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Integrating Blockchain into Ecosystem Management

Updated on August 7, 2017
GreenPrince profile image

Prince is an Environmental Scientist, Geologist and Performance Consultant. He lives in the Philippines.


A Platform to close the Human-Human and Nature Gap

The locus of Human connection to the planet earth has been a subject of debate over millennia of time. From the time of the caveman’s awareness of his place on earth- recorded in his painting of caves, through the time of modern philosophy; Where reason and emotion were used to express our shared and common link to other humans and the earth’s resources, to the time when machines were now built to occupy parts of man’s place- creating some distortions and uncertainties as to the equality of men and the fate of the planet earth.

The revolution of technological advancement has empowered so many, and at the same time leaving many excluded, leading to digital divide- the very root of many other inequalities that exist today.

Until recently, the quest to establish a common frame on how the earth and man should co-function with less harm done to each while the later benefiting from former was re-established after the moon landing and the first photo of the earth, returned and reshaped our consciousness. Our responsibility to the earth became for the first time- a global agenda. Environmental discourse became policy instrument for change and at the same time, became a tool against capitalism in the early 1970s. However, in the 80s, a different model of activism emerged reconciling environmentalism with capitalism, and ultimately promoting ecological modernization against the first model which denounced growth: The principal driver of global environmental crisis. Sustainability, being the first strategy, underpins the call for a total economic and social inclusion and a de-growth model of development for the sake of ecosystem stability and regeneration. Meanwhile, while the ecological modernization failed to add up the excessive consumption of the affluent nations into the equation of global framework for ecosystem resilience, sustainability on the other hand, lacks the precise model on how to reconcile economic growth and ecological restoration. These are failures to fundamentally address the inequalities that exist across the globe. The last decade witness the emergence of a profound internet of value. This system of internet utility has come to replace the existing platform under which information was the chief currency of globalization. This new cloud-service was introduced to aid the fourth industrial revolution to realize a significant mission it promises. It is called Blockchain or the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Its adoption and application will rapidly contribute to an inclusive-designed economic and environmental friendly model. Its capability of enabling a decentralized system of economic participation for all would trigger a profound revolutionary change in global economy; as masses of people for the first time, get involved in reaping reward as they participate, getting their fair share as they make decision on “what and what” they want in life without much institutional barriers that have prevented the same for “a better world for all”. As interference, disenfranchisement and charges get lowered, and active participation scales up, the two billion people that are currently excluded from the global financial market would have their voices heard and have their “pieces cake”; currently constrained by failed policies and corrupt bureaucratic institutions, disrupted and re-organized. The video bellow would help explain what Blockchain is all about and how vital it is to global economy.

A Key question

Would the Blockchain technology drives inclusive growth?

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Blockchain model would also enhance environmental conservation. For so many years efforts to reduce human impact on the ecosystem has remain futile. The main reason being due to the excessive consumption pattern of the affluent nations and the excessive population build up in some part of the world. One of the key elements that will help lower our uncertainty about decision on how we should develop and interact economically and how we should exchange values must be a tool that steward a high level of trust and global participation. Blockchain is a promising internet of value that holds the capacity to distribute global goods and services to the common man. Institutions as we know them to be, have not only facilitate human economic activities but also have given less power to some the individuals and create uncertainties and inequalities that requires high level of trust and inclusion programs to be able to stimulate co-operation and equality. This trust can be initiated by the functionality of blockchain. A technological database institution if implemented across the global supply chain, would yield a dramatic value chain and distribute the finest of trust and visible transaction ever seen by any man-made institution to all public or works of life.

Inclusive Economic Model across the globe


The structural power of institutional fragmentation which often leads to a narrowly sectorial objective pursuits, lack the power to implement changes cross-sectorially. This has remained the chief reason why institutions have failed to effectively collaborate to create positive change especially in environmental policy. Hence, nature suffers as it often receives less attention. The decision power of interest groups; consumer and producer groups and the government constitute the policy community. This community of policy makers is seen as a major threat to the environment by another host of institution known as NGOs. Unfortunately, NGOs have been industrialized for profit and so, remained less objective to the principles under which they operate. The actualization of the goals that these institutions are positioned to achieve becomes a pipe-dreams and have remain as such for many decades. For example, the argument that ecological criteria should be built into production processes and the uses of market forces gain dominance lately, and the proliferation of ideas via the internet which led to the emergence of new industrial revolution, continue to steer both consumption and skewed distribution in no less environmental friendly ways than the previous and unless the system integrates inclusive and distributive model global economy; where the excluded will actively participate and have “control” in global resources utilization, the global economic and environmental policy initiatives for natural resources usage, human and environmental management would keep failing. The only proven institution with potency for better distributive system is the blockchain.

The simple example of how this would work can be explained in the light of what drives the consumer to make environmental friendly decision before he or she pays for a product or service. The implication of such behaviour drives a huge negative pattern rooted in poverty-driven choice particularly in developing countries, leading to more environmental crisis. The consumers in the third world countries are often less considerate on greener products and services due to their high cost, even with some degree of environmental consciousness, these consumers are less motivated to buy things that are environmentally friendlier. Cost is the chief driver of choice due to poverty. Evidently, the impact of consumer behaviour on green living is shaped by both cost of products and services and also to a larger extent, the degree at which the consumer is aware of the ecological footprint of the item or service offered. Studies and reports indicate that; high purchasing power is initiated by economically empowered individuals and among such individuals, greener decision before purchase is most likely to be made as compare to those excluded socially and economically and are therefore, consigned to the margin of the society. This last group constitute more than 60% of the global consuming class. Their impact is exponentially significant in driving global environmental crisis.

Blockchain platform could be used to engage small businesses, individuals with capacity to contribute in their local communities-driving and encouraging mass participation to create an inclusive economic growth strategy. This would facilitate a better wealth distribution system and enhanced citizens with information and opportunities for better economic choices that drive ecosystem restoration. In the developed world, the real-time access to information about products ecological and energy footprints via life cycle assessment would in addition, equipped consumers to participate in green movement that most corporations have hijacked through fake-branding. These and other benefits are the inevitable potentials of blockchain platform.


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