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Belize Makes Big Splash with Blue Bonds at Island Conference

The Belizean government and The Nature Conservancy made waves at the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by showcasing the success of Belize Blue Bonds. This special event, held in Antigua and Barbuda on May 27th, shed light on how innovative financial tools like debt-for-nature and debt-for-climate swaps can assist SIDS nations like Belize in preserving nature and combating climate change.


The Belize Blue Bonds, a financial initiative launched in 2021, were the focus of attention. These bonds played a crucial role in reducing Belize's national debt by 12% and its debt per GDP, all while providing sustainable financing for marine conservation efforts. Notably, the bonds secured commitments to safeguard up to 30% of Belize's ocean territory.


During the event, Hon. Orlando Habet, Belize's Minister of Sustainable Development and Climate Change, inaugurated the proceedings. Ms. Beverly Wade, Director of the Blue Bonds and Finance Permanence Unit, spoke on the structure and impact of the Belize Blue Bonds, emphasizing their role in fostering a sustainable blue economy.


Panelists, including representatives from The Nature Conservancy and global finance bodies, shared insights on the benefits and challenges of such financial mechanisms. Ambassador Janine Felson, from Belize's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, delivered closing remarks, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving conservation goals.


Since its inception, the Belize Blue Bonds have attracted investments totaling BZD18 million, supporting both governmental and non-governmental initiatives for marine conservation and responsible blue economy development through the Belize Fund for a Sustainable Future.


The event also marked the official launch of the TNC Nature Bonds Toolkit, aimed at assisting governments in implementing similar nature-based financial solutions.


With the spotlight on Belize's pioneering efforts, the event underscored the significance of innovative financial tools in addressing the unique challenges faced by SIDS nations in protecting their natural resources and building resilience against climate change.


 

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