The United States Government
and the Government of Indonesia began discussions in January toward conclusion
of a second debt-for-nature agreement. The U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation
Act, or TFCA, provides grants to support activities such as conserving
protected forest areas, improving natural resource management and supporting
the development of sustainable livelihoods for communities that rely on
forests. The U.S Department of the Treasury has provisionally set aside more
than nineteen million dollars for the treatment of eligible debt.
The first TFCA agreement with Indonesia, signed on June 30, 2009, will reduce the country's debt payments to the U.S. Government by nearly thirty million dollars over eight years. In return, the Government of Indonesia will commit these funds to support grants to protect and restore tropical forests in Sumatra. The agreement was the largest debt-for-nature swap under the TFCA thus far and was made possible through contributions of twenty million dollars by the U.S. Government and a combined donation of two million dollars from Conservation International and the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation.
To date, thirteen countries have entered into debt-for-nature agreements under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. These are: Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama, which has two agreements, Paraguay, Peru, which also has two agreements, and the Philippines. Over time, these fifteen debt-for-nature programs will together generate more than two-hundred-eighteen-million dollars to protect tropical forests.
The United States is committed to working with Indonesia and other nations to help protect tropical forests and the rich diversity of life they sustain.