Belize reached an accord with a group of bondholders to purchase back its debt at a reduced rate — but with an unusual, marine conservation clause attached to the deal. According to the agreement, Belize will buy, redeem, and cancel all of its outstanding bonds, which is approximately 550 million USD.
What makes this so unusual and important in the world of marine conservation? According to Bloomberg News, the government plans to use money provided by the Nature Conservancy’s blue bond financing program, which will use private capital to help refinance nations’ public debt. As part of that program, Belize would enact “durable marine conservation efforts and sustainable marine-based economic activity,” according the government statement. Belize will also fund a $23.4 million endowment to support future marine conservation projects.
A creative and innovative strategy and a clear win for marine conservation and the Belize Barrier Reef!!