The island nation is going to protect 210,000 sq km of ocean in exchange for some of its national debt being paid off. Part of this deal was Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation that helped negotiate the terms. It is the first agreement of this kind in the world, that trades national debt for the creation of a protected area.
The agreement focuses on a $21 million debt payment that is shared among various investors and foundations. Future debt payments are transferred to a specific conservation trust that focuses on the preservation of marine life and battling the challenges of climate change.
The new protected area further raises the countries protected waters from 0.04% to 30%. This area will only be accessible to researchers and strongly regulated tourism activities.
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