United States signs debt swap deal with El Salvador to pay $ 20 million to NGOs that support environmental protection
We are pleased to announce that the United States and El Salvador signed a tropical forest and coral conservation agreement on September 29, 2021. The agreement, over time, will reallocate $ 20 million in debt to a fund for tropical forests and coral reef ecosystems in El Salvador and be granted to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that directly benefit the Salvadoran people. These funds will contribute to the conservation of El Salvador’s extraordinary natural forest areas, which are home to abundant varieties of animal and plant life. The agreement also includes provisions for the conservation of ecosystems and shoals of El Salvador’s coral reefs, important for its biodiversity and regional economies.
The first tropical forest agreement between the United States and El Salvador, signed in 2001, generates $ 14 million in conservation funds, also contributing to the restoration, conservation, management and sustainable use of tropical forests in all of El Salvador. In addition, since 2009, part of this funding has been devoted to a strategic ecosystem management program that preserves protected natural areas, buffer zones and coastal marine ecosystems, including mangroves.
The administrator of the fund for the 2001 agreement and the new agreement is the Fondo de Inversion Ambiental de El Salvador (FIAES). FIAES was established in 1994 as part of a previous US government debt treatment program called the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, which generated more than $ 41 million for general environmental conservation. Over the course of its long life, FIAES has evolved into a recognized conservation trust fund administering multiple accounts from several donors, including the Green Climate Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Program United Nations Environment, among others. FIAES grants go to non-governmental organizations, community development associations, “mancomunidades”, micro-regions and producer associations on an annual basis. https://www.fiaes.org.sv/en_US/