Author Topic: Debt for dolphins  (Read 249 times)

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Offline Maik

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Debt for dolphins
« on: Thursday, 22 February, 2018 @ 14:57:13 »
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Debt for dolphins: Seychelles creates huge marine parks in world-first finance scheme

The tropical island nation of Seychelles is to create two huge new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off, in the first scheme of its kind in the world.

The novel financial engineering, effectively swapping debt for dolphins and other marine life, aims to throw a lifeline to corals, tuna and turtles being caught in a storm of overfishing and climate change. If it works, it will also secure the economic future of the nation, which depends entirely on tourism and fishing. With other ocean states lining up to follow, the approach could transform large swaths of the planet’s troubled seas.

Overfishing, and the killing of dolphins, sharks and turtles as bycatch in tuna nets, is also taking its toll across the Seychelles’ vast ocean territory. The new marine plan bans fishing around biodiversity hotspots, keeping them healthy and better able to resist climate change.

The biodiversity jewel in the Seychelles crown is the Aldabra archipelago, which rivals the Galapagos in ecological importance. Spinner dolphins, manta rays, humpback whales and nurse, lemon and tiger sharks share the waters with hawksbill and green turtles, and seabirds from some of the world’s largest colonies soar above. Dugongs - or sea cows - are the most endangered species in the Indian Ocean and shelter here, while 100,000 rare giant tortoises slowly roam the land.

Together, the parks cover 15% of the Seychelles ocean and the government will double this by 2021, putting it far ahead of an international target of 10% by 2020. The parks resulted from the first ever debt-swap deal for marine protection in which $22m of national debt owed to the UK, France, Belgium and Italy was bought at a discount by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the NGO that has assisted the Seychelles.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/22/debt-for-dolphins-seychelles-create-huge-new-marine-parks-in-world-first-finance-scheme