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Indonesia and US seal $35 million Coral Reef Debt Swap by Marc Jones (Reuters)

Administrator’s note: This post appeared in The Jakarta Post on July, 09, 2024.  Click here to read the original post.

A fish surveyor collects data along a transect of a coral reef below Telaga Island waters in Southeast Sulawesi in April 2024. (Courtesy of/Climate REEFS)

Article Synopsis:

Indonesia will commit to reef restoration while local non-profit groups will use conservation fund money to support projects that directly benefit reef ecosystems as well as sustainable livelihoods for those that rely on them. The US has agreed to forgive $35 million of Indonesian debt over nine years in exchange for Indonesia restoring and preserving its coral reefs.

This agreement, the fourth “debt-for-nature” swap since 2009, focuses on the Coral Triangle, particularly the Bird’s Head and Lesser Sunda-Banda Seascapes. These areas are home to over three-quarters of all coral species and more than 3,000 marine species. Coral reefs are under threat globally due to climate change, with two-thirds experiencing bleaching last year. Indonesia, which has 5.1 million hectares of coral reefs, has seen significant bleaching damage. The agreement, part of the US Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act, involves writing off $26 million of debt, with additional contributions from CI and TNC. The funds will support reef restoration and sustainable livelihoods for local communities.

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