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Australia: WWF partners with tech cos. to track supply chains involved in environmental harm & human rights abuses

The World Wide Fund (WWF) in Australia is partnering with technology companies to track supply chains and help stop illegal, unsustainable fishing practices and curb human rights abuses such as slavery. Media reports are linked below.

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2 February 2019

The WWF backs blockchain to unpick messy food supply chains

Author: Esha Chhabra, Wired

31 January 2019

...[T]he World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has put its considerable weight behind a blockchain-based platform, called OpenSC....

The app uses QR codes to help people learn more about where food comes from, when, how it was produced, and how it travelled along the supply chain. ..."We will have a whole new level of transparency about whether the food we eat is contributing to environmental degradation of habitats and species, as well as social injustice and human rights issues such as slavery," says Dermot O'Gorman, WWF-Australia's CEO.

...Paul Hunyor, who runs BCGDV’s Asia operations, says that the vast majority of such initiatives have been left in the pilot stage, failing to scale. “Traceability is the biggest trend in global retail, supply chain operations, and conservation right now,” he says. “These innovations have the potential to be good for the planet and humanity, but also good for business, and therefore to produce healthy financial returns for investors.”

...By partnering with the WWF, OpenSC wants to tackle supply chains that have historically involved dubious activities, over-extraction or neglected labor standards.

..."We see a great degree of potential for blockchain applications which drive impact on human rights and conservation outcomes," Hunyor says.

Fishing...has its own challenges. Illegal, unreported, and under-regulated fishing costs the global economy up to $23 billion annually and adds up to 20 per cent of the global seafood catch. These illegal ships are hard to track, operating in protected zones on unregistered vessels....OpenSC could verify if a vessel was fishing in a protected area by looking at its GPS locations, coordinated with protected zones, the vessel's speed, sea depth, and weather depth...

[Companies also mentioned in the report are Walmart, IBM, Austral Fisheries, Woolworths, Singapore Airlines, and Konrad Brits]

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22 January 2018

Fiji: Blockchain technology joint pilot project launched to address illegal fishing practices and human rights abuses in Pacific Islands tuna industry

Author: Candice Visser & Quentin Hanich, the Conversation

"How blockchain is strengthening tuna traceability to combat illegal fishing", 22 January 2018

In a significant development for global fisheries, blockchain technology is now being used to improve tuna traceability to help stop illegal and unsustainable fishing practices in the Pacific Islands tuna industry.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand, in partnership with US-based tech innovator ConsenSys, tech implementer TraSeable and tuna fishing and processing company Sea Quest Fiji Ltd, has just launched a pilot project in the Pacific Islands tuna industry that will use blockchain technology to track the journey of tuna from “bait to plate”.

The aim is to help stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and human rights abuses in the tuna industry. These have included reports of corruption, illegal trafficking and human slavery on tuna fishing boats...

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