With the threat of global warming looming, protecting our forests is more important than ever. Thankfully, several new green-friendly projects are using blockchain to deal with illegal deforestation.
While a few of these green-friendly projects are using crypto tokens to raise funds for forest reconstruction, most rely on blockchain’s ledger records to keep transparent data regarding the origins of wood. As many of these blockchain-based forest preservation efforts started out fresh in 2018, we’re yet to see their results.
The rise of green-friendly projects
There’s plenty of data showing that deforestation is increasing across the planet. According to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, about 18.7 million acres of forest territory is lost per year. Both governments and NGOs are looking for ways to control the illegal use of natural resources, including unauthorized forest clearance. That’s where green-friendly projects are using blockchain to make a difference.
Veridium, for example, is using crypto to tokenize carbon offsets into freely tradeable assets. Its partnership with IBM saw $5 million raised in September, followed by another fundraiser in October. Many view this deal as an extension of IBM’s earlier collaboration with Stellar.
Brazilian-government-owned Serpro, on the other hand, is battling corruption to save the Amazon from illegal logging operations. Through trusted information exchange, its blockchain solution aims to decrease funding for illegal deforestation.
Governments showing interest in green-friendly projects
Spain and Belgium have recently taken steps towards applying blockchain in the forestry industry.
On September 21, Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food announced plans regarding blockchain application in industry logistics. The main aim is to improve the traceability of wood supply and root out illegal deforestation within the country. Using public ledgers, data would be available through cloud-based software “that will improve transparency.”
Additionally, the Flemish Agency for Nature and Forests is looking to streamline its processes through blockchain technology. Interestingly, the agency plans to develop its own blockchain solution rather than turn towards existing options. CEO Marleen Evenepoel said a customized solution could help preserve Belgium’s forests and streamline bureaucracy.
Everyone has their own map of the area for which the management plan is drawn up and that can lead to discussions.
Not everyone’s honest
Unfortunately, not all green-friendly projects turn out to be genuine. Recently, the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) suspended a scam called Green Earth Certificates. The scheme encouraged investors to “purchase” land that would then be reforested. Then, participants would receive six percent of all investments made within those lands. However, no investors received any profits and no preservation efforts took place.
As with any new sector, these green-friendly projects will take time to earn the trust of investors and the forestry industry. However, with new projects surfacing each year, blockchain could indeed be the right solution to the problem.