Debt-for-Nature Agreement to Conserve Brazil's Tropical Forests

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 12, 2010

The Governments of the United States of America and the Federative Republic of Brazil signed a Debt-for-Nature Agreement today to reduce Brazil’s debt payments to the United States by close to $21 million over the next five years. In return, the Government of Brazil has committed these funds to support grants to protect the country’s tropical forests. The Agreement with Brazil was made possible by the innovative Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) of 1998. Under the Agreement, grants will support activities to conserve protected areas, improve natural resource management, and develop sustainable livelihoods for communities that rely on forests.

Brazil is one of the most biologically rich countries on earth. Funds generated by the Agreement will help Brazil protect the Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlantica) as well as the Caatinga and the Cerrado ecosystems. Together, these ecosystems cover approximately 50 percent of Brazil’s territory and are home to some of the world’s most unique wildlife, such as Black-faced Lion Tamarins, Brazilian Gold Frogs, Blue-Bellied Parrots, and the Brazilian rosewood. The Atlantic Rainforest alone contains more than 250 species of mammals, more than 750 species of reptiles and amphibians and nearly 1,000 species of birds.

The Brazil Agreement marks the 16th initiative under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. Previous agreements have been signed with Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama (two agreements), Paraguay, Peru (two agreements), and the Philippines. Over time, these debt-for-nature programs will together generate more than $239 million to protect tropical forests around the world.

PRN: 2010/1100