On the sidelines of COP26, the Nature Conservancy, Credit Suisse, the Government of Belize, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced the financial close of the $364 million Blue Bond for Ocean Conservation, the world’s largest blue bond for conservation, which will allocate capital towards debt sustainability and marine conservation for Belize.
Credit Suisse acted as sole structurer and arranger of the Blue Bond and DFC provided $610 million in political risk insurance. This transaction will restructure approximately $550M in national debt and unlock an estimated US$180M in capital for marine conservation, in support of Belize’s commitment to protect 30 percent of its ocean.
This Blue Bond was one of the earliest blended finance solutions supported by Convergence’s Design Funding program. Back in 2016, Convergence awarded NatureVest and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) a proof-of-concept grant through our Global Emerging Markets Design Funding Window, funded by the Canadian Government, to design and structure the Blue Bond, building on the smaller debt-for nature swap in Seychelles that TNC had worked on previously
“We have been following this deal closely and we are so pleased to see it reach financial close,” says Adhiti Gupta, Associate Director, Market Acceleration and Design Funding. “We hope this Blue Bond sets off a demonstration effect for the rest of the market, serving as a scalable model for replication in other developing countries.”
About Convergence’s Design Funding Program
The Design Funding program offers a unique market acceleration opportunity for practitioners to secure feasibility study and proof of concept stage design funding to develop and launch catalytic blended finance vehicles that aim to attract private capital to sustainable development at scale. Convergence currently has three open Design Funding Windows: the Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Window for solutions that target climate AND gender globally; the Indo-Pacific Window for solutions targeting gender AND/OR climate in the Indo-Pacific Region; and the Asia Natural Capital Window for solutions focused on natural capital in Asia. Please visit Convergence’s Design Funding page for submission deadlines.
Convergence also acts as the sole independent evaluator to the United Nations Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund for operationalizing the Call on SDG Financing Component 2: Catalyzing Strategic Investments. So far USD 41 million has been awarded in funding to UN country teams to design financial structures to catalyze additional investment for the SDGs, based on Convergence’s recommendations.