Friday, 23 February 2018

Worldwide Swap Shop?


There has been on interesting development in the Seychelles where $22m of national debt (largely owed to European countries) has been exchanged by The Nature Conservancy (who purchased the debt at a 'knock-down' price) for the creation of 2 enormous additional marine parks (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/22/debt-for-dolphins-seychelles-create-huge-new-marine-parks-in-world-first-finance-scheme). The corals in the area had been suffering from bleaching and there was growing evidence of over-fishing endangering stocks of marine animals (including dolphins). Basically, 15% of the Seychelles waters are to become protected marine parks with 7,400,000 hectare area around Aldabra and a 13,400,000 hectare location around Mahe. This seems to be a win-win situation for most folk as the planet gets important conservation areas, the locals can forget servicing the debt as well as getting improvements that might well aid tourism and the Europeans get some of their money back. The only groups that seem worried about the development are people with livelihoods in fishing (but experience suggests the parks could restock the fish in accessible areas). It actually seems good news to me and might well be fruitfully copied elsewhere!

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