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Case Study: Preserving Natural Resources with Blockchain Technology

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

By Jaya Bijoor

Case Study 1: To help combat illegal fishing, Fishcoin uses blockchain technology. It allows fishermen to record their catch data, including information like species, location, and catch method, on the blockchain, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the data. This data is then analyzed to determine the sustainability of the fishing practices. Fishermen who adhere to sustainable practices are rewarded with Fishcoin tokens, which can be exchanged for various benefits such as equipment, training, or access to credit. Payment incentivizes fishermen to adopt sustainable practices and helps reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Launched in October 2016 in Indonesia, Fishcoin gained fourteen thousand monthly active users in thirty days. The project continued onboarding fishermen but was interrupted in 2020–2021 due to the pandemic.


Case Study 2: BVRIO is a blockchain-based project based in Brazil that prevents the illegal deforestation or logging of wood, reduces corruption and fraud, and increases transparency within the timber trade. BVRIO digitizes and records legal timber in the blockchain and offers proof of where it comes from, making it harder to sell timber illegally in the international market. In the last ten years, BVRIO expanded operations outside Brazil to the UK, China, Ghana, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. It has secured $10 million in funding for projects. It has implemented one hundred-plus waste recovery projects from forty-plus countries on five continents. Its efforts recovered five million tons of waste from the environment. BVRIO provides five thousand-plus individual waste pickers additional income and access to social benefits through waste recovery initiatives. Its recycling initiatives divert 250,000+ tons of plastic waste from landfills and oceans. Overall, BVRIO has achieved significant successes in promoting responsible resource management, reducing emissions, supporting waste recovery, and driving sustainability across various sectors.


Case Study 3: Besides increasing global supply chain transparency and making it difficult to sell illegally acquired resources, blockchain technology can also monitor our existing natural resources and help preserve them. GainForest helps to digitize our planet’s resources and record them on a blockchain ledger, making it easier to protect them. Established in 2022, GainForest, based in Switzerland, uses Solana blockchain technology to improve tracking and reward efforts to protect natural resources more efficiently. GainForest divides sections of a rainforest at risk of deforestation into blocks. They digitize these sections and put them on the blockchain. Then, they bring local farmers on board and ask them to select blocks they want to protect. Investors who wish to fund the project also select a section of the forest, choosing how much they want to invest and save. GainForest uses satellites and AI-powered software to monitor the forest. If the farmer’s section is safeguarded during the specified period, then the farmer receives a reward for their conservation efforts. All tracking and doling out of rewards is handled seamlessly on the blockchain using smart contracts. The assessment happens in real time and is communicated via the blockchain, which triggers the smart contract to send the monetary reward to the farmer. This model can be applied to conserve other endangered natural resources, such as coral reefs, mangrove forests, and threatened species. It funded forty thousand mangrove seedlings in the Philippines in just one year. In February 2023, GainForest announced the successful mapping of three thousand trees, and each tree was accompanied by its own GPS data, photos, and species identification. As GainForest adds additional projects, it will incentivize reforestation and provide maps and databases for conservation scientists.






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