Brazil firm sells NFTs to save the Amazon

i24NEWS - Reuters

3 min read
The Christ the Redeemer statue is illuminated in green to mark Amazon Day, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 5, 2021.
AP Photo/Bruna PradoThe Christ the Redeemer statue is illuminated in green to mark Amazon Day, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 5, 2021.

Proceeds from the NFTs will go towards tree preservation, regeneration of deforested areas, and sustainability

A Brazilian company that owns 258 square miles of Amazon rainforest is offering a new way to encourage conservation: selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that allow buyers to sponsor the preservation of jungle areas.

NFTs are crypto-assets that exploded in popularity last year, with unique digital signatures for various forms of art that make them one-of-a-kind.

Other efforts to fund conservation via NFTs include plans for a South African wildlife reserve.

In Brazil, philanthropic service Nemus began selling the tokens to grant buyers unique sponsorship of different sized tracts of the Amazon, with proceeds going towards the preservation of trees, regeneration of deforested areas, and sustainability. 

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Holders of an NFT will not own the land itself but will hold access to key information about its preservation - from satellite imagery to licensing - said Nemus founder Flavio de Meira Penna.

Each token comes with artwork of an Amazon plant or animal.

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Nemus has already sold 10 percent of an initial offer of NFTs for over 19,700 acres, Penna noted.

"My guess is this will accelerate rapidly in coming weeks," Penna told Reuters, adding that blockchain technology would ensure transparency in the use of the funds.

He is hoping to raise up to $5 million to purchase almost five million acres of land already under negotiations.

Along with forest preservation, Penna said the funds would also support sustainable development such as harvesting acai berries and Brazilian nuts by local communities.

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