The Barbados government has expressed an interest in doing a maritime debt for nature swap with the US-based, he Nature Conservancy.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said her administration is in discussion with the organisation that pursues non-confrontational, pragmatic solutions to conservation’s challenges working with partners including indigenous communities, businesses, governments, multilateral institutions, and other non-profits.
Mottley said that a debt for nature swap meant that the organization would take certain amounts of the country’s debt and the reduction in the cost of the debt would go to a trust that would be formed to take care of the maritime environment.
“So, they will use the income from the trust to help and work with fishermen…the rebuilding of the coral reef…to ensure they are taking care and preserving the maritime environment.
“It is a completely new dimension. The only country in the world to have entered such an arrangement has been Seychelles and now Grenada has been in intensive discussions with them for some time,” Mottley said.
She said that Barbados is hoping “to be able to bring this resolution over the course of the next few weeks, and to work towards the development of the planning out of a marine spatial plan that would allow all of the stakeholders to come.
“This will not preclude any activity, so Barbados can still ostensibly pursue its oil and gas blocks on the deep south eastern waters in the exclusive economic zone, but it just allows for order in the development,” she added.
Mottley said during her recent visit to the United States, she held talks with foreign creditors to discuss debt restructuring and that the government would be making statements on that matter soon.