Recently, ITTO is supporting the study of blockchain-based international timber tracking system for building sustainable wood supply chains.
◎Objective and scope
This study aims to apply the blockchain technology with the tropical timber tracking system with a view to improving the legality and sustainability in the global supply chains of international timber production, processing trade and consumption in ITTO producer and consumer member countries.
This study will be developing a conceptional framework of blockchain for timber tracking system, followed by exploring practical blockchain applications in selected case countries, which will be integrated in the final report with recommendations.
The blockchain-based timber tracking system is designed to cover all phases of timber supply chain starting from log harvesting to end consumer products particularly the primary log processing stages. The key principle of designing this blockchain-based timber tracking system is to establish an information chain connecting all phases based on related current records and documents, which is based on certified forest management such as FSC, PEFC and other management certifications.
Blockchain is increasingly applied for supply chain management in a range of industries. By transforming complex supply chains into simpler yet flexible and secure ones, businesses can maintain the quality and traceability of products. Applications on agricultural commodities are indicating that blockchain could have significant potential in strengthening the legality and sustainability of tropical forest supply chains.
A key concern in tropical forest supply chains is the ability to reliably trace logs and other wood products from the forest to the mill and on to the final market (as Figure 1 illustrates). The technology would appear to have great appeal to forest managers, forest certification bodies and other stakeholders, who have vested interest in being able to prove that a given wood product comes from a given (well-managed) forest. The tamper-proof ledger system, which characterizes blockchain technology, can provide such a guarantee, but until now there have been no documented tropical forestry applications of the technology.
（1）A conceptional framework for blockchain of timber tracking system developed;
（2） A selection of practical/potential blockchain applications in case countries explored;
（3） A study report with recommendations on conceptional framework and practical applications finalized.