Brazilian company sells NFTs to save the Amazon

Proceeds from 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 incentivize conservation: selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that allow buyers to sponsor the preservation of jungle areas.

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

Other efforts to fund conservation through NFTs include plans for a South African wildlife sanctuary.

In Brazil, philanthropic service Nemus began selling the tokens to grant buyers one-time sponsorship of different swaths of the Amazon, with proceeds going towards tree preservation, regeneration of deforested areas and sustainability.

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

Each token is accompanied by an illustration of an Amazonian plant or animal.

Nemus has already sold 10% of an initial NFT offering for more than 19,700 acres, Penna noted.

“I suspect it’s going to ramp up quickly in the coming weeks,” Penna said. Reutersadding that blockchain technology would provide transparency in the use of funds.

He hopes to raise up to $5 million to buy nearly five million acres of land already under negotiation.

Along with preserving forests, Penna said the funds would also support sustainable development, such as the harvesting of acai berries and Brazil nuts by local communities.

Laura J. Boyer