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Sovereign Debt at the CrossroadsChallenges and Proposals for Resolving the Third World Debt Crisis$
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Chris Jochnick and Fraser A. Preston

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195168003.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2021

Using International Finance to Further Conservation: The First 15 Years of Debt-for-Nature Swaps

Using International Finance to Further Conservation: The First 15 Years of Debt-for-Nature Swaps

Sovereign Debt at the Crossroads

William K. Reilly

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines debt-for-nature swaps and their potential for offsetting sovereign debt. Debt-for-nature swaps originated in the 1980s as a way of preserving natural areas in the developing world while at the same time reducing the external debt of the host country. The win-win nature of this type of transaction created many potential applications, and the US Congress and other national legislatures soon passed legislation enabling billions of dollars worth of swaps to take place. However, that potential was never realized. Legislative mandates were not funded, developing countries became suspicious of swaps as they believed they posed a threat to their sovereignty, and an improvement in debt markets reduced the attractiveness of swap economics. It is argued that although swaps are not a panacea for either debt reduction or environmental protection, they offer a concrete tool to promote both ends, and tremendous potential for swaps still exists.

Keywords:   debt-for-nature swaps, government debts, sovereign debt, environmental protection, debt reduction

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