Nature Seychelles, an environmental conservation NGO in the Seychelles, is making digital collectibles of a rare bird in the hope of finding a new way to raise money.
The Seychelles Magpie-robin is a rare bird species with current estimates placing the population at only around 460 birds across all the Seychelles islands. There are 59 robins living on Cousin Island Special Reserve.
Nature Seychelles has issued a limited edition of 59 collectibles to represent each of the birds on Cousin Island.
CEO of Nature Seychelles, NImal Shah, has said the aim behind the project was to raise money for conservation as traditional sources of funding have dried up during the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the collectibles have sold out already, but several are still available for purchasing for $500, $1000, or $10000.
The total value of the initial sales will go directly to Nature Seychelles while owners can potentially sell their collectibles to other buyers further on. In such cases, both Nature Seychelles and the owner will take a share, potentially creating a new long term revenue stream.
“You can contribute whatever you want, and the money will go directly to us to help manage this species.
This is just the beginning of experiments to find new income streams for conservation.”
– CEO, Nature Seychelles
Currently, only tokens for the Magpie-robin exist, but it is conceivable that in the near future, many other species may be ‘digitised’ into NFT collectibles, which can be traded for others or sold for cash.
In this way, nature conservations may be able to turn their animals into a modern day equivalent of baseball trading cards, or even pieces of art.
In 2018, the Porini Foundation, a Swiss charity, set up a ‘sustainable and highly efficient blockchain’ and invited nature conservation organizations to run a local node and take ownership of the zero-carbon blockchain, solving energy and regulatory challenges.
The foundation has also set up the markeplace where nature and environmental collectibles captured from partner organizations such as Nature Seychelles can be traded.