GROVE, an online platform that uses blockchain technology to fund the planting of 1 billion mangrove trees across Southeast Asia and India by 2025, is expected to launch in the coming months.
The Singapore-based Global Mangrove Trust will launch GROVE, an app and website in the next six months, according to Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Users will be able to select a project and, once the funding target is met, track its progress through video, photograph and data updates, and monitor forest growth drawing on satellite images and algorithms.
The projects that are expected to benefit from the mangrove planting are located along South Asia’s Bay of Bengal and in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Global Mangrove Trust also plans to add initiatives in Africa, as well as North and South America.
The GROVE funding will reward communities that restore, maintain and expand their mangrove forests over time, rather than just providing one-off payments.
Mangroves make up less than 1% of tropical forests worldwide but are vital for the wellbeing, food security and protection of coastal communities, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
They protect coastlines against the ferocity of storms and rising sea levels, absorb planet-heating carbon from the atmosphere and boost fish stocks. But mangroves are being destroyed at rates three to five times higher than the average for forests, and more than a quarter of the world’s mangrove cover has already disappeared.
If the GROVE platform proves successful in raising funds for mangrove restoration, the technology could be used to support other types of nature conservation.
Ryan Merrill, managing director of the Global Mangrove Trust, said: “If we get it right for mangroves, other communities might find it’s a useful software platform to adapt and adopt for fundraising for community forestry or land use and habitat conservation.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com