On 16 April 2019, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced at TED in Vancouver, Canada a plan to drastically scale-up ocean conservation around the world. By delivering a project called “Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation” in as many as 20 countries over the next five years, TNC will help ensure conservation of up to 4 million square kilometers of the world’s most biodiversity-critical ocean habitats – a 15 percent increase in the amount of protected ocean that currently exists. This plan, which was selected from more than 1,500 The Audacious Project applicants, has already secured more than $23 of the $40 million project goal from donors. This Audacious project will unlock $1.6 billion toward marine conservation and result in marine spatial plans for up to 20 nations.
“Blue Bonds” are not actual bonds – they are innovative investments for conservation that leverage upfront philanthropy to catalyze as much as 40 times more in additional investments for conservation. TNC is helping up to 20 island nations refinance their national debt then in turn, governments use the savings to invest in marine protection efforts that will revitalize fisheries and protect coral reefs. “Blue Bonds for Conservation” are an opportunity for island and coastal nations to reinvest in their natural resources by refinancing their national debt in a way that secures funding for conservation work that also benefits their economies.
For more information on the Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation project, click on the following links:
The Nature Conservancy Newsroom
Photo credit: A newly hatched baby turtle makes its way into the ocean, Solomon Islands. © Tim Calver