The Turneffe Atoll Sustainability secured a one-point two-million-dollar blended finance facility to strengthen the management of Belize’s marine protected areas and contribute to its blue economy. TASA is one of the first N.G.O.s in marine conservation to secure this type of innovative financing that uses a smart business model to support conservation efforts and generate its own revenues. Since the pandemic started, TASA has lost seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars and they have had to scale back on programmes. Today, Executive Director Valdemar Andrade told reporters that it has been in the making since 2019.
Valdemar Andrade, Executive Director, TASA“It is basically a loan approach where we made a case to them in what is the value of Turneffe in terms of its contribution to the economy, in terms of conservation impact; so that is around five hundred million Belize dollars per annum which includes shoreline protection, about a hundred and fifty million annual in tourism this pre-COVID and you have another five to seven million dollars from fishing; there is an estimated seven million dollars from blue carbon and we have an un-estimated amount for deep sea fishery. In those approaches we were able then to make a case for the feasibility of us driving revenue which included fees, blue carbon and also looking at building a resilience account so that we are not in the same shoes in the future. Initially they offered us two million US dollars but when we ran the feasibility and because we are still in a COVID situation we decided that we would look at a facility for one point two million dollars; seven hundred and fifty thousand in loan and the other in grants that we will be able to raise from the partnership. In this case, one of the larger grants is from IUCN and so they are helping is to put in place some of the infrastructure and the equipment both for tourism and conservation impact in terms of enforcement and monitoring science aspects to be able to show how we would be able to raise these revenues to pay back the loan.”
The blended finance facility is a partnership is signed by TASA, the Ministry of Blue Economy, Mirova, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Blue Finance.Channel 5