Technology and Nature: ESG Approach in Preserving Mangroves in Developing Countries Part I

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    Author: Tuhu Nugraha and Dina Kosasih*

    Indonesia has the second longest coastline in the world at 95,181 km and is the proud custodian of a unique mangrove ecosystem. Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics reports that the country has approximately 3.63 million hectares of mangrove forest. This is a staggering 20.37% of the world’s total mangrove forest area, with Indonesia topping the list, ahead of Malaysia and Brazil in second and third place respectively. The most mangrove-rich region in Indonesia is Papua, with an area of ​​1.63 million hectares, followed by Sumatra with 892,835 hectares and Kalimantan with 630,913 hectares.

    Mangroves are not only a haven for biodiversity, they are also crucial in global efforts to achieve zero carbon targets. Known for their ability to efficiently sequester CO2, mangroves act as an unparalleled natural “carbon sink.” They trap carbon in soil layers filled with plants and organic matter. However, deforestation and degradation of mangrove forests risks releasing this sequestered carbon into the atmosphere, making it extremely important to conserve mangrove forests to curb net carbon emissions. It is emphasized.

    In Indonesia, mangrove management and conservation falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK). Mangroves are designated and managed in various categories such as protected forests, social forestry, and native forests.

    Harnessing the power of technology, especially in the digital age, has become essential to strengthening mangrove protection, especially in critical regions like Indonesia. The convergence of innovations such as blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the metaverse will usher mangrove forests into the digital realm. This technology integration not only streamlines monitoring but also strengthens ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) efforts. As a result, conservation efforts will become more systematic and robust, ensuring that mangroves remain a natural front line against climate change and a vital global carbon store.

    Digitization of mangrove forests in the metaverse

    Through the Metaverse, mangrove forests can be digitally replicated. This gives stakeholders the opportunity to see the current state of the forest, from tree density to biodiversity to carbon absorption capacity.

    Replicating a mangrove forest in the Metaverse provides a detailed digital representation of this ecosystem, giving stakeholders direct insight into the forest’s health, biodiversity, and absorptive capacity. This information is invaluable in supporting data-driven decision-making, such as funding allocation and conservation actions. Additionally, this metaverse visualization will increase public awareness and understanding of the urgency of mangrove conservation, facilitate funding and investment, and serve as an innovative tool for education and research. Therefore, the Metaverse not only provides information but also serves as a platform to support mangrove conservation advocacy and efforts.

    Virtual tours through Metaverse provide an immersive experience, allowing potential investors to experience mangrove forests first-hand and gain deeper insight into the status, potential, and urgency of intervention in this ecosystem. You can gain perspective. In today’s digital age, investment decisions are often made based on a combination of data, stories, and experience. The Metaverse brings all of this together.

    For developing countries like Indonesia, home to the world’s largest mangrove forest, Metaverse serves as an innovative gateway to communicate with global investors. By displaying an authentic digital replica of a mangrove forest, Indonesia can convey its potential and challenges and highlight the country’s commitment to preserving and restoring this ecosystem. ESG-minded investors are now looking for locations and projects where their funds not only deliver financial returns, but also have a positive environmental and social impact. A virtual tour of Metaverse allows you to see concretely how your investments directly impact the conservation of mangrove ecosystems and the well-being of surrounding communities.

    Furthermore, the existence of Metaverse as a communication and information platform will enhance transparency and accountability in conservation activities. Investors can monitor the progress of the projects they support in real time, ensuring that their investment funds are used efficiently and effectively. This ultimately increases investor confidence and facilitates the flow of funds into environmental conservation efforts in developing countries like Indonesia.

    Blockchain and transparency Blockchain technology enables a transparent and immutable record of transactions in the context of mangrove forest conservation. Every transaction, from funding projects to purchasing carbon credits, is clearly recorded and verifiable by all parties. This not only ensures data integrity and eliminates the risk of tampering, but also increases investor confidence by ensuring that funds are used appropriately. For developing countries like Indonesia, blockchain offers innovative solutions to address governance challenges, foster global cooperation, and ensure management efficiency, allowing more funds to go towards mangrove conservation. You can direct it directly.

    IoT: Real-time monitoring Internet of Things (IoT) devices offer great advances in monitoring mangrove forest ecosystems. Sensors installed in the field can capture real-time environmental data, capture instantaneous changes, and accurately understand forest conditions. This feature optimizes maintenance activities. If areas of decline are detected, interventions can be initiated quickly based on real data. Furthermore, continuous monitoring of carbon uptake rates will highlight the role of mangroves in the carbon-zero journey and provide stakeholders with concrete evidence of the important contribution of this ecosystem. Ultimately, the data transparency provided by IoT will strengthen trust between investors, governments, and local communities and ensure continued support for mangrove conservation.

    conclusion The integration of blockchain technology, IoT, and the Metaverse signifies a new era in conservation and sustainable development. Blockchain ensures transparency and trust in mangrove-related transactions, ensuring that every step of conservation activities can be verified and recorded. This is critical for developing countries where governance challenges may be more pronounced and attracts more investors by providing assurances of reliability and integrity.

    Meanwhile, IoT will enhance the monitoring and management of mangrove ecosystems. Real-time data provides a deeper understanding of the actual situation on the ground, enabling faster intervention and more effective maintenance strategies. This advance allows for continuous monitoring of carbon uptake by mangroves, laying the foundation for a zero-carbon journey.

    Meanwhile, the metaverse, which can be replicated in the digital world, expands the scope of education and awareness about mangroves. Stakeholders, including potential investors, can virtually “visit” mangrove forests and gain a deeper understanding of the value and importance of the ecosystem.

    It is of utmost importance for developing countries, especially countries like Indonesia, which are rich in natural resources, to implement these technologies. They serve not only as a tool to attract investment, but also as a demonstration of a genuine commitment to achieving ESG goals and preserving our natural heritage for future generations. Implementing these technologies, with the support of the international community, promises a more sustainable future where nature and technology work together for the sustainability of the planet.

    *Dina Kosasi CEO of Open Innovation Hub, Chairman of Pesisir Lestari Foundation.


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