Tonight, Belize is earning praise from all over the world after it finalized the "Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation".
It's being called "one of the biggest-ever debt restructurings meant to aid the environment."
As we've reported, it retires the half a billion US dollar Superbond for a major discount - and converts that debt into the Blue bond. And under this new arrangement the Superbond's $553 million US dollar balance is being replaced by a 364 million US dollar blue bond. As Bloomberg Business News puts it: "That money is sent to an arm of the Nature Conservancy; Then the Nature Conservancy loans it to Belize to buy back its debt; Belize will repay the loan to the Nature Conservancy over 19 years at a yield of 6.1%, and the non-profit will use that money to make payments on the bond issued by Credit Suisse, which is ultimately backed by the International Development Finance Corp., essentially putting the U.S. government on the hook for the money if Belize can't pay.
Overall it amount to US$200 million in debt service savings, and an estimated US$180 million in funding for conservation over the next 20 years." According to a release, "This includes approximately US$4 million per year in new cash flow for conservation and capitalizing an endowment fund that is estimated to grow to over US$90 million by 2041. The endowment will continue to fund marine protected area management and conservation projects focused on coral reefs, fisheries and more, beyond the term of the transaction."
Reuters news calls it "a likely 'blue' model for conserving some of the world's most vulnerable marine ecosystems".