Since 2017, the Forever Costa Rica Association has managed the First Debt-for-Nature Swap between the United States of America and Costa Rica.
The First USA-CR Debt for Nature Swap is an agreement whereby the Government of the United States of America condones part of the external debt to the Government of Costa Rica, in exchange for the latter’s commitment to invest the amount forgiven in a fund for finance conservation projects.
This swap is an agreement whereby the government of the United States cancels part of Costa Rica’s external debt in exchange for a commitment by the latter to invest the amount cancelled in a fund to finance conservation projects.
Main Objective: Conserve, protect, restore, and sustainably use tropical forests in Costa Rica in six priority geographic areas (PGAs): Osa, La Amistad, Tortuguero, Maquenque, northeast sector of Rincón de la Vieja, and Nicoya.
The Supervisory Committee is responsible for convening non-profit organizations (NGOs and Grassroots Organizations) each year to access the First Exchange funds, according to their institutional characteristics.
The First Swap, invite to submit project proposals aimed at:
- Prevention, protection, research and monitoring of wildlife species targeted, and of threatened forest ecosystems.
- Promotion of private financial mechanisms that benefit conservation in non-state lands and sustainable productive activities that benefit the conservation of the forest and the livelihoods of the inhabitants.
- Recovery of degraded areas and restoration of forests.
- Strengthening Biological Corridors: Diriá, Cerros de Jesús, Rincón Cacao and Rincón Rainforest.
There is also a category of special projects, such as the Mentoring Program, and projects defined by the committee to address specific problems.
In 2017, the VII request for proposals period opened, inviting NGOs and grassroots organizations to apply for funds.
Total available amount: $1 million
Achievements of the First Swap through 2017
- In 2017, the agreement finished its10th year.
- To date, 31 entities implementing 40 projects, received donations from the First Swap.
- In 2017, donations for projects from the First Swap exceeded 1.7 billion colones (about $3 million).
- It has supported projects in all GPAs, with impacts in more than a million hectares.
Some Project Accomplishments: