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DEBT and Natural Resources

Debt-for-nature initiatives were conceived to address the rapid loss of resources and biodiversity in developing countries that were heavily indebted to foreign creditors. Conservationists had noted that the pressure to pay off foreign debts in hard currency was leading to increased levels of natural resource exports (i.e., timber, cattle, minerals, and agricultural products) at the expense of the environment. In many cases, indebted developing countries had difficulty meeting their hard currency debt obligations and defaulted.


Tropical Forest Conservation Act (see pdf below also)

Reducing foreign debt and allowing for portions of it to be paid with local currency while increasing funds for the environment was thought to improve environmental conditions in developing countries and had the advantage of relieving the debtor country’s difficulties in procuring sufficient hard currency to pay off its debts. Money generated from debt-for-nature transactions has been used to fund a variety of projects, ranging from national park protection in Costa Rica to supporting ecotourism in Ghana and conserving tropical forests in Bangladesh.

Share The World's Resources (STWR) is a think-tank that advocates for natural resources such as oil and water to be sustainably managed in the interests of the global public, and for essential goods and services (including staple food, adequate shelter and primary healthcare) to be made universally accessible.


The Conservation Finance program at WWF works across many initiatives, all of which are designed to provide long-term, sustainable financing to biodiversity conservation. In partnership with governments, private industry, communities and NGOs, we develop financing solutions to protect and sustainably manage some of the most valuable natural resources in the world.

January 24th, 2012 New Video Reveals Global Resistance to Forest-Carbon Projects: A Darker Shade of Green Documents Critical Perspectives on REDD

Just Forests is a member of DEBT Ireland

Other View:

Many environmentalists believe that the high indebtedness of developing countries triggers increased exploitation and more unsustainable use of their natural resources. Indeed, the validity of what we will refer to as the debt-resource-hypothesis, or the DRH for short, seems to be taken for....read more by clicking on the pdf here...

DEBT and Exploitation of Natural Resources
application/pdfHigh Indebtedness and Resource Extraction.pdf (101.88 KB)
Tropical Forest Conservation Act
application/pdfCSR.pdf (99 KB)
Tom Roche (trading as) Just Forests Ltd.
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