Phauna steunt het Landaankoopfonds via NFT's

Phauna takes an innovative approach to contributing to land acquisition for nature

With the Arjan’s Big Year NFT collection, Phauna aims to contribute to nature conservation in an innovative way. This collection consists of exclusive photos by Arjan Dwarshuis, birdwatching world record holder and ambassador of the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund. A large part of the proceeds of this collection will be donated to Proyecto Washu to safeguard the habitat of the brown-headed spider monkey, Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and other species in Ecuador.

Header photo: Critically endangered brown-headed spider monkey © Jaime Culebras – Proyecto Washu

Blending art, tech and nature

The initiative of Phauna, a young company with a green heart, presents a new way to contribute to nature conservation and restoration. ‘By blending art, tech, and nature, Phuana enables the Land Acquisition Fund to reach a new audience. This can become a remarkable initiative contributing to safeguarding more habitat of endangered species,’ says Marc Hoogeslag, senior expert nature conservation at IUCN NL and coordinator of the Land Acquisition Fund.

With the proceeds of Arjan’s Big Year collection, Phauna will make a donation to the Land Acquisition Fund. Today at noon, the sale of a genesis collection starts: a selection of 200 limited-edition photos.

What are NFTs?

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a special kind of digital item. These digital collectives are tied to, for example, digital art, music files, or even tweets, making these digital items unique and purchasable.

When you buy an NFT, you are essentially buying a digital item along with a unique certificate of ownership. This certificate, stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain, proves that you own the ‘original’ piece. Even if other people have copies of the digital item, only you have the original as designated by the unique NFT.

They possess four important properties: art, scarcity, access and security. For the Arjan’s Big Year collection, this means:

  • Art – Beautiful photos, accompanied with stories, of birds taken during Arjan Dwarshuis’ world-record birding year.
  • Scarcity – The collection consists of 200 collectibles, with 70 different photos. These photos are acquired unseeingly by the buyers; it is a surprise which photo you will get!
  • Access – Through the NFT you gain access to exclusive content regarding the nature restoration in Ecuador, via email and in a Discord community group. Phauna is working on more future possibilities, maybe even a physical print.
  • Security – The collection resides on the Polygon block chain, which is a secure, low-cost and sustainable option. Everyone with a credit card can join this NFT-community.

Safeguarding the habitat of the brown-headed spider monkey

According to Founder Sophron Vermeij, Phauna aims to ‘make contributing to nature a rewarding experience: trustworthy and transparent, while offering something exciting in return.’ Vermeij perceives the Land Acquisition Fund ‘as an important pillar for the project, ensuring that the donation will be used for long-term, effective conservation, and facilitating clear communication about the progress of the project.

If the project develops successfully, Phuana will donate no less than 70% of the proceeds from this NFT collection to the Land Acquisition Fund, benefitting the work of Proyecto Washu. The Ecuadorian NGO will use this donation to purchase a forest area that will become part of a private reserve, creating a safe home for species such as the critically endangered brown-headed spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps fusciceps) and Ecuadorian capuchin monkey (Cebus aequatorialis).

Proyecto Washu is developing on a private reserve in the Ecuadoran coastal region Manabí, where deforestation is occurring at a rapid pace. The habitat of endangered and vulnerable species is threatened, among other things, by mining and illegal logging, and forests have become highly fragmented. By purchasing different forest fragments and connecting them through reforestation, Washu’s dedicated team will create a biodiversity sanctuary.

Land Acquisition Fund

For more than 20 years, the Land Acquisition Fund of IUCN NL has been enabling conservation NGOs around the world to purchase land that is the habitat of endangered and vulnerable species. These nature organisations take the initiative to purchase a particular area and will have the ownership of and responsibility for the protected area.

This is important for effective long-term conservation, since these organisations are highly familiar with the local context and are in close contact with the people living in the area. These people often depend on the area’s ecosystems for their livelihoods.

More information?

Frederique Holle
Expert Environmental Justice
Marc Hoogeslag
Senior Expert Nature Conservation