WHAT IS THE SECOND U.S.-C.R. DEBT SWAP?
The II Debt-for-Nature Swap between the United States and Costa Rica is a financial vehicle that contributes to the conservation of Costa Rica’s biodiversity, under the framework of the Forever Costa Rica Program (PCRXS) of the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).
The II Swap was consolidated in 2010 and since then it has been administered by the Forever Costa Rica Association.
WHY WAS THE SECOND DEBT SWAP SIGNED?
In recent decades, the Costa Rican Government has sought to rely on bilateral and multilateral cooperation initiatives to strengthen biodiversity conservation efforts, ecosystem services, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. One of these initiatives was the signing in 2007 of the First Debt-for-Nature Swap with the Government of the United States, which consists of the reallocation of foreign debt service to a fund that finances the protection and conservation of tropical forests with an emphasis on ecosystem connectivity.
In 2010, the Second Debt Swap was signed for an amount of $27 million to finance the consolidation of the Protected Areas of the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) prioritized in the Forever Costa Rica Program, within the framework of the commitments undertaken by the Government of Costa Rica before the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
As part of its compliance with its commitments to the CBD, the Costa Rican government established national conservation goals based on technical and scientific criteria through which protected areas were prioritized for intervention to improve their ecological representativeness, management effectiveness, and resilience to the possible impacts of climate change at the national level.
HOW DID THE II SWAP ORIGINATE?
The II U.S.-C.R. Debt-for-Nature Swap is an agreement to alleviate part of the debt contracted by Costa Rica with the United States and redirect those funds to conservation activities.
This agreement was made possible within the framework of the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA), enacted in 1998.
WHERE DOES THE II SWAP WORK?
The PCRXS prioritizes a group of Protected Areas every 5 years as beneficiaries to allocate funds to be executed by Eligible Entities.
Currently, the II Exchange benefits 32 terrestrial Protected Areas of Costa Rica in 10 Conservation Areas.
WHAT IS THE COSTA RICA FOREVER PROGRAM?
Costa Rica, as a party to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), seeks to maintain a commitment to the continued evolution of a biodiversity conservation system.
Thus, in 2010, the Costa Rican government approved the Forever Costa Rica Program (PCRXS) as a financing project for permanence aimed at meeting the CBD goals related to Protected Areas.
In this way, it seeks to ensure that the Protected Areas:
- Are ecologically representative
- Are effectively managed
- Are structurally and functionally connected to a stable source of funding.
- Have an inclusive and participatory governance.
The PCRXS is financed by two permanent sources, one of which is the II Debt-for-Nature Swap between the United States and Costa Rica, whose administrator is the Forever Costa Rica Association for Terrestrial Protected Areas.
The other source of funding is the Forever Costa Rica Trust Fund aimed at Protected Marine Areas.
These sources ensure permanent management, contributing to the fulfillment of the management effectiveness of the Protected Areas.
With the Forever Costa Rica Program, the public-private partnership between the National System of Conservation Areas and the Forever Costa Rica Association was born in 2010.