The plan will help protect an area of ocean larger than Germany!
League of Conservation Voters
Go to Kenya, run down to the coast, and swim kind of east-ish for a thousand miles, and you'll hit the Seychelles archipelago.
<p class="image-caption">Image from <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/didierbaertschiger/4245995486/in/photolist-7tcQwJ-qRvESb-nZVQGo-7ui1LP-hSkdzN-hTCevV-i3shxT-hRcGH2-oiLu5X-fPwrq1-7rKJAm-7vi4XE-7rpMSk-i2Hqyb-7vZnqA-r2kEpT-7sDqMR-6aGWs-q7Lx14-qDN2Up-r6y3JA-AyTQR5-i4sTk5-hUm8XB-hVkSgx-hPZjZn-i5oZMW-qQdWj9-i7crXv-hQKFUJ-xnRTc7-7vuNX6-i17vQh-hTZSeW-qKQFrp-hZA2rx-hWyBXP-hSJWAX-fPeTA4-r3xQJq-qWfogp-pZWVzL-q86WL3-i2YjnJ-r5G9iF-6aGDH-qKLTHh-qDvhEP-hYCZpQ-hWReFS">Didier Baertschiger/Flickr</a>.</p><p>Made up of 115 islands, they don't have a ton of land or a huge population, but they do have some amazing biodiversity. Fish and coral reefs throng the waters, and giant tortoises plod around on land. </p><p>The nation's pretty serious about its conservation; <strong>their constitution even guarantees citizens the right to an ecologically healthy environment.</strong></p><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ4OTI3OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMDAxODI4MH0.a8I0Bb9Rklg1uwJS0aGhSvFc8eKavqCpVbWygjJEe5Y/img.jpg?width=980" id="8b41c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="211f43a69afe35ac28c01c409cb51ef4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">They also have, like, the coolest flag ever. Image from <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Seychelles.svg">Vxb83/Wikimedia</a>.</p><h2>And, like many nations these days, they owe some debt. But something pretty clever just happened.</h2><p>In a debt swap deal between the government of Seychelles, its international creditors, and The Nature Conservancy's NatureVest investment branch — plus some negotiating help from the French government — Seychelles may have just <strong>turned some of its national debt into money to protect their awesome environment.</strong></p><h2>Wait, how does that even work?</h2><p>Basically, the Seychelles owed some people money. NatureVest came along and said, "You know that debt you owe? We'll loan you about $30 million so that you can pay some of it off. But, <strong>in return for paying of your debt, we want you to put the money you <em>would </em>have paid into this special trust fund we're setting up</strong>."<br></p><p>The trust fund, meanwhile, will use some of the money to reimburse NatureVest's initial investors (who ponied up most of the loan). But some of it will go into a long-term endowment too. <strong>And, a large chunk, about $6 million overall, will go to funding conservation projects</strong>.</p><p>So the creditors get paid, Seychelles gets more money for conservation, and NatureVest gets a little extra bang for its investment buck. It's kind of a win-win-win.<span class="redactor-invisible-space"><br></span></p><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ4OTI4MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODU5MDI4NH0.UHqhMGh5i08VyG4G1ti0FAGDsLjRD66W_-7jO63VN4A/img.jpg?width=980" id="d0d89" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7f9926ae3fa6ab49897d5d8b75a02ca4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">Image from <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cochard/163210158/in/photolist-fquGf-fqtEe-fqvbx-fquom-fquGb-fqvbp-fquoh-fqu29-fqu4G-fquGg-fquog-fqu5g-rhVbY-rndSv-rhVbW-raQzB-raQzW-rb6R2-rhVc4-rndSs-hXV447-i2nYBj-hTCevV-v2G3GA-qjJniR-rwgE7z-fquor-fquGc-raQzL-rbH9f-raQzv-rc7KN-rc7KH-rsF3xY-qLwn9a-s9Kr4T-r9qsTM-unrGek-3XMte-rsEZDm-rdvLZZ-8bBTSz-r9dFRW-rb6R4-viJSx7-rndSp-vA4Crm-tJBEqb-tJWiaa-v2P9WK">Olivier Cochard-Labbé/Flickr</a>.</p><h2>It's like a bank took your car loan and used it to build a park next to your house.</h2><p><strong>The plan will help turn about 100 million acres of sea into marine protected areas over about five years. </strong>That's an area larger than Germany! </p><p>The money will also help fund projects to manage and protect their coasts, mangroves, and coral reefs.</p><p>This is really good news for Seychelles. <span class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.seychelles.org/seychelles-info/fishing-industry">Fishing</a> and <a href="http://www.seychelles.org/seychelles-info/economy-seychelles">tourism</a> combined make up about a third of all the jobs and a quarter of the GDP in Seychelles, so protecting their rich, beautiful waters is pretty dang important. </span>Losing those two industries would be like the U.S. losing <a href="http://www.bea.gov/industry/gdpbyind_data.htm">all of its manufacturing, retail, and wholesale trading jobs</a>.</p><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ4OTI4MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDIwMDczOX0.vqPkR2J5kST6MURiOANsBimdmhJWF2AhuvNcsM0K-o0/img.jpg?width=980" id="513fb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e1e99c335077e8f992235719c0c1178b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">It's really hard to overstate how vital a healthy ocean is to Seychelles' prosperity. Image via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ningenkamp/22901295726/">Nina/Flickr</a>.</p><h2>The money couldn't come sooner. Climate change is going to make things rough.</h2><p>Seychelles, like a lot of low-lying island nations, is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Coral bleaching could kill off their reefs. Rising sea levels and stronger storms could flood their land.</p><p>But this new deal could give Seychelles a little extra oomph in their preparations and response. <strong>If it turns out to be successful, it could be a blueprint for deals with other island nations.</strong></p><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ4OTI4Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NTU4NTM2M30.5VflbT-UFZYTfDmF-uwZpgAF-P2byUBqOqLOKKYeZlo/img.jpg?width=980" id="3afa7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c01eb3c3353a42519da1b4a298e8b391" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"><br></p><p class="image-caption">Image from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seychelles_outer_islands_25.08.2009_10-20-09.jpg">Simisa/Wikimedia Commons</a>.</p><h2>Protecting our oceans is one of the best things we can do to ensure everyone access to a healthy, stable global environment.</h2><p>If you're interested in helping out but aren't sure what to do yet, <a href="https://secure3.convio.net/lcv/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2691">sign this petition from the League of Conservation Voters</a> showing Congress your support for the Clean Power Plan.</p>
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