-generation software that is a giant calculator that can manage data, keep (Carbon or other) pool values, and shift (Carbon or other) amounts between pools based on models/modules.
FLINT is building on the first generation tools developed in Canada (CBM-CFS3) and Australia (FullCAM). Those who designed these first-generation tools have joint forces to design and build the second-generation tool FLINT.
FLINT is a platform combined with a range of specific modules for a particular situation: forest modules, soil modules, litter, wood products, etc. Developing modules can be done externally, and they can be connected to the FLINT platform as needed. We chose this design option to create the flexibility to adapt to local circumstances and to make the development of modules simpler.
Since every user picks and chooses its particular modules, they end up with an almost unique configuration. Several countries have given their national configuration a name: Kenya = SLEEK, Colombia = SEPAC, Indonesia = INCAS, etc.
What is the difference between moja global and FLINT?¶
Moja global is an organization; FLINT is a software tool. Moja global provides rules and infrastructure to help users to collaborate. Its sole aim is to promote the broadest possible collaboration on and use of its tools. FLINT (Full Lands Integration Tool) is moja global’s open-source software tool.
Can beginners use FLINT?¶
Anybody can use FLINT.
The brilliant thing about FLINT is that it is a sophisticated system for entry-level users.
Designing an MRV system for the land sector is among the world’s most complex things. Globally, only a handful of people have achieved that level of expertise. FLINT is the product of these brains. In essence, FLINT is a sophisticated system designed so people at the entry-level can use it. The software and training build additional skills, capacity, and depth of understanding over time.
Some level of technical understanding is necessary to run the FLINT. But there is a big difference between the technical understanding needed to design your national MRV system and the technical understanding needed to run the FLINT software and understand the calculations. Compare it to a car: to design a car, one needs sophisticated skills. To maintain the car, you need practical technical skills. Any layperson with a license can drive the car.
Can we continue to use our old system when switching to FLINT?¶
FLINT works with whatever is already in place.
FLINT is the name for the open-source MRV platform offered by moja global. FLINT is combined with science modules to develop country-specific configurations. Country-specific implementations make each national system unique. In Kenya, FLINT is known as SLEEK. In Canada as Generic Carbon Budget Model (GCBM). In Colombia, it is called SEPAC., etc.
FLINT based systems build on the work that has already been done and data that a country has available, including land cover maps, forest inventories, emissions factors, etc.
(Misconception: FLINT forces users to start from scratch and competes with existing national systems).
Can one see how FLINT calculates emissions?¶
FLINT is fully transparent.
The brilliant advantage of open source is that the tool is always available for review. Everybody is invited to review the code to see what the software is doing.
All documentation about the software is accessible.
In addition, most modules that you can plug into the software are open source and have their detailed documentation.
The aim is to improve the documentation until even those not well versed in IPCC rules can go to the tool, read through the documentation, and get a reasonably good sense of how the software works in a matter of days. Where documentation is not clear; feedback is used to improve the documentation further or even better. Those who have questions are encouraged to suggest improvements to documentation and code.
(Misconception: FLINT is a black box).
FLINT Installation Support¶
I am trying to setup FLINT from the master branch but am running into errors. What am I doing wrong?¶
FLINT’s stable development branch is develop. develop branch is the latest updated branch and should be used as a base branch for development. Therefore, we recommend you to checkout to this branch and target your pull requests against the develop branch. For more instructions on doing this, please refer to our Git and GitHub Guide .
I use the Mac operating system. Is it possible to install FLINT?¶
Yes Absolutely! You can install FLINT on Mac using our docker installation .
What is the difference between FLINT and FLINT.example repositories on moja global GitHub?¶
FLINT is our framework for estimating emissions and sinks from land use (but in the future also for economics, biodiversity, etc.), where the user has to provide the config files or data. Whereas FLINT.example provides the user with some sample example files that the user can run to get a look and feel of FLINT’s output. Hence we recommend you first install FLINT.example before FLINT.
How to configure Visual Studio for FLINT?¶
To smoothly work with C++ Development on Visual Studio, we recommend you
Desktop Development with C++ workload while undergoing
Visual Studio installation process mentioned in our prerequisites
I am trying to setup the Docker installation for FLINT but am running into errors. What am I doing wrong?¶
In case of the Docker installation for FLINT, it might be possible that the Docker hardware requirements are not met. Please ensure that atleast 4 CPU cores & 4 GB of RAM has been allotted to the Docker machine.
What is GCBM?¶
GCBM is runs CBM science models on the FLINT platform.
GCBM (Generic Carbon Budget Model) is a combination of the FLINT platform with the science modules developed by the Canadian Forest Service.
These are the same science modules used in the first generation tool (CBM-CFS3). Since the science and processes behind both tools are very similar, it is relatively easy to transition from CBM-CFS3 to GCBM.
The CBM-CFS3 is widely used throughout Canada and globally and its use is supported by the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada.
The next generation GCBM is currently used by the CFS with a number of partner organizations to advance the science of forest carbon estimation and to support policy analyses such as the assessment of mitigation options in the forest sector.
What is FLINTpro?¶
FLINTpro is a commercial software as a service version using the FLINT platform.
FLINTpro is a cloud-based version of the FLINT platform. It has been developed by the Mullion Group. Using FLINT for commercial purposes is allowed under the MPL2.0 license. The Mullion Group is sharing all the improvements to the FLINT platform with the open-source community.
What is FLINT UI?¶
A FLINT client, written in Vue, to provide a user interface for configuring simulations using the FLINT.Cloud APIs.
FLINT UI provides an intuitive way for new to explore some preconfigured FLINT modules, including the Generic Budget Carbon Model (GCBM), to better understand how the FLINT system works. Our the client is written as a Web application and can be used in a local or remote environment.
This project also provides a base for governments to build their application on top of the FLINT. Every government possess a different You can customize FLINT implementation, exclusive modules and configuration, and hence the tool for every module.
What is FLINT.Reporting?¶
Reporting Tool functionality for classifying FLINT output results into standard reporting formats.
The role of the Reporting Tool is to provide Business Intelligence for analyzing and transforming FLINT output databases into helpful information and outputs. The current implementation of the Reporting Tool processes the Flux database into simplified 2006 GL Reporting Tables.
The big picture is that the Reporting Tool takes flux facts and assigns/aggregates them to a land-use category, a reporting table, and a UNFCCC reporting variable.
To do this:
The Reporting Tool first implements a process that allocates a flux to an IPCC Land Use Category which is identified as the Land Use Decision Process.
Secondly, it implements a process to allocate the flux to a 2006 GL Reporting Table which is identified as the Flux Type to Reporting Table Process.
Finally, it aggregates the fluxes according to the UNFCCC variable which is simply identified as the Aggregation Process.
What is Taswira?¶
An interactive tool for visualizing GCBM output.
Taswira aims to be an easy-to-use utility to help the users of the Generic Carbon Budget Model (GCBM). It takes output generated by GCBM and creates a browser-based UI that allows users to:
View previews of the spatial data overlaid on an interactive map.
View graphs of ecosystem indicators from the non-spatial output.
Visually cycle through the time-series of the spatial output.