Policy Analysis

Blue Bonds: The Nature Conservancy connects debt relief and ocean conservation

May 17, 2019

Ocean degradation as a result of pollution and climate change can have a significant impact on the state of the world’s fisheries, ocean biodiversity and coastal resilience. This particularly affects small island development states and coastal communities that rely on ocean and coastal resources as a primary source of economic activities.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is aware of the shrinking window of opportunity to counter this development through designated marine protected areas. To do so, it is bringing forward Blue Bonds: an audacious integration of debt relief, ocean conservation and government action. 

Here are the TNC's own key takeaways on their Blue Bonds for Conservation:

  • "Blue Bonds for Conservation leverage upfront philanthropy to catalyze as much as 40 times more in additional investments, which will be used to protect over 4 million square kilometers of the world's oceans in the next five years.
  • How it works: TNC is helping 20 island nations refinance their national debt; the governments then use the savings to invest in marine protection efforts that will revitalize fisheries and protect coral reefs.
  • But the full opportunity is even bigger—85 countries could use this approach to protect their ocean territories."

More information on Blue Bonds for Conservation can be found here.