Coral reefs have been in danger for years now. People have been looking for ways to protect the marine life that thrive in these reefs and maintain the delicate balance in the ocean. For some, the efforts have been futile. For others, a success.
Still, the efforts haven’t stopped. The ultimate group of governments and environmentalists is to keep working hard just so they can make the whole world aware of just how important the oceans are for every single animal and person.
As part of a debt-for-nature refinancing program, the island nation of Barbados will unlock a total of $50 million in funding. The money will go to the conservation of its entire marine ecosystem.
Barbados went to the previous year’s COP and they made a commitment to protect 30 percent of its territorial waters. Unfortunately back then, they didn’t have the funds to do what they wanted. The Nature Conservancy then made an announcement and said that they will collaborate with partners to buy a piece of Barbados’ national debt and refinance it. They want to help facilitate the nation’s goal to protect the seas.
The program that will help them achieve the dream is known in the conservation world as “Blue Bonds.” The Nature Conservancy’s Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation strategy finds nations who are suffering from debt, low tax revenue, and important territorial waters. They then look and recruit financier partners that will help purchase these outstanding debt from the previous holders. When this is done, they will renegotiate terms so that they get friendlier interest rates. Of course, this comes under the condition that the nation allot the money they save on ocean conservation.
Today, the island nation of the Seychelles had been able to successfully establish protections over a marine environment in an area that is two times bigger than Great Britain, or 158,000 square miles. Credit can be given to a Nature Conservancy Blue Bond finance arrangement that was made 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 square kilometers of the planet’s ocean—a 15% increase in the current amount of global marine protection,” said Jennifer Morris. She is the CEO of The Nature Conservancy and had released a statement on this.
A large portion of the territorial waters found in the planet are under control by small island nations such as Seychelles, or Barbados. The latter has seascapes that are 430 times bigger than its actual landscape.
Unfortunately, these countries often don’t have the income to implement conservation that is as big as an ecosystem scale. This is the kind of movement that’s vital and effective to protect the ocean’s biodiversity.
Barbados has become home to four species of nesting turtles: green turtles, loggerheads, hawksbill, and leatherbacks. The nation also has second biggest hawksbill turtle-breeding population that is in the Caribbean. The oceans in the area is rich in coral reefs, and as we know, these reefs bring in income for big tourism and fishing sectors.
In 2021, this Blue Bond program from the Nature Conservancy also assisted the country of Belize achieve their commitment to protecting 30 percent of their territorial waters. This commitment includes the Belize Barrier Reef, which is one of the biggest barrier reefs found in the planet.
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