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  • Ah, earth's oceans.

  • They are beautiful, inspiring, life-sustaining.

  • They are also, as you're probably quite aware, more or less screwed.

  • In the Seychelles, for example,

  • human activities and climate change have left corals bleached.

  • Overfishing has caused fish stocks to plummet.

  • Biodiversity is in peril.

  • So what can we do?

  • Well, some form of protection, obviously.

  • Nature is very resilient.

  • When marine areas are strategically protected,

  • entire ecosystems can bounce back.

  • However, creating marine protected areas isn't easy.

  • First, you have the issue of figuring out where to protect.

  • This coral reef overlaps with that international fishing route,

  • intersects with this fish hatchery.

  • Everything is interconnected.

  • And marine protection plans must take into account

  • how one area affects another.

  • Then, there's the issue of getting everyone on board.

  • Coastal economies often rely on fishing and tourism.

  • If people think they can't do their work,

  • there's no chance of getting the local buy-in you need

  • for the area to be successful.

  • Marine protected areas must also be enforced.

  • That means the government itself must be deeply invested in the plan.

  • Token support will not cut it.

  • And finally, conservation requires money.

  • A lot of it.

  • Governments in island and coastal nations may want to protect their waters,

  • but often these nations have very high debt

  • and can't afford to prioritize conservation.

  • If we rely on philanthropic dollars alone to fund marine protection,

  • we might get a small marine-protected area here,

  • another little one there.

  • But we need more marine protected areas faster,

  • to have lasting impact.

  • So what exactly does smart ocean conservation look like?

  • How do we get the money, government support and careful planning

  • that takes into account both local economies

  • and complex ecosystems?

  • We want to share with you an audacious idea

  • from The Nature Conservancy.

  • It seeks to address all of these things in one fell swoop.

  • They've realized that debt held by island and coastal nations

  • is the very thing that will enable them to achieve their conservation goals.

  • TNC's idea is to restructure this debt,

  • to generate the funds and political will

  • to protect reefs, mangroves and fisheries.

  • For example, if you refinance your house

  • to take advantage of a better interest rate,

  • maybe you use the savings to insulate your attic.

  • That's what Blue Bonds for Conservation do for entire coastal countries.

  • Refinance the debt,

  • then use the savings to create marine protected areas.

  • Of course, sovereign debt restructuring is more complicated than that,

  • but you get the basic idea.

  • If investors put in 40 million dollars now,

  • it can unlock as much as 1.6 billion for ocean conservation.

  • And this is how the work gets done.

  • Step one: negotiate the deal.

  • A coastal nation commits to protect at least 30 percent of its ocean areas.

  • In exchange, The Nature Conservancy bring investors, public funders

  • and international development organizations

  • to the table to restructure a portion of the nation's debt,

  • leading to lower interest rates and longer repayment periods.

  • Step two: create a marine plan.

  • Simultaneously, The Nature Conservancy works with marine scientists,

  • government leaders and local stakeholders

  • to create a detailed conservation plan

  • that integrates the needs of the ocean with the needs of the people.

  • Step three: activate for longevity.

  • TNC establishes an independently run conservation trust fund.

  • The savings from the debt restructure goes into it

  • to support new marine protected areas.

  • The trust then holds the government accountable for its commitments,

  • ensuring that the Blue Bonds finance real protection efforts.

  • Could this plan work?

  • It already has.

  • In 2016, TNC helped create a national conservation plan in the Seychelles.

  • TNC restructured 22 million dollars of the government's debt.

  • And in exchange, the government agreed to protect 30 percent of its marine areas.

  • Today, the Seychelles is on track

  • to protect 400,000 square kilometers of ocean.

  • That's an area roughly the size of Germany.

  • The Seychelles is protecting its coral reefs,

  • it's replenishing its fisheries,

  • it's improving its resilience to climate change.

  • At the same time, it's strengthening its economy.

  • This success is making other governments take note.

  • Many want to be part of this.

  • There's an opportunity to scale this up, dramatically.

  • And fast.

  • TNC has identified 20 more nations where such a plan should be possible.

  • But to execute, they need seed capital.

  • And to put in place local teams who can develop conservation plans,

  • work with all the stakeholders and structure the deals.

  • If they get the support they need over the next five years,

  • they could protect four million square kilometers of ocean.

  • That's 10 Germanies.

  • This would increase the amount of protected areas

  • in all of the world's oceans

  • by an incredible 15 percent.

  • It would allow vast tracks of the world's coral reefs to replenish

  • and give safe harbor to countless species.

  • This would be truly incredible.

  • And it's really just the beginning.

  • Because there aren't 20 countries in the world

  • where this kind of debt conversion would work.

  • There are almost 100.

  • With this approach, everyone wins.

  • Governments, local citizens, funders,

  • and most importantly, our oceans.

  • So in fact, we all win.

  • Ah, earth's oceans.

  • [The Audacious Project]

Ah, earth's oceans.

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B1 US TED marine conservation debt protected coastal

【TED】The Nature Conservancy: An ingenious proposal for scaling up marine protection (An ingenious proposal for scaling up marine protection | The Nature Conservancy)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2019/06/07
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