First ever full Coastal-Marine Project Finance Initiative for Permanence (PfP) for Belize was signed on to today

Posted on
03 noviembre 2021


Glasgow, Scotland, November 2, 2021.  Today, at a side event held within the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), an official signing of a MOU took place between WWF, TNC and Honorable John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize; cementing commitment from Belize to collaborate on the development and execution of the Coastal-Marine Project Finance Initiative for Permanence (PfP). The signing event was anteceded by a panel discussion on "Financing Ambitions for Climate and Nature" hosted by WWF.
 
A PfP is an innovative approach to permanent and full funding of conservation areas. It will provide the enabling environment for sustainable financing for Belize's marine protected areas and broader coastal ecosystems.
 
To achieve their full potential, conservation areas need to be well designed, well managed, and sustainably funded. If there are any gaps as part of these levels of management, conservation areas could face degradation. A PfP is a key part of the solution to these challenges. It was adapted from a common stock market practice called “project finance”. PFP initiatives address an issue often seen in the conservation community: insufficient funding for the management of conservation areas.
 
During the panel discussion, Honorable John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize indicated that Belize currently has more than 30 percent of its territory under protection and “the PfP gives an opportunity to countries, especially small countries like ours, that have difficulty in accessing funding to be able to ensure funds in permanence. I want to encourage other countries to see this opportunity of finding the funds to be able to have your reserves not only on paper but also to really protect them for future generations.”
 
Nadia Bood, WWF Mesoamerica’s Senior Program Officer later commented: “We are most pleased to have received the commitment from the Belize Government to pursue a PfP. The PfP will help provide much needed financial resources to strengthen coastal ecosystems’ management and sustainable livelihoods for Belize.”
 
Belize's coastal resources include an extensive coastal mangrove forest, and the second longest barrier-reef system in the world. Belize is home to spectacular biodiversity on land and at sea. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to nearly 1,400 species, from endangered hawksbill turtles to West Indian manatees, sting rays, coral, and six threatened species of sharks. The reef works together with mangrove forests and seagrass beds to provide services for both nature and people.
 
But climate change and human activities are increasingly impacting these habitats and the accelerated degradation of critical coastal ecosystems is jeopardizing the resilience, adaptive capacity, and biodiversity of these systems that communities also depend upon for coastal protection, food, recreation, and carbon sequestration. With security on the line for hundreds of thousands of people in Belize, the PfP provides an opportunity to appropriately conserve coastal natural resources for the benefit of people and nature.
 
Note to editors:
● Visit www.wwfca.org to find out more about what WWF is doing in Belize and WWF International site on COP26 here.

About WWF
WWF is an independent conservation organization, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Press contact: María del Rosario Calderón, rcalderon@wwfca.org