But don’t panic; none of the 59 Seychelles magpie robins will be expelled from their home on Cousin. Instead, it is their digital likeness that will be sold.
Nature Seychelles with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Porini Foundation are launching the world’s first Digital Nature Collectibles (Non-Fungible Token for Conservation (NFTC), the first Digital Species for a future series of Digital Species Collectibles.
The Seychelles magpie robin has been selected to kick off this foray into the unchartered waters of digital tokens for conservation, with a limited edition of the first 59 collectibles set to be launched. Each token will be a representation of a living bird currently on Cousin Island, which are all known and can be identified individually through a unique system that also includes every aspect of their biology.
We have been talking about how important it is to innovate during this crisis and we are happy to be early adopters of this innovative technology, we named it – Next-Gen Conservation” – Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, CEO Nature Seychelles
Why the Seychelles magpie robin?
The Seychelles magpie robin was one of the rarest birds. In 1990 less than 20 birds were left on Fregate Island in Seychelles. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Birdlife International started a recovery programme, which included research, habitat restoration, removal of alien predators, and education. The programme was taken over by Nature Seychelles in 1998. The programme has been a huge success with 460 birds now occurring on 5 islands.
An NFT (non-fungible token) is a one-of-a-kind piece of digital content and can be linked to an image or a video. The NFT’s ownership is authenticated and verifiable by the blockchain, a technology that can prevent copypasting and was first used for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. That means while copies of videos, images and even animated gifs can multiply on the internet, there can be only one with a certificate of authenticity. Like other collectibles, people can buy, sell and trade them or even use them as collaterals.
They will be available here for purchase using credit card or other means of payment. There will be a marketplace for reselling the collectibles, so they can be traded and purchased again in the future.
Funding for conservation is not always guaranteed and the COVID-19 pandemic made things even harder. Many areas lost a great part of their budget and revenue, especially those relying on tourism income.
With the world’s first Digital Nature Collectible, we can offer a new road to income and extend the NFT market beyond art, games and music. With #NatureCollectibles, we want to provide sustainable funding and an innovative financing alternative for conservation work in protected and conserved areas.
By highlighting key values in these protected areas we emphasize the conservation role of each protected and conserved area, whilst also engaging our main audiences and beyond to be an active contributor to conservation efforts.
Pioneered by the IUCN Green List, Swiss-based Porini Foundation and Nature Seychelles. These nature collectibles support conservation work in protected and conserved areas committed to or certified by the IUCN Green List for their fair and effective conservation outcomes.
Hence, relying on the IUCN Green List Standard, with its 3rd party assurance and validation ensures the positive impact and credibility of these NFTCs and that they’re directed to work where impact is seen, measured and internationally recognised.
Any protected and conserved area that gains ‘Green List’ status demonstrates:
Respect: for the local community through fair and meaningful engagement of rights-holders and stakeholders
Design: planning that identifies the need to secure the important values of the area
Effective management: monitoring of the status of these important values
Successful conservation results: for nature and for people
Clear contribution: to climate change responses, health and well-being and other challenges
Blockchain technology offers two big advantages for our nature collectibles project:
First: Fast payments and we can see that the money arrives directly at the beneficiary.
Second: the NFT standard ensures that the collectible is indeed unique and that there is only a limited number of items which can be sold.
Since the #NatureCollectibles are implemented on the zero-carbon blockchain solutions of Porini Foundation the carbon footprint of the #NatureCollectibles is only a few milligrams of CO2 which is compensated through Porini Foundation.