The CTCN hosted a side event at the 7th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals on 4 May 2022.
Ms. Claire Henly of the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. Department of State, opened the event with a keynote address introducing the benefits of digitalization and blockchain. The digital economy provides several opportunities to change methods of energy generation, distribution, and consumption, but we must also address challenges related to the digital divide, including rural, gender, and youth gaps in internet access and use.
Erwin Rose, Vice Chair of the CTCN Advisory Board and Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State, introduced the CTCN with an overview of its Network, functions, and completed technical assistance cases utilizing digitalization in various forms. He also summarized the key points presented in the blockchain course developed by CTCN in collaboration with the Blockchain &Climate Institute (BCI) focusing on blockchain’s uses for climate change.
Anouk Chamayou of WeatherForce presented next on the CTCN technical assistance in Mali, which supported the creation of an application with Mali-meteo to address the dearth of weather data for specific crops, global weather forecasts, and information in local languages. The technical assistance contributes to the SDGs through the enhanced diffusion of information by women who communicate important crop and weather information (SDG 5), development of crop-focused indicators (SDG 15), and the strengthening of local actors and agencies in providing improved information services (SDG 17).
Denis Macharia (Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development, RCMRD) presented a CTCN technical assistance case in Eswatini that is strengthening capacity in the application of UAV and remote sensing technologies for climate resilience. The implementing partners developed a data integration framework alongside baselines for key climate parameters and a database to track rainfall, temperature trends and climate projections.
Moderator Rose Mwebaza, Director of the CTCN, underscored how these CTCN technical assistance cases demonstrate the importance of being demand-driven and responding directly to country needs in their own languages. She also highlighted that the CTCN strives to integrate gender considerations into all of its work.
Juerg Fuessler of the Climate Ledger Initiative (CLI) and INFRAS presented two blockchain projects being undertaken by CLI in India and Kenya. The FairClimate Fund is supplying 100 households with cookstoves equipped with cost-effective sensors that monitor cooking practices and calculate and validate climate impacts. The Etherisc Climate Risk Insurance project provides mobile phone and blockchain-based index insurance against climate impacts for 50,000 smallholders. Mr. Fuessler highlighted the potential of blockchain for increased trust and efficiency, reduced overhead costs, and higher payouts.
In conclusion, Ms. Henly posited that the CTCN can play a key role in connecting countries to technologies through using its understanding of and connections to local country contexts. Finally, she emphasized the importance of overcoming challenges related to making digital technologies relevant, accessible, and useful to the populations needing them most.