As part of a debt-for-nature refinancing program, the island nation of Barbados is set to unlock $50 million in funding for conservation of its entire marine ecosystem.
Barbados has committed to protect 30 percent of its territorial waters but lacks the funds to do so. Now, The Nature Conservancy has announced it will work with partners to buy a piece of Barbados’ national debt and refinance it to facilitate this goal. Releasing $50m for marine conservation in the process.
This project is the most recent in TNC’s Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation strategy, an ambitious plan to drastically scale up ocean conservation around the world.
It’s a program known simply in the conservation world as “Blue Bonds.” Essentially, it finds nations which have a lot of debt, low tax revenue, and important territorial waters, and recruits financier partners to buy outstanding debt from the previous holders and re-negotiate terms with more favourable interest rates - provided the nation spends the savings on ocean conservation.
The first mover was the island nation of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. It has established protections over a marine environment that's equivalent to twice the size of Great Britain, or 158,000 square miles, thanks to a Nature Conservancy Blue Bond finance arrangement in 2016.
“We believe that innovative debt transactions coupled with science and marine planning, like our Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation strategy, can achieve protection and improved management of more than 4 million sq.km of the planet’s ocean - a 15 percent increase in the current amount of global marine protection,” said Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy in a statement.
More good news about the environment
The Hot Priest Calendar: The Calendario Romano was first published 20 years ago, and has since grown from labour of love to cult souvenir.
The Billions Club: The top 10 artists, ranked by their number of songs with over one billion streams, on Spotify.
Kindness Quotes: Collection of lovely, inspiring, insightful quotations about kindness.
Label You Touch: We will soon be feeling an innovative food labelling idea that tells us when the food has gone off - it should drastically help reduce food waste.
Finally! After years of pressure, Europe's biggest bank has said that it will stop financing new oil and gas projects.
More Good News Articles: A handful of last week's most popular stories (and most watched video), just in case you would like to catch up.