In an effort to raise money for conservation, WildEarth – a wildlife streaming service is minting NFTs. It will feature 25 of the most popular animals, including Tlalamba a four-year-old leopard, on the Djuma Game Reserve in South Africa. The NFTs will be priced at around $200 each. The proceeds will be utilized in the upkeep of the animal’s habitat.
The NFT owners will gain special access to images, information, and videos about the animals. They can also communicate with other NFT holders. The NFT owners will also be empowered with special privileges including voting rights for names of animal clubs and priority of potential non-fungible tokens.
Graham Wallington, the co-founder, and CEO of WildEarth, said that through the NFTs they are trying to say that nature can look after itself. He explained the real mission is to ensure that local populations have economic incentives to not poach. Wallington said it has been a monumental exercise to get this project off the ground. He expressed excitement about launching the NFTs in the market.
WildEarth revealed that the royalties are paid to the land’s custodians. This is part of the incentive to conserve wildlife habitat. Wallington believes this is what conservation should be about. The animals just need a home and for that, the local populations should be on board. Wallington shared that the key is to build an alternative revenue source to the ones that are already available to the custodians.
While WildEarth is trying to conserve the habitat, the organization is aware of the consequence of creating NFTs as it consumes high energy. It also highlighted getting the NFTs onto OpenSea, the biggest secondary market for non-fungible tokens, as a challenge. Wallington acknowledged that NFTs is a very carbon-intensive environment. Environmentalists have pointed out that one NFT claims around the same amount of energy that an average US household does in six days.