Gaiachain

Blockchain for forest governance

Earth

Our mission

To maximise the return on investment in the planet. We want to ensure that companies making real investments in sustainable and legal sourcing reap the market benefits they deserve.

The problem

Demand side measures to combat illegal logging and deforestation aim to provide market incentives to sustainable and legal practices. Unfortunately, these measures are not achieving their objectives. One obstacle is the lack of reliable information to verify the provenance, legality and sustainability of commodities. Centralised tracking systems are vulnerable to fraud and non-transparent making it difficult for demand side actors to differentiate the green from the green-washed. New commodity tracking systems are needed to allow truly ‘green’ companies to differentiate their products from the rest.

Our solution

We are developing commodity tracking tools based on our Blockchain+ approach to allow companies to differentiate themselves in the context of pro-forest demand side measures. For example, the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) aims to prohibit illegal timber from accessing EU markets. Providing information to EUTR authorities via our fraud-resistant blockchain-based timber tracking and legality platform (in development) will facilitate due diligence and access to EU markets. Similar logic can be applied to zero-deforestation agricultural commodities: lower risk of fraud leads to increased access to responsible consumers.

What is Blockhain+?

Blockchain based tracking systems are fraud resistant but not fraud proof. Extra measures are needed to ensure that information entering the system is accurate. For instance, combining independent forest monitoring with blockchain will help ensure data integrity. Other measures we are exploring include vulnerable point auditing, timber isotope testing and near-real-time satellite imagery analysis.

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Our Focus Areas

Cocoa

Cocoa is a multi-billion dollar industry linked to extensive deforestation in the tropics. Industry leaders and governments are committing to zero-deforestation cacao supply chains. However, these commitments have yet to translate into significant improvements in forest management. Developing tracking systems that give a competitive market edge to zero-deforestation cacao will help establish the incentives needed to maintain sustainable cacao value chains on a grand scale. We are currently developing Blockchain+ pilot projects with partners in Ivory Coast, the largest cacao producer in the world.

Charcoal

Charcoal production is a major driver of deforestation throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Gaiachain is currently developing a Blockchain+ pilot project with Malebi, a women's association in Ivory Coast dedicated to the production of sustainable charcoal. More details coming soon!

Timber

Timber importers face high regulatory barriers to access the EU market, and current tracking systems make it difficult to trust the validity of legality claims. Gaiachain is developing a blockchain-based system to track legally harvested timber from high-risk countries to help ensure that legal loggers have the market advantage over illegal loggers. In doing so, we aim to support implementation of the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) agreements in timber producing countries.

Other commodities

Unfortunately, the list of common products linked to deforestation is rather long and includes palm oil, soy and beef to name a few. We'll be expanding our scope as our Blockchain+ system evolves.

About us

We have over 20 years of combined experience supporting complex forest conservation programmes in developing countries. This includes over 5 years working with demand and supply side actors to strengthen forest governance, particularly in the context of the EUTR. In addition, our CTO is a skilled developer with expertise in multiple blockchain platforms, including Hyperledger Sawtooth. With our expertise in forest governance, demand side policies and blockchain technology, we are well suited to develop the innovations needed to help zero-deforestation supply chains become a reality.

What makes us unique

We go beyond applying blockchain to supply chains to develop tools that reduce risk and increase compliance in the context of pro-forest demand side measures. We tailor our innovations to specific demand side policies, such as the European Union Timber Regulation, and voluntary zero-deforestation declarations, such as the New York Declaration on Forests. In addition, our Blockchain+ approach takes into account the limitations of blockchain technology to build and maintain trust among value chain actors.

Team

Brad Mulley

Founding Director

Kacper Gazda

CTO and Co-founder

Eulalie Guillaume

Programme Director and Co-founder

Valerie Vauthier

General Secretary and Co-founder

Jack Robinson

Research and Development Officer, and Co-founder

Partners

We are currently seeking to expand partnerships for pilot activities. Please get in touch at bradmulley@gaiachain.io