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Issue No:82
  • :0973–1121
  • :February
  • :2020

Samudra Report No.82, February 2020


Seychelles / Conservation Funding

Beyond Dramatic Imagery

While Seychelles Blue Bond scheme for conservation funding is often portrayed in glowing terms, the initiative has several inherent contradictions

This article is by Patrick John Bolliger (, a master’s student in International Environmental Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway

In 2011, Seychelles began a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy to restructure the country’s debt and plan a new conservation area. The so-called ‘debt-for-nature swap’ freed up funds from Seychelles’ cumbersome national debt, helping fund a new conservation area with ‘no-take’ and ‘sustainable use’ zones. The deal was finalized in 2016. Since then, media outlets around the world have hailed the project that has now rezoned approximately 350,915 sq km of ocean as conservation area.

Such staggering numbers make it easy to rally behind the effort. Headlines like ‘Seychelles preserves swathes of marine territory in debt-for-nature deal’, or gimmicks like ‘Debt for dolphins’ appeared in British media outlets in early 2018, after the first areas were protected. In October 2018, the hype shifted to Seychelles’ launch of the Blue Bond for...

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