Gabon Announces $500 Million Debt-for-Nature Swap

Recently, Gabon unveiled a ground-breaking $500 million debt-for-nature swap on August 15, 2023, marking Africa's largest deal of its kind aimed at refinancing national debt while conserving marine resources.

Key Points:

  • Debt Restructured via Blue Bond: Gabon's debt restructuring takes the form of a Blue Bond, the world's second-largest debt-for-nature swap.
  • Impact on Marine Conservation: Under the agreement, Gabon commits to allocating $5 million annually over the next 15 years toward marine conservation efforts.
  • Focus of Funds: These funds will support critical conservation objectives, protect endangered species, and promote a sustainable 'blue economy' in Gabon.
  • Global Commitment to Protect Oceans and Lands: Gabon's commitment aligns with global efforts to protect 30% of the world's oceans and lands by 2030, as agreed upon in the high-seas treaty in March 2023.
  • Gabon Pledge: The nation pledges to develop and implement a comprehensive marine spatial plan, designate 30% of its ocean as biodiversity protection zones, and enhance the sustainability of its fishing sector.
  • Functioning Of the Finance Mechanism: This innovative financial mechanism enables the nation to address its debt challenges while investing in the conservation of its marine ecosystems.