WASHINGTON, November 6The American International Development Finance Corporation. issued the following press release:

In collaboration with Nature conservation (TNC), the government of Belize, and Credit Suisse, American International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) today announced the financial close of a $ 364 million Blue Bond for ocean conservation by Belize. The innovative debt conversion, which DFC made possible through $ 610 million in political risk insurance (covering the principal and interest of the loan), provide sovereign debt relief and simultaneously finance projects in favor of from Belize commitment to protect 30 percent of its ocean. These projects advance ocean protection, fisheries management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. DFC and Nature conservation announced the financial closure of the project on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow.

“DFC’s collaboration with TNC, the government of Belize, and Credit Suisse represents one of the most innovative examples of climate finance and a model for the future, ”said David Marchick, DFC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction is a win-win: it reduces from Belize debt, generates an estimate $ 180 million invest in the protection of the marine environment and biodiversity and promote climate resilience in from Belize blue economy. from Belize the marine ecosystem is one of the most unique in the world, and this transaction will help protect and preserve it for the future. “

“The twin crises of the climate emergency and biodiversity loss require rethinking and rethinking how we invest in our economies and our natural assets,” said Jennifer morris, general manager of Nature conservation. “The Belize Blue Bond is a global example of how a country can reduce its debt and create more fiscal space to devote substantial funds to its conservation ambitions. Belize shows that when we work together, by combining science, global finance and partnerships from the national level to the community level, we can achieve huge gains for people and nature. “

“Blue Bonds for Conservation is a unique opportunity to Belize protect our unique marine resources and expand conservation programs while reducing public debt, ”said the Prime Minister of Belize Jean Briceno. “I thank our partners, in particular Nature conservation and the American International Development Finance Corporation, and share their hope that this transaction will serve as a model to address the global emergencies of climate change and sovereign debt. “

DFC insurance allows Belize redeem $ 553 million sovereign debt discounted. Through a combination of debt cancellation and repayment by the government of Belize over time, the project will generate approximately $ 180 million for marine protection and management, restoration of coral reefs and mangroves, economic diversification, sustainable tourism and fisheries, and will promote the growth of the country’s blue economy. As part of the agreement, Belize agreed to double the percentage of its ocean allocated to biodiversity protection areas, from 15.9 percent to 30 percent.

This innovative operation by DFC mobilizes both capital and partnerships with the government of Belize to protect one of the most unique and valuable marine areas in the world. In the context of the climate crisis, this transaction is even more powerful – marine conservation efforts go hand in hand with climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. The project will finance activities such as the rehabilitation of mangroves, which will strengthen the capacity to remove carbon, thereby helping to reduce the concentration of dangerous climate pollution in the atmosphere. TNC will also provide technical assistance by facilitating a science-based participatory marine spatial planning process that includes local stakeholders such as fishermen’s associations and tourism boards in the design of new marine protected areas.

The U.S. government is committed to maintaining its global leadership by forging innovative solutions that help countries balance economic growth with conservation and climate-friendly approaches.