The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute a series of goals established within the United Nations to achieve the development of the world’s societies by 2030. But, without depleting resources in the process. In this sense, the actors committed to its fulfillment must innovate and be creative. Therefore, blockchain can be a very useful tool to achieve the SDGs in the established time.
The experts present in the panel “Building blockchain applications in a context of social impact”, Within the European Blockchain Convention they addressed the issue. They mentioned, among other things, the contribution of Blockchain to the fulfillment of these SDGs.
This panel included the participation of Katerina Trajchevska (CEO of Adeva), Maria Rosaria Ceccarelli (Economic Commission for Europe, United Nations), Genevieve Leveille (CEO of Agriledger) and Virginia Cram (CEO of Tringularity).
How can blockchain technology serve the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?
Although it may seem difficult, or even somewhat abstract, blockchain technology is an important tool that can help achieve the SDGs. For example, during this event, the CEO of AgriLedger, Genevieve Leveille highlighted the importance that this technology has for the fulfillment of SDG number 12.
According to the United Nations, this objective is aimed at “reduce the ecological footprint through a change in the methods of production and consumption of goods and resources”. This seeks to achieve economic growth and sustainable development in the world.
Leveille highlighted that he has noticed that in the world “several private companies, including fashion brands and others, are focusing their efforts on achieving stability in their supply chains with transparency”. For this, blockchain is an almost perfect instrument.
For her part, Virginia Cram spoke from her experience working with blockchain in monitoring the production and marketing of organic cotton from Egypt. “The project I am working on seeks to increase the chronicle about the use of blockchain technology. It also seeks to strengthen the capacity of retailers and manufacturers to generate more sustainable products throughout the cotton supply chain.”.
More details about it
During the panel, Leveille explained that AgriLedger works to make “a blockchain solution that seeks to train small producers, to give them access to the market and also to financial services”.
Leveille stressed that the project officially started with its pilot in Haiti. Specifically, he mentioned that he started in May of this year with avocado and mango production in Haiti.
“We have been working with the government of Haiti and also the World Bank in applying what would be a blockchain solution, to really see how to create a better interaction between markets and farmers.”He commented.
To this he managed to add that “The work in Haiti is less, but the other side is even more exciting for me. From a business point of view, with the use of blockchain in the supply chain, all revenue is coming back to the country”. By this he means that individual producers now have better guarantees that their money will reach them appropriately.
We need to be able to bring those blockchain-enhanced financial aspects to those who need them. It’s not really about reinventing the wheel, but about making a better one.
Maria Rosaria Ceccarelli, Economic Commission for Europe, United Nations.
What blockchain services have been developed so far in this sector?
The product that Leveille delved into the most during his speech was a special insurance for farmers. This insurance uses satellite data on rainfall in certain regions. The idea is that through blockchain, you can have data about the farmer who has the insurance, and confirm with satellite data if a plot of yours has not had rain in a certain time.
In the event that the farmer has indeed been affected, the system pays him automatically, without the need for a claim. “No one has to evaluate the claim. This is done automatically by parameter-based insurance”Leveille said.
Additionally, he said these efforts can complement existing ones. “There is a machine that evaluates the coffee beans, to see if they are of a particular commercial grade. Then, with that information, a price is offered to the farmer. If the farmer says yes, the smart contract pays automatically”.
It is also a human rights issue
Compliance with the SDGs goes hand in hand with guaranteeing human rights worldwide. Therefore, the experts who participated in this discussion talked a little about it.
Cram stressed that in his project “It is important to track the cotton you have been using to produce T-shirts. However, another very important issue for us is the fulfillment of human rights. 20% of the world’s cotton is produced in countries that violate human rights”.
In that sense, he considers that implementing a blockchain solution to analyze the path and process of cotton, from the field to the retail, “is due diligence.” With this you can also monitor whether payments to primary producers are being made properly.
On the other hand, Cram also spoke about the way in which blockchain would allow us to get closer to meeting SDG 2, “zero hunger”.
“When we look at zero hunger failure it is not really because there is not enough food. It is because food is not reaching those who need it properly or in the proper mechanism. A lot of food spoils, so you can start looking at how to really invest in that infrastructure”Said the CEO of Tringularity.
All of the aforementioned does not mean that blockchain is the magic key that will make possible the fulfillment of the SDGs, but it is an important tool. For example, during the European Blockchain Convention there was a lot of talk about regulatory frameworks, as it is these that largely determine innovative developments in the world.
The truth is Blockchain technology is changing the way people, businesses, and even the look of the supply chain of various industries behave. Thus, the aforementioned cases are just a few examples of the potential that exists.
Beyond this, blockchain technology offers windows of opportunity for companies to really collaborate with social organizations, beyond corporate social responsibility.
In a world where migration is a fact, blockchain technology can even serve to create tools that facilitate the quality of life of migrants.
In this sense, María Rosaria Ceccarelli explained that “Most of the people who migrate do not want to migrate for the fun of it. They emigrate to have a new life, a better life. So if we can create these tools more people can have a better life where they are.”.
For her, Blockchain is the foundation of collaboration. Taking into account all the examples mentioned, and the way in which they are generating impact, it is valid to affirm that the path to global sustainable development is one that cannot ignore the existence of blockchain.