US, Indonesia sign $35 million debt swap deals to support coral reef ecosystems

ISTANBUL: The US, Indonesia and four non-governmental organizations signed $35 million debt swap agreements to support coral reef ecosystems, according to the Treasury Department in Washington.

When implemented, the agreements will reduce Indonesia’s debt payments to the US government by $35 million in the next nine years, it said Monday in a statement.

In return, the government of Indonesia has committed that the funds will support grants to protect and restore the country’s coral reef ecosystems through the establishment of a conservation fund, it added.

Local NGOs will use grants from the fund to support projects that directly benefit the coral reef ecosystems and communities that depend on them, it noted.

The fund administrator for the new 2024 coral reef conservation agreement is Yayasan Keanekaragaman Hayati Indonesia — a national organization that focuses on terrestrial and marine conservation.

The NGOs include Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusa
ntara and Yayasan Konservasi Cakrawala Indonesia.

“Indonesia is home to some of the most biologically diverse coral reef ecosystems in the world that support the livelihoods of millions of Indonesians,” said Alexia Latortue, assistant secretary of the Treasury Department for International Trade and Development.

“The U.S. Department of Treasury is committed to advancing efforts that protect valuable ecosystems while promoting economic development,” she added.

Source: Anadolu Agency