Largest Debt-for-Nature Swap for Costa Rica Forests

From The Nature Conservancy.

The Nature Conservancy has brokered the largest debt-for-nature swap in history — a deal that will secure long-term, science-based conservation for Costa Rica’s tropical forests:

  • The United States will forgive $26 million in debt owed to it by Costa Rica.
  • This move will in turn provide necessary funds that will be used to finance forest conservation in Costa Rica over the next 16 years, protecting one of the world’s richest natural treasures for future generations.

And science — the Conservancy's hallmark — is at the center of the deal.

"This debt swap is unique in that it utilizes scientific analysis to determine the sites towards which the funds will be directed,” says Zdenka Piskulich, program director for the Conservancy in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a small nation — but it's home to some of the largest tracts of concentrated biodiversity on Earth. Its lush tropical forests are home to several endangered species such as jaguars, quetzals, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, tree frogs and a host of other wildlife.

"The funding that is a result of this debt swap will also allow local communities, 80 percent of which live in The Amistad Region, to pursue sustainable and economically viable livelihoods, thus improving their lives and sustaining the biodiverse resources on which they depend," said Piskulich.

Where The Nature Conservancy Works - Year in Review 2007.

Related: Red-Eyed Tree Frog: Rainforest Ambassador.


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