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Last year at the COP, Barbados committed to protect 30% of its territorial waters but they lacked the funds to do so but The Nature Conservancy announced that they will work with partners to be able to buy a piece of Barbados national debt and refinance it to protect the waters.
This program called The Nature Conservancy's Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation and, according to Good News Network, it essentially find nations with a lot of dept, low tax revenue, important territorial waters and then recruit financier partners to buy a part of the debt and re-negotiate terms with more favorable interest rates. Of course it has to be given that the nation spends the savings on ocean conservation.
Thanks to a Nature Conservancy Blue Bond finance arrangement in 2016, the island nation of the Seychelles has today established protections over a marine environment in an area twice the size of Great Britain (158 000 square miles). Also, the program helped Belize move toward their commitment of protecting 30% of their territorial waters which further include Belize Barrier Reef.
“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 square kilometers of the planet’s ocean—a 15% increase in the current amount of global marine protection,” said Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy in a statement.
The small countries that control a large piece of the world's territorial waters, like for example Barbados whose seascapes are 430-time the size of its landscape, often can’t afford to implement conservation at an ecosystem scale which is the kind needed to protect ocean biodiversity.