United States Signs Debt Swap Agreement with El Salvador to Direct $20 million to NGOs that support Environment protection
We are pleased to announce the United States and El Salvador signed a Tropical Forest and Coral Conservation Agreement on September 29, 2021. The agreement, over time, will re-direct $20 million in debt to a tropical forest and coral reef ecosystem fund in El Salvador and be granted to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that directly benefit the people of El Salvador. These funds will contribute to the conservation of El Salvador’s extraordinary natural forest areas, home to abundant varieties of animal and plant life. The agreement also includes provision for the conservation of El Salvador’s coral reef ecosystems and shoals, significant to its regional biodiversity and economies.
The first tropical forest agreement between the United States and El Salvador, signed in 2001 is generating $14 million in conservation funds, also contributing to the restoration, conservation, management, and sustainable use of tropical forests throughout El Salvador. In addition, since 2009 a portion of this funding has been directed toward a strategic ecosystem management program which conserves protected natural areas, buffer zones, and coastal marine ecosystems, including mangroves.
The fund administrator for both the 2001 agreement and the new agreement is the Fondo de Inversion Ambiental de El Salvador (FIAES). FIAES was created in 1994 under a previous U.S. Government debt treatment program entitled the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, which generated over $41 million for environmental conservation more broadly. Over its long life, FIAES has evolved to become a recognized conservation trust fund administering multiple accounts from multiple donors, including the Green Climate Fund, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.N. Program for the 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/