The island nation of Seychelles designated some of its fragile coastal areas for protection from commercial fishing, oil exploration and development this week in return for a novel deal relieving it of part of its sovereign debt. The Indian Ocean island, rich in underwater reefs and postcard-perfect beaches, defaulted on its debt in 2008 and clawed its way back to prosperity with assistance from the International Monetary Fund. Since then, government officials have been searching for ways to preserve their environment without endangering financial stability. So the finance ministry was intrigued when U.S.-based conservation group The Nature Conservancy approached it recently with a debt-for-nature financial proposal, the first in the world aimed at protecting a marine area.
The deep-pocketed conservation group offered to buy up nearly $22 million of Seychelles' outstanding $406 million sovereign debt in return for the country designating a third of its marine area as "protected".
The East African island nation of fewer than 100,000 people mainly relies on tourism and fishing for revenue, but in recent years oil and gas companies have been exploring its turquoise waters, home to dugongs, turtle and tuna.
On Wednesday, Seychelles gave details on the first 210,000 square kilometer (81,000 square miles) area to be conserved, limiting activities like fishing, oil exploration and large-scale development in the most fragile habitats ...
Drudge Retort Headlines
Trump's CIA Pick Did Not Oversee Waterboarding (186 comments)
Trump-Supporting Evangelicals Sold Their Souls (39 comments)
Libertarian Senate Candidate Wants to Arm the Homeless (26 comments)
Trump Throws a Morning Tantrum Against Mueller (25 comments)
Your Facebook Likes Were Used to Manipulate You (23 comments)
Tinhorn Trump Pushes Plan to Execute Drug Dealers (21 comments)
Green Party in Montana Has Bigot on Ballot (20 comments)
Trump Consultants Exploited Facebook Data of Millions (19 comments)