By Chris Lang
A project called Nemus Earth is offering Non-Fungible Tokens that will save the Amazon Rainforest. Nemus was set up by Flavio De Meira Penna, who previously set up a timber company called ASF Brazil (Amazon Sustainable Forestry).
Here’s the first answer on Nemus Earth’s FAQ web-page in response to the question “What is Nemus?”
Nemus is a new approach towards protecting and conserving the planet’s natural resources, beginning with the Amazon rainforest. This approach connects anyone with a digital (web3) wallet, to a direct impact in the real world, through the use of NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
According to a recent Nemus press release, Nemus is “a collectible NFT experience designed to conserve and protect the Amazon Rainforest”.
As if all we needed to stop the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest was an airdrop of NFTs. “Nemus lets anyone become a Guardian of the Amazon Rainforest by owning a NFT linked to real-world land,” Nemus states in the press release.
Buying a protective belt
The project aims to form a “protective belt in one of the most threatened areas of the Amazon”. Nemus claims it will “help deter illegal loggers, ranchers and any other entity aiming to exploit the rainforest for personal gain”.
The Nemus project states that it has “secured 41,000 hectares of actual at-risk land in the Amazon rainforest,” and an additional 6.1 million hectares is currently under negotiation.
Nemus has put out a “litepaper” in which it explains that,
Nemus will acquire at-risk land in the rainforest and create a series of collectible NFTs, each tied to a unique geolocation within the land. A portion of sales from NFTs pays for the purchase of the land, while the remaining proceeds are stored in the Nemus treasury. The treasury is then used to fund implementation for economic and social activity on the land.
The litepaper includes a map showing the “protective belt”:
“Nemus will set out to acquire rainforest properties to create a protective belt,” Nemus writes in its litepaper. The “protective belt” is more than 2,000 kilometres long and more than 100 kilometres wide.
Nemus is, in other words, proposing a green grab on a colossal scale.
The litepaper explains that “Nemus has entered into a binding agreement to take possession of a 41,000 hectare property bordering the Purus river, near the city of Pauini in the state of Amazonas.” Nemus states that “an even larger property spanning 1.3M hectares” is “reserved for Nemus, once the pilot is proven a success.” And “Nemus is already in negotiation for an additional 5.23M hectares”, an area “larger than Denmark or Switzerland”.
The litepaper also explains that Nemus plans to “build bases across the protective belt”.
These bases will be small cities on previously degraded land, which will have the necessary infrastructure to not only monitor the land, but provide local police forces access to any illegal activities in its surroundings (up to 200 km.)
They will also provide lodging for local communities, basic housing, communications, educational, medical facilities and more. Economic activities developed on local forest properties will be centralized in these bases to improve scale, logistics and technological capabilities.
Each Nemus NFT is “tied to a specific geo coordinate location”. But the ownership of an NFT is not a claim to ownership of the land, Nemus points out. Instead, the NFTs “can be used to earn the native NEA token, unlock ongoing game rewards and foster sustainable activity on the land.”
Nemus plans various types of economic activity on its land:
- Rewildling: aiming to “recover devastated and degraded areas of land to their original forest base”. And reforestation: Nemus aims “to plant specific trees that will create long term jobs and wealth for the local communities”.
- Sustainable forestry: also known as logging. Nemus states that, “Every single tree that is harvested is pre approved, limited in numbers (so as not to impact the surrounding forest) and has a GPS location and individual identification number.”
- Monitoring and enforcement: Nemus will use satellite imagery and drone footage to monitor the forests. Nemus will also “invest in the necessary infrastructure and equipment to empower local police authorities”.
- Research and development: Nemus will provide the “requirements that major research projects need in order to implement long term studies and effectively bring their research to market”. It will apparently do so “on a massive scale” and is “currently establishing partnerships with several local and international research organizations, as well as NGOs”.
- Indigenous Co-ops: Nemus will “work with local indigenous populations to help them protect their own forest properties, and at their request, to include them in economically sustainable projects” such as harvesting Brazil nuts, and fruit from Acai trees.
Surprise, surprise, Nemus is hoping to generate carbon credits from its NFT funded land grab.
Nemus writes that “it is understood that the work done within Nemus has the potential to generate value in the form of carbon offsets for willing buyers”. However, the litepaper suggests that Nemus hasn’t really bothered to find out how carbon credits are generated:
Whether Nemus will have the ability to certify its own credits, or rely on a third-party to certify, is unknown. It is possible that a “natural” certification would be acceptable as Nemus evolves due to the transparency in its activities, documentation and within its community.
Although third party certification (for example through organisations such as Verra) is fundamentally flawed, without third party certification anyone buying the carbon credits has to rely on the information provided by the project developer.
The Nemus project is built on the Ethereum blockchain. The litepaper includes a section titled “Pros & Cons of Ethereum”. But Nemus looks at only one of the problems with Ethereum, that of “gas fees” – the fee required to process the transaction.
Apparently the project based on environmental conservation has decided to simply gloss over the enormous energy consumption, emissions, and electronic waste stemming from the Ethereum blockchain.
PHOTO Credits: Screenshots from ASF’s videos on YouTube.