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

141 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on June 8, 2019
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